Saturday, June 30, 2018

June 18 Round Up

Not even going to say anything, we all know it's been a manic month *insert sigh*

* Jeff and I actually had a date night, not a day date :) Went to see Deadpool 2 at the cinema. We have Odeon, Cineplex, and Showcase cinemas locally. I love the Odeon nachos, but apart from that there's not a lot going for it. We both love the Showcase cinema because the chairs are just to die for! And the film? Awesome!! Yes lots of gratuitous violence, but awesome!

* Took part in a local street Art Fest.

* Ella has started on anti-depressants and we are all keeping everything crossed that they take the edge off of her anxieties and stress. Our last couple of visits she has seemed more relaxed, but she does that and then can do a full 180. It's a long process, but we'll take the baby steps.

* Our fosterling is moving to a foster carer that offers long term - we only do short term - so he chose TGI Fridays for his celebratory meal out. Haven't been to a TGI's for years, so was well happy with his choice :)

* My first ever trip on an all-inclusive holiday was lovely - I even flew again, but was a bit of a wimp with the flying!


Monday, June 11, 2018

Gel-a-Peel & Nail-a-Peel

I'm thinking, as I finally get back into regular blogging that Mondays may be review days. I'm not going all out for reviews, my blog has, and always will remain, my journey through parenthood, SEN, adoption and fostering. The good. The bad. And definitely the downright honest ugly. But like I said last week, who can resist toys :) and I feel with the children I am with, and with my past experience, I maybe look at the reviews sightly differently.

Our Goddaughter, who is nine now, was more than willing to help me review these activities. We are, for two whole weeks, childfree. I know, right?! We just felt we needed a short break. So Orla kindly stepped in when I was asked to review Gel-a-Peel and Nail-a-Peel.
She tried the Gel-a-Peel first. Getting into the packaging was a feat, but she wanted to try to do it herself. In fact both boxes were similarly difficult. But like that would stop a nine-year-old on a mission! Her mum, Angela, said any improvements made to the box would be great!

The packaging says 8+ and Orla could definitely manage on her own, after the first attempt. Sitting with her and reading the instructions was important, otherwise I think we could have ended up with a giant splodgy mess.

I believe a picture paints a thousand words. You can see from Orla's face she really enjoyed using these and couldn't wait to make some more another day. They each retail for @£15 and I think, if you invest a small amount of time then they are value for money.

With my nursery-nurse, playwork, foster carer, mum hat on.......These are fab for encouraging 121 time. Obviously a huge plus is creativity, as long as an adult doesn't interfere when a child is creating from their own imagination. Concentration is another plus, just look at Orla's face :) You've got fine motor skills going on there, and yes I know she's nine, so why did that matter I hear you ask. Improving fine motor skills leads to better hand writing.

If you decide to treat someone, have fun!
Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Emotional Day!

Yesterday was out there with a complete range of emotions - by the end of the day I was exhausted!

The morning started with me having to collect some evidence for my 6-month review today (as an aside, that has flown by, and I think is the main culprit for this year flying past). I have had some lovely feedback, including a comment that all business would benefit from having a Suzanne.

Mood high ....

After school one of our fosterlings moved on after being with us for 15 months. It is the best thing for him, we don't offer long term fostering. But still, he'd quite grown on me.

Mood low ....

Talking to Ella tonight and she asked me to join Daddy's visit. Might not seem much, trust me it's huge!

Mood good ....

In the evening I finally got together with Dawn, Jules, Jeanette and Sandra. See that? Alphabetical order, just to keep the peace ;) My Racal friends - my bridesmaids - my Bakewell Tarts (don't ask!). And that's the first time all 5 of us have got together in a couple of years! Such a fun night.

Mood really high ....

And then I found out someone I like very much is moving on.

Mood ... mixed ..... guilty, cos I'm going to miss her and happy for her.

Phew! As I said, exhausted!

Sunday, June 03, 2018

My First Baby Annabell Review

Regular readers know I don't do many reviews, as my blog is about life, fostering, SEN, adoption, etc. But toys, well, pretty much a perfect fit :)

So we were sent this lovely My First Baby Annabell, isn't she adorable?

At 36cms she's smaller than the Baby Annabell but very soft and squidgy. She comes with a cute babygrow, hat and bottle. She's very reasonably priced at around £15:00. And there's some lovely matching outfits if you're tempted :)

Onto the fun facts! We have a little 3 year old visit weekly, and she was so excited to be the first person to play with this doll. A lot of dressing, undressing and feeding followed. She quickly realised that My First Baby Annabell closed her eyes when she laid down, so a lot of waking and sleeping and laughter  happened in quick succession.

Cool fact! When I was taking this photograph my phone 'recognised' the face on the baby - how lifelike is that??

As a nursery nurse I was impressed with how many areas of development this doll encouraged - emotional (cuddling), language (talking to baby), intellectual (need to sleep and eat), social (playing together) and physical (fine motor skills dressing and undressing). One simple activity stimulating so many areas of development :)

I think something I want to include is that these dolls aren't just for little ones.
* Our Ella, with her complex special needs, loves her own Baby Annabell she has had for about ten years - and the clothes - and the wardrobe - and all the accessories!
* We had a 16 year fosterling come to stay for a while last year and she had a baby doll that meant a lot to her. Unfortunately she had misplaced it, so 8:30pm on her first night Jeff and Joshua were driving round the supermarkets hunting for a Baby Annabell - thankfully they found one!

So, in a nutshell, excellent value, for more than just young children - and educational with it!
Thursday, May 31, 2018

May 18 Round Up

I give up saying the next month will be quieter!

May 1st - I went to CMI in London as a guest speaker to about 50 universities and private training providers!

May 3rd-5th - Trip to Liverpool

May 5th- 7th - Attended my first blogging conference with my soul-sister

May 11th - Went with Jeff and teen fosterling to see The 39 Steps, by the Quince Players - So impressed with the cast, the sets, the props. Just brilliant

May 18th - Went to Ella's second planning live meeting. Heart. Breaking.

May 20th - Jeff and me did a Colour Run! Was on my bucket list and mostly enjoyed it - couldn't go on all the obstacles thanks to my foot :( But enough to enjoy it.

As Prod Asst for the panto we've had a meeting, a read/sing through and I ended up typing up the script when the PDF corrupted - now that's dedication!

Loads of fostering related appointments / meetings / children