About Me

This blog is about me and my voyage to becoming a mummy. Ironically called “mummy in the baking” as together with my passion and obsession for all things cake related, I will never be able to have my own "bun in the oven." Years of fertility treatment have taken their toll and I now find myself on a new..eek, i hate this word...journey! The crazy train to adoption. I hope you will join me while I bake my way to becoming a mummy. I want this blog to be a source of information as well as a comforter. I hope it will inspire and help anyone who is considering adoption or who has in fact already bought their ticket for this..here I go again...journey. Cake makes me happy and I hope you will enjoy sharing my love of it. I want it to help lift your spirits and hearts through what can only be described as 'the trials and tribulations of the adoption process.' Along with my desire to be a family, I love my dogs, have an unhealthy love of sausages and chenin blanc, adore my land rover uber-nerd of a husband and continiously dream of balmy summer evenings. Baking in progress…..

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

 The Bieber Convention......

It's 2am and I am wide awake. Tomorrow we meet Tummy Mummy. But it's not just this that's keeping me up. I have to leave LBM with Mrs Scooby Doo for the meeting. I have never left him with anyone other than LRUN and I am worried about him. You have to be so sensitive in situations like these to ensure he doesn't panic that he is being moved on again.  I convince myself I am sure he will be fine. We drop him off early with a quick kiss and a 'mummy will be back soon' and I dash for the door before he cries. Ok, ok...before I cry.

LRUN and I arrive at the children's centre ridiculously early and we take bets as to whether TM will turn up. But we know it's pointless as we both somehow feel she will. We sign in and wait for Miss Delia. She's on time for once (hurrah!) and as she signs in, I notice she scribbles out our surnames on the register. 'For security' she says. Great. And TM lives where?  It's a zillion degrees in the meeting room. I ditch the hat. Screw the disguise, I just wanna be me. Dead on time the door opens and TM walks in. I can feel myself breathing deeply and thinking I can't quite believe this is actually happening. She whispers hello, shakes our hands and sits down. It's awkward. Miss Delia breaks the silence and asks how she is. She admits she's extremely nervous and I assure her not to worry, as we all are. They ask her if she has any questions and she says, "I just want to know how he is really."  I can't stop staring at her. I can see now where he gets his thighs from. She is so young and so pretty. So composed.  Seemingly so in control. But I know the lifestyle choices she makes are not conducive to raising a child. I feel sorry for her. We talk a lot about LBM. She wants to know all about him. There are a couple of awkward moments, especially when she asks why we are not having Jelly-tot placed with us. I look to Miss Delia with a 'this is your bag, my friend look on my face' and she answers for me. TM calmly accepts their reasons but I re-assure here that we did try our hardest and that we would explain this to him later in life. She continues with some very interesting and smart questions. She asks what form of discipline we expect to use on him? When would we tell him he was adopted? She also asks that we take him to toddler groups etc as she wants him to be social. I decide now is not a good time to mention the anxiety.

We had made a hand print for her (read: incredibly messy....paint when everywhere....you're only getting one hand!) She laughs at how chubby his hands still are. She asks to see a photo and I show her a couple on my phone. I worry she is going to cry but amazingly she doesn't. Her face lights up and she looks...I don't know, proud I guess. She says it looks like he is sporting a real Justin Bieber haircut and I can hear LRUN take a sharp intake of breath and I know he's thinking, "We must sort that out!" She asks if she can take a photo of that photo. The room goes silent. My gut instinct is no no no but at the same time I put myself in her shoes and think, gosh, I would love a photo. Again I look to Miss Delia. Surprisingly, she agrees to it, as to be honest, it doesn't really look much like him. He is wearing my hat and LRUN's sunnies so it doesn't really show the real him. We have a photo taken of all three of us to go in LBM's life story book and say our goodbyes. I can't believe how well that went. How calm and together she was. That was truly up there with the weirdest thing I have ever done.

Turns out, LBM has had the time of his life at Mrs Scooby Doo. She's done a fantastic job with him and we are so grateful. Later that night LRUN asks if he can ask a boy question. "Were TM's eyebrows real or painted on?" "Oh definitely painted" I say. "Phew" he says. " Because if that's what LBM's eyebrows were gonna turn out like, I would have been seriously worried.

Friday, 28 March 2014

One step forward.....

I gather the health visitor must have put the fear of the Gruffalo into him as the day after she compiled his developmental report, LBM took his first steps. And not just one or two....he walked all the way from his room to our room. However, don't underestimate his boyish laziness. His current preferred method of travel is still the speed crawl. But ooh, my heart just oozes custard when he toddles towards me, speeding up and losing all sense of direction.  They say to watch the arms. When the arms drop, they've got it. Well, we've got a way to go. At present, he still looks like he's taking a Zumba class. On the food front, we've reached new milestones. No more snacks, just three wholesome meals a day.  Someone please high five me. We even had a marginally more successful trip to the zoo this week. This time he found the real geese just as fascinating as the bronze lion.

