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


Wednesday, April 30

A Bad Evening

Well, this attachment business sure is two steps forward, one step back. Tonight, in fact, Alice took a gigantic LEAP backwards and had the biggest, longest rage she has had since we started the attachment therapy. It all began at around 6, when we wandered into DS's bedroom. She was a bit scratchy, so I thought that perhaps she would find one of the hermit crabs entertaining. WRONG!!!! I got the little guy out of the tank, set him on the floor and he began walking around. Alice freaked out and completely lost the plot. I hastily put the crab not-so-gently back into its tank, and whisked Alice off to her room for some mummy-comfort. I cuddled her, trying to soothe her , and she fought like a wildcat. I continued to hold her (as the therapist says I should) and for the next hour she screamed, raged, spat, threw her arms and legs, arched her back and tried every trick she could think of to get away from me. And you know what? The whole time, there was not a tear in sight. It was pure rage, anger and frustration at being not able to control her circumstances. It was very demoralising, and even more so when I twigged to the fact that she would settle when she shut her eyes, but as soon as she opened them and made eye contact with me, she started screaming even harder than before. It was as if her little brain was saying 'Oh crap, not you STILL!! Where's my REAL mum???' So, after over an hour, she finally calmed. I still have a ringing sensation in my right ear from the mega-decibel abuse it has received, and Alice is asleep, although very restless. I think we may be in for a bad night. So I guess the moral to this tale is that attachment is a LOOOONG process, and you can't get too complacent about it, 'cos just when you think you are making progress, Mr Murphy comes along and slams the door in your face. Goodnight all - I am off for (another) restorative glass of wine....

PS - the photo was taken earlier in the day when she was throwing a tantrum about something her big sister did, but I thought it was an appropriate shot for this post!

Tuesday, April 29

A Very Special Sunday

This Sunday just gone was a very special one in our household. Our sweet Alice Xiao Ying was dedicated at our Church. Being a Baptist church, we don't have infant christening or baptism (you choose to be baptised when you are older) so when a baby arrives into a family, you dedicate them to God. We were so very blessed to have our Pastor David perform the service - David left our Church last year to become a senior pastor in Newcastle, NSW. We miss him greatly, as he has been very important in terms of our spiritual journey. He has baptised both DH and myself, and he performed a renewal of wedding vows for us last year, shortly before he left to answer his Call. So we were thrilled to find out that he was visiting last weekend, and even more thrilled when he agreed to dedicate Alice for us. The dedication went well, aside from the part where David held Alice to pray for her. She was NOT happy at all, poor little possum. She was very eager to come back to me at the end of the prayer, which shows, I guess, that the attachment therapy is working!! The photo above was taken just before we left for Church, and I think my three gorgeous children look beautiful!!

Monday, April 28

Three Boring and Useless Facts About Me...

I have been taged by Jen to thrill you with some incredibly boring facts about myself. Here goes!

1. My right foot is a whole size bigger than my left - makes buying shoes a real pain!

2. I sleep on the left side of the bed.

3. My middle name is Elizabeth.

Yawn...... Did I send you off to sleep yet???

Ok - I will tag:





Thursday, April 24

Kalamata, here we come!!!

Well, not for another 18 months, but it is a definite plan!! We weren't planning a major O/S holiday at all, especially not after a huge trip to China last year, but opportunity knocked and I said 'Why the heck not??!!" I was in my local fruit and veg shop early in the week, and chatting to the proprietor, a lovely Greek lady by the name of Doula. She has four daughters and I went to school with one of them. Anyway, we were chatting away and she mentioned that one of her daughters was currently in Greece, staying at the 200 year old stone cottage which was left to the girls by their grandparents when they passed on. I then mentioned that I have always wanted to go to Greece, having majored in Greek history at Uni, with a sub-major in ancient Greek architecture. Well, the gorgeous Doula then went on to say that anytime we were in Greece we were more than welcome to stay in the family home, FREE OF CHARGE!!!! I thanked her profusely, and went home to tell DH. He was pretty excited by the prospect of a couple of weeks by the seaside in sunny Greece, so the next day I went back to the shop and asked Doula if we could book the house for September next year. YEEHAA!!! She was more than happy to do that, and promised to give us a list of names in the village of her relatives, whom, she assured me, would be very welcoming. What a fabulous thing to look forward to. The only bummer is that Alice will be two by the time we go, meaning that she will be paying full airfare, but we will survive. After all, we won't have to pay for accommodation!! You can read a bit about Kalamata here

So next September, our little family of five will be winging it's way to the Mediterranean, off to enjoy a few weeks in the beautiful Greek autumn sun.... Life is good!

