If I could give you one gift it would be to see yourself through my eyes and then you would see how special you really are.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Feed the birds, tuppence a bag, tuppence,tuppence,tuppence a bag"

Take 1 packet of gelatin
Wild bird seed
A straw cut into 3
Cookie cutters well oiled.
A couple of 4 year old boys.

Follow the directions on the packet of gelatin. Mum needs to do this bit as it involves boiling water.
Stir in the bird seed, about 350gms, leave until cool enough to handle.
Press the mixture into a cookie cutter. Perfect for little hands and fingers.
Push a straw into the cakes.

Leave to harden. Once set, push out of the cutters, then remove the straws and feed through string or raffia.

Hang from tree branches, ensuring that birds have some where to perch whilst feasting.

Early morning is a good time to catch the birds feeding, or hang them in a chicken run and watch the chickens play.

They cost a little more than tuppence about £3 or so. But they waste a morning in making and my little boy lives sitting in the window watching the birds.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Motherhood and the lifesaver NHS

so what do you do when your 4 year old has a fit? You call an ambulance! They come, they sort everything out, they hold your hand and make it better.
I share this because I needed to write it, I wanted to thank the NHS for everything they did and how they did it. With adopted children we often travel blindly, not having a full history or a history that is very different to ours so when our children are sick we often feel out of control, Not sure what is normal for them.

I had left child 4 sleeping on the sofa, he had been up in the night with a raging temperature, we calpoled and nurofenend through the night and decide a quiet day with mummy was needed. So when he finally fell asleep just before lunch, I rubbed my hands with glee and headed off to sort the washing, empty the tumble dryer, sort the clothes,squeezing in a hot cup of tea - heaven.  I heard a funny gurgling noise and put my head around the living door to see my baby foaming at the mouth and spasmodically moving his body, the terror that ran through my whole being can probably be understood by someone who has been in a position where their child is in trouble and you can't fix it.
I grabbed him off the sofa holding him upright, terrified he couldn't breathe, snatched the phone from its cradle and called 999. The operator was calm, efficient and soothing, I could feel the terror level drop to very scared. Yes he was breathing, she promised an ambulance was on its way and she would stay with me until they arrived.
Child 4 then quieted and as instructed I lay him in the floor turned him on his side and stripped him out of his clothes to cool him down.
The operator said the ambulance was nearly here, could I shut any dogs away, the fit had ended and she said goodbye and hung up. Of course that's when it started all over again but not the with the violence. I lay down on the floor facing him, murmuring over and over its going to be ok, open your eyes baby, look at me. I heard vehicles pull up outside, I flung open the front door and rushed back to where child 4 was still gently fitting.
I phoned child 1 explaining calmly what was happening and asked her to pick up her sister on her way home from college.
It was going to be ok the paramedics were here. He took one look and had an oxygen mask on my baby before he did anything, child 4 was 41 degrees! The paramedic asked me the time it was 2.20pm (funny the things you remember). He gave child 4 diazepam to help stop the fit. "What is the time?"  "2.31pm". His temperature was still 41 degrees, the diazepam had yet to take effect. He talked on his radio, then he turned to me and quietly and firmly informed me that he had called for a helicopter.
The bottom of my world fell out.
I shouldn't have left him, I should have woken him to give him calpol because he was a little warm.
"Stop. The paramedic said, "why would you have stayed with him, he was sleeping, calpol would not have stopped this" he sent the community responder to sort out the helicopter landing in the school field at the bottom of our road
How I had the presence of mind to call my parents and ask them to collect the girls so that they didn't see us being put in the helicopter I don't know. How I down played the whole affair so they didn't panic like me I don't know.
An ambulance arrived and more paramedics filled my living room. They were all so calm, so kind. The fit had at last stopped but child 4 wouldn't wake, I carried him out to the ambulance and lay him on the trolley. Two paediatricians in orange jumpsuits walked up the hill, they joined us in the ambulance and set about catching up on the information, whilst setting up an intravenous drip. They couldn't find veins in either hand and eventually found one in his foot. The aggravation brought him round and you could feel the tension in the ambulance disappate, with the tube in they could push through paracetamol, fluids and antibiotics. The paracetamol brought his temperature down and the antibiotics were just in case it was meningitis. Child 4 was grizzling, no longer fitting and his temperature was dropping. The paediatrician decided we could travel to hospital in the ambulance. I nearly cried with relief.
We were off, only to have blue lights if the traffic was heavy. 40 minutes later we arrived, child 4 awoke from a natural, if drug induced slumber to throw up.
We were efficiently taken through to Resus, where I had to tell the story again and the my husband arrived and I wept with relief. Two hours later we were on the ward and number 4 was awake, making eye contact and then he spoke. I cannot explain the relief, he was going to be alright, no brain damage and no meningitis.  Leaving child 4 with his daddy, I headed home to my other children. Lighter of heart but racked with irrational guilt.
There is nothing we can do, this is how child 4 will probably react when he has a high temperature,  all we can do is monitor him very closely when he is poorly. He will grow out of it though - hopefully very soon.