He is spending more and more time with LRUN on the weekends and it seems to be slowly getting better. It's still pretty hairy macleary at times but I am so grateful to have the most patient and intuitive husband in the world. He always ensures they go somewhere where they can bond. No buggy, no dogs. Just him and the LBM. Face to face. Soul to soul. Even if it is just the supermarket shop.

Miss Delia is due this week for a meeting, which I think LBM handles pretty well considering she stays 90 min. She looks tired. Real 'bags under the eyes' tired. We go through the formal adoption forms for us to submit to the courts. Question 9 is one about any known siblings and she says, just tick 'no.' My jaw drops wide enough to engulf an entire Victoria Sponge. 'Errr...what about Jelly-tot' I say. She gasps. The severity of her boo boo is overwhelming. She is drowning in embarrassment. Told you she was tired. We laugh and I quickly change the subject and express my concerns about meeting tummy mummy next week. I am very conscious she will now recognise me in town. She's not a threat but it's got to be pretty awkward. You wanna know her suggestion? Wear a hat. Honestly.


Friday, 14 March 2014

Location...location...location

I have a week free of appointments or reviews, so apart from baking a batch of Blueberry Streusel Muffins, I decide to take LBM to the zoo. Now, I have never been fond of zoos. I know most of the animals have been raised in captivity and don't know any different but there is something about animals in cages I just can't get my head around. But it's a fantastic learning opportunity for little ones and this topped with no scheduled 'snack time' makes me think we really should go. Let's just say it wasn't a hit. Perhaps he picked up on my apprehension but he hated every minute of it. In fact, the only animal he showed any interest in, was the life size bronze casting of the lion. Which incidentally was right in front of the real lion strutting her stuff in true Lion King style. Still, as with all things kiddie-related, I will persevere and perhaps try again next week. And the week after. And...

But alas, just as I think the week is free of appointments, the Health Visitor calls and asks if she can drop in. She wants to weigh and measure him again and finish off some more (yes folks, more!) paperwork. As we undress for the scales, she gasps as she sees his thighs again. This does not comfort me. He weight is stabilising but she is concerned he is not getting any taller. In fact, I really hope her last reading was inaccurate as according to today's reading, he appears to have shrunk. Perhaps Tummy Mummy did smoke more than she let on. Stunted growth and all that. I tell myself whatever you do, do not google it. I google it.

Co-incidentally, Tummy Mummy has expressed an interest to meet us before we legally adopt him. I happen to ask Miss Scarlett if TM is still living in the nearby seaside town we have been sadly having to avoid for the last three months. And then she drops the bombshell that, no, actually she has moved. Hurrah! But...moved to our town. Feck. She tells me the name of the road and I wonder why it sounds so familiar and then it hits me. That's exactly where our favourite pub is that does the best Sunday breakfast ever. Oh and right opposite the park where we go..hmmm...at least once a week. "Oh don't worry," says Miss Scarlett....."just go early. She's never up before noon." So here we are with a meeting scheduled for next month. How do I feel about it? Ok actually. It would mean so much to LBM for us to say, we have met her. But my biggest worry is that she will then know what we both look like. Are we going to have to continuously be looking over our shoulder every time we go into town. I hope not. On the plus side, at least we can go to the seaside again. Will make a change from the zoo. Snigger.


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Allow me to review myself.....

The day before Miss Delia is due for her visit, we receive an email from her boss... aka Janet Street Porter. It's long, intense and serious. She highlights all of LBM's ongoing issues and explains why they came to their decision not to place Jelly-tot with us. It's clear from this, the outcome is pretty much final. This disappoints me that they can base a choice like this on seeing LBM a handful of times. If they had spent any time with him over the last week, they would have seen how increasingly happy and settled he is becoming. How he loves having friends over to play. How awesome he is at sharing toys. Just how amazing a little soul he is. But I realise I have no argument here and just have to accept the situation.

Miss Delia arrives late as usual and we spend the session concentrating on LBM. We don't even talk about Jelly-tot until towards the end when the issue of siblings comes up. She explains that they have taken our points on-board as to how it was dealt with and that perhaps they should have approached it in a different manner. She looks guilty. Remorseful. I am always honest with her...sometimes regrettably so... and before I know it, I find myself telling her that I was just simply 'pissed off with the lot of them.' Feck. But it's too late...the words are out. She smiles and says she understands. She explains that her heart just sank when she realised she was going to have to give us the bad news. Respect.