Thursday, April 17

Still Here (just!!)

Whew - what a week and a half it's been. So sorry for my prolonged absence (again!!) but my little tiger-taming project is keeping me well away from the blog. All is going well - Alice is improving every day. The meltdowns still happen, but not as frequently and not with as much ferocity as before. She is a much happier, more smiley and generally more pleasant baby to be around! What I find hardest about doing the program is well meaning relatives. 'Should you still be carrying her in that thing??' 'Won't she forget how to walk??' 'She sounds really unhappy - shouldn't you put her down??' I know they mean well but ARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!! My dear mum is the worst. She comes to visit most days, and invariably, she has come across Alice having some of her rages. Mum's response - to sit there, tutting and sighing, and giving me 'The Look'. 'The Look' is the 'why are you torturing that child by holding her??' look. I have tried to patiently explain that part of Alice's attachment disorder means that she doesn't want to be held (bad in a baby) and that I need to hold her ESPECIALLY when she is raging against me, but I'm afraid she just doesn't get it. Although, I must admit she has said that she has noticed some positive changes in Alice, so that is something I guess...

Must fly - lunch is cooking, baby is napping and my back is aching. I will try to not leave it too long in between posts again! xx

Monday, April 7

News from the Zoo (where we are Taming a Tiger!)

Well, I have let almost another week glide on by without any blogging. Sorry again! I am finding that this intensive attachment-parenting program is not leaving me much time for anything, especially 'non-essentials' like the blog. Mind you, I did manage to put on makeup today with a 15 month old strapped to my chest - pretty clever huh???

The program is going really well, although it leaves me feeling very drained by the end of the day (sometimes by mid-morning...) Alice has shown some definite signs of improvement, and I believe that by the end of the six weeks we will have a completely different little girl in our midst. She is still exhibiting quite a few signs of poor attachment, but she has also made huge leaps with regard to her bonding to me. She now seems to be preferring me over DH (yay!!) and generally seems to be happier, more relaxed and just a more pleasant little human being. I can HIGHLY recommend the 'Taming the Tiger' program to anyone who is experiencing attachment problems with their bubs - feel free to email me if you want any info about it (click on my contact details for email).

Well, I must head off as Madame is asleep and the precious couple of hours that she is resting for represents my only opportunity during the day for some 'down' time so I am off to do a Sudoku and veg out until she summons me once again. Catch you all soon - and BTW, no new pics of Miss A as it is VERY difficult to take a nice photo of a baby when she is velcroed to your chest all day!!!

Tuesday, April 1

Back in the Land of the Living (Sort Of)

Finally I have made it back to my blog. We have had Easter school holidays here in cold 'ol Tassie and all three kids have been keeping me mega-busy and ensuring that I didn't have time, energy or motivation to drag myself to the computer. School resumed today and I have a bit more free time available, but only when Madame is asleep.

We had some pretty major stuff happen over Easter. On Friday last Alice and I saw an attachment therapist in Launceston. I have suspected for quite some time that Alice has some problems with her attachment to me. There have been some subtle (and some not-so-subtle) signs that all was not well. My mother's instinct was telling me that something was not right, but I had so many other people saying to me that I was imagining things - she was a prefetly happy and well-adjusted child. I heard on the grapevine that the adoption therapist was coming to town and decided to book in for appointment. To cut a very long story short, Alice has been diagnosed by this very experienced and reputable therapist as suffering from some 'significant' attachment issues. Although that wasn't great news, I felt so very relieved to know that I wasn't being crazy or hypersensitive, and that there was a reason behind some of her 'odd' behaviour. The therapist was magnificent, and spent almost two hours with us, observing Alice, performing some hands-on therapy and recommending a course of action. That course of action is a program called 'Taming the Tiger'. Basically it involves me holding or carrying Alice pretty much every waking hour. The aim is to take her back to being like a very small baby, and to 're-train' her brain in order to help her attach. I am currently on day four of this six-week program and must admit that I am finding it very hard work. It is not only physically tiring to carry around a nine kilogram baby for 5-6 hours a day, but emotionally draining as well. See, Alice doesn't like to be close to me - this is one of the 'hints' I had that suggested she had an attachment disorder. She expresses her dislike at being so close by hitting, punching, pinching and screaming. It is very hard not to feel sad and useless when she is raging against my affection. The attachment therapist assured me that this program works wonders for kids like Alice, and I fully intend to persist, but I just needed to have a bit of a vent about how bloody hard it is!! I have, however, seen some signs of improvement even in just the four days we have been doing the program, which gives me encouragement that it will really help Alice to heal. I will keep you updated when I have the chance (and don't have a small child velcroed to my chest...)