Monday, 18 January 2016



4 children
1 husband (all I can cope with)
Springer spaniel, cat, chickens & a tortoise
My Parents
My Siblings
Christmas Eve
Christmas dinner
Potty training
Christmas carols
New oven
Child 1 -exam results, returning home from Borneo, Panto
Washing on the line
Fresh clean bedding
An open fire
Gatherings with friends
Family gatherings
Child 2 - Oliver, parkour, taking responsibility and Panto
Dog walks on beach, in the woods.
Bright sunny days
Raspberry and blackberry picking
Going On A Bear Hunt
Star Wars
Child 3 - taking part in her first proper gymnastics competition, singing carols at the Cathedral
Helping others
New friends
River walks
Sunday roasts
Pyjama mornings
Child 4 - potty training, love you's, actually doing as he is told.

A new jar of JOY

Cyber concerns

In an article I read recently a quote struck home. "Our children are the natives, we are the immigrants" the article was about the Internet and Social Media. What a brilliant analogy, our children have such a good understanding of how social media works and we as parents don't understand the language, the culture or how the younger generations society works. How are we supposed to protect our children if we don't understand the world that they live in. All four of our children use computers, they all watch I player, Netflix, Amazon Prime. Child 4 plays games downloaded onto my IPad and can navigate CBeebies to watch his favourites like Andy and his Dinosaur Adventures and My Pets & Me. Child 1 and 2 have "group chat" which is on Facebook messenger or I messenger with their school/college friends. They both have Instagram, uploading photos of things, events etc that interest them.  Child 1, 2 & 3 have stories with Snapchat, interacting with their friends via pictures and comments.

As a child my communications with my friends happened in the playground, at the park, via an old fashioned telephone, later in the pub, restaurants, cinemas, nightclubs. This is how I met new people, usually surrounded or at least with a couple of good friends, who would step in if they felt something was odd or I had drunk too much. We always arrived together and unless we knew they were completely compus mentus or relatively safe we left together.  Nowadays social media means that our children can be in communication with their friends, acquaintances and strangers 24/7.
Bullying that would often happen before the school bell rang, during break times, on walks between lessons and on the way home (my memory of being bullied like this have I believe, shaped who I am today - good and bad) is now able to happen all day and night, every day. No let up at weekends and holidays.  Meeting new people happened in places we generally knew or with others we knew and trusted. We could actually see who we were interacting with, it was face to face. Nowadays unless we know who we are talking to we could be speaking to anyone over the Internet. A keyboard adds a barrier and people are more likely to write things that they wouldn't say face to face.

We have had to deal with a cyber bullying situation recently and I was surprised by a many different things. Firstly, the vitriol teenagers can post about someone, the spite in ensuring that the victim can read it and the lack of understanding of the effect of their behaviour. Secondly mine and my husband's lack of understanding as to how social media now works is. group chats, instant messaging. Thirdly the lack of knowledge in schools and our community.
 In fact it has led me to research more into children and social media, especially when we have an adopted child in our midst. I already worry about social media particularly Facebook as our child 4's birth parents are but 2 clicks away but it isn't just the worries of children in care hunting out their roots before they have the maturity to deal with what they may find. There is sexting, cyber bullying, grooming and the knowledge that whatever you may post is potentially there forever. Our vulnerable children are so open to over stepping the mark just because they want to belong, or they feel that, that is what they deserve.

I have come to the conclusion that as a parent I must ensure that I understand this new society based on wifi, I am lucky that I have older children who are savvy and open, it was child 1 that told me about the cyber bullying. Hopefully child 1 and 2 will be able to educate me and keep me upto date in this information technology world enabling me to in turn educate them and their younger siblings in how to stay safe and just as importantly what to do when things go wrong.

This is a brilliant link (a little American but the information is useful) watch and learn.