But in case you feel we haven't had enough social worker visits, the very next day we have another one. This is his second LAC review. The big one before we can officially put in our request to legally adopt LBM. The vultures are due at 11am. I am amazed at how far I have come on this journey. How much I have relaxed. Before I would have been pacing up and down making sure the house was spic and span, ensuring everything was 'just so' and that there was something scrummy on the cake front. Now, here we are.. out on a dog walk until the very last minute.  We arrive back home at 10.55am to find them on my doorstep with several missed calls on my mobile. Cake is the last thing on offer. In fact they are lucky I even remembered to buy semi skimmed milk for their tea. LBM is a legend throughout the review and charms the panties off all of them. He manages to steal all of their car keys to play with and indulges in some kind of key orgy on his own. Those of you who know him well will know about his love of keys. They are his little comfort. His little fix in helping with his anxiety. Could be worse I guess. Could be a love of gin like his mummy.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Still here...still angry

We take the weekend to cool off. Process some thoughts. Work through the emotions. It's LRUN who suggests it first. He says if I want to send an email to Miss Delia re-iterating our opinion and expressing our concerns on how the situation was handled, he would back me up. I sit down to draft an email on Monday morning while LBM is chilling out with his blankie. I find the words flow effortlessly and within minutes, I have finished and clicked send. I feel a huge amount better for it. I know it won't change their mind but at least we can show it to LBM one day to say, we really did try. Before the end of the day, we receive a reply. Sadly, it feels like one of those standard, 'reply to a complaints' email. She is here next week for a review meeting for LBM and says we can talk a bit more about it then. But I sense the case is already closed. LRUN drafts his own email and I tell you,  it's drop dead dynamite stuff. Powerful yet professional. He receives an instant reply. Sadly, it's an out of office reply. So here we sit. A little numb, a little lost.

LBM has a scheduled developmental test this week and the health visitor finally arrives an hour late (!)  I fear things are about to go 'Pete Tong' as  we are almost at supper time but LBM impresses us all and is a delight. As expected, his results come out as below average on the walking, talking and gross motor skill range and he is being referred. I know a lot of this delay has to do with his anxiety. I've done some research into a link between anxiety in toddlers and a lack of omega 3. You see, LBM loves a bit of salmon but his twice weekly hit of the royal fish is nowhere near the level of omega 3 he was getting in the formula fix at the foster carers. So I have started adding fish oils to his milk. Now, it claims to be tasteless but I can honestly say there is a hint of anchovy in the air. So as plan B, I have started adding it to his yoghurt. With the exception of today, where it honestly felt like he was the devils child, I can fairly say, he seems a teeny bit less anxious. And it might just be a leap in his development but he seems to be mastering an awful lot more.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Beware: Rant alert....

I've been carefully monitoring LBM's behaviour over the last couple of weeks and have had a realisation. Actually it was a new friend, Mrs Shaka Zulu, who mentioned it first. Now I've realised it, it is all so obvious. LBM has anxiety issues. At home with me and the dogs, he is a dream (well, mostly!) but put him in a social situation or a toddler group and he falls to pieces. Unless of course he has something in his mouth and this has a lot to do with why he asks for food. It's his way of dealing with the anxiety. The uncertainty of a situation.  It feels like it has got a whole heap worse but I have to keep reminding myself that it's only because I am aware of it now and am purely noticing it more. But I am determined to persevere here and keep taking him into social situations and offer gentle encouragement. Even if we only manage 5 minutes at a time. Is this the right thing? Who knows? Adopted children come with a whole heap of issues and you are constantly doubting yourself in the choices you make and what the best thing to do is. Just yesterday, we were due to meet up with his foster carer. In typical UK fashion, the weather was looking pretty grim. She called and asked if I would mind bringing him back to her house instead of meeting in the park. My immediate thought was 'no way.' Surely that's forbidden territory. Surely? This is way too soon for LBM to go back there. Surely? She seemed disappointed that I wasn't in agreement and again, I found myself doubting my decision. Was this the wrong call? She is the experienced one here. But it just didn't sit comfortably with me.

The last visit of the day is Miss Delia and her boss who LRUN said looked remarkably like Janet Street Porter (must be the teeth!) at 7.15pm to discuss the outcome of their meeting on Jelly-tot. I manage to get LBM into bed and put the wine glass out of site into the dishwasher before they arrive bang on time. Miss Delia looks sheepish and I suspect something is up. We wait for LRUN to come home and have five minutes of idle small talk. Then JSP drops the bombshell. They have decided not to place Jelly-tot with us. I am shocked. I see LRUN looking to the floor and I can feel his disappointment from here. They launch into a speech about how they don't think LBM is ready for a sibling just yet and how it would be too unsettling for him. They ask my opinion and I tell them I feel the opposite. How I don't think suddenly being an only child in a small family is doing him any favours. But I know it is pointless. Their decision is made and there is nothing we can say to convince them otherwise. I feel a strange familiar feeling.  It's almost like having another miscarriage. But then that feeling turns to anger and I realise I am actually just pissed off with them. Why push us into making a decision? Why show us photos, videos and reports of Jelly-tot if there was ever any doubt on this placement? They should have had their meeting before any of this was shown and encouraged with us. They go on and ON about what a fabulous job we are doing with LBM and I sense they are both feeling guilty. In fact, they go on so much about it, it becomes annoying and patronising. I just want them to go. They eventually do and LRUN and I stand there looking empty. I pour another glass of wine and we try and talk ourselves into thinking things all happen for a reason. But I am struggling to shake this anger.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Battle of the bottle.....

The best advice anyone has given me so far is that this parenting malarky is a marathon, not a sprint. So here we are simply plodding along. Day by day. Some days are just hideous where I find myself spelling the words 'panic' in the magnet alphabet letters on the fridge. Other days are pure bliss and I feel like I can take on the world. The biggest step we have taken this week is to swap his baby bottle of milk for a toddler sports bottle. The tears were initially ear shattering but I was determined to stick it out. I know it's for the better and tonight my friends, he is happily sipping on his 'big boy' bottle. Result. Miss Delia has put me in touch with another of her recruits and we agree to meet up. Mrs Scooby Doo is just lovely. It's amazing how much we have in common and I am instantly relaxed in her company. Baby Scooby Doo is younger than LBM and too cute for words and I feel I have made a very special friend here.

We have a big meeting this week to discuss Jelly-tot and Miss Delia and Miss Scarlett arrive at what can only be described as LBM's bewitching hour.  We watch a dvd of Jelly-tot but to be honest, I hardly take any in at all as all I can see out of the corner of my eye is LBM violently shaking his head in refusal. And of course, Miss Delia clocks this. Gah! I'm hoping its more of a bored racehorse stuck in a stable sort of head shake rather than a "don't you dare bring another little one into this house head shake."
They stay for well over 2 hours and it doesn't end well. I have to abandon the meeting halfway through and feed LBM and continue with his evening routine while LRUN carries on without me. In fact Miss Delia comes up to say goodbye while LBM is in the bath. Oh my hat, she has seen his winkie. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I watch the dvd later when LBM is asleep and oh my...she is cute. Big deep blue eyes and she has LBM's cheeks. Too precious. We must be mad but it somehow feels right. But now, the decision is in their hands, not ours. Once again, we are party to their judgements and opinions.

On the cake front things are looking pretty dire. My emporium of glass cake stands stand empty, longing to be bursting with the luscious delights of the past. I'm hoping the passion will return. I stand in the baking aisle with a whining toddler in the trolley and can't seem to find the inspiration. However, there is that awkward moment when your toddler squeals with delight when you put the gin in the shopping trolley. And everyone turns to look. Yes, that!

Friday, 31 January 2014

I must be barking mad.....

I fear it may be easier if I had a little one who didn't sleep well. This would give me a reason to be wide awake from 3am. My head is spinning with what is actually happening in my life right now. Taking on two little ones under 18 months old? Throw in two needy dogs and I must be barking mad.

On the home front, LBM's food issues have not improved. This week reached a crescendo at toddlers when he literally ate his body weight in cornflakes and rice crispies in the 'messy play' and then reverted to a melt-down when his plate at snack time was finished and I wouldn't let him steal all the other children's portions. I tried to take him outside to the near-by swings as a distraction. Good idea? I thought so... but sadly it was pouring with rain and so we had to abandon that plan and come back inside. Back inside where he could see all the other children still enjoying their snacks. This my friends, did not end well. So I have made the decision not to go to the toddler groups for a while. It stresses me out, he is unhappy and on reflection, why put ourselves in these situations? There are plenty of other activities we can enjoy that do not revolve around 'snack time.' Or are there? Most parents are struggling to get their kids to eat, so you will be amazed at how everything revolves around food for little ones. Just a mention of the word 'snack time' stresses me out. So next week's challenge is to try a few new groups. Maybe a sing along at the library. A trip to the zoo even.

But breaking news is that today is decision day on Jelly-tot. I am shaking as I draft a text to Miss Scarlett saying 'yes' but explaining that we need a few things confirmed next week regarding support etc. I take a deep breath and press send. There. That's it. I've done it now. Gah! She texts me straight back. I can tell she is excited. Way too excited.

I would like to take this moment (while I have it) to say thanks for all the support and messages I have been sent on this blog. You have no idea how uplifting and encouraging your comments and supportive messages are. A big fat juicy thank you.