holidays

All posts tagged holidays

May Half Term – Part 1

Published May 27, 2015 by thefamilyof5

As expected, calm has descended upon the Familyof5 household once again. A couple of days to ‘de-school’ were needed but by Monday we had 3 calm girls!

I’ll let these pictures do the talking!

Bank holiday planting with Grandad.

Bank holiday planting with Grandad.

It wouldn't be a school holiday without an all girls breakfast trip to McDonald's!

It wouldn’t be a school holiday without an all girls breakfast trip to McDonald’s!

A quiet day at home meant baby girl took advantage of her sisters both choosing to potter in their bedrooms, she had me all to herself!

A quiet day at home meant baby girl took advantage of her sisters both choosing to potter in their bedrooms, she had me all to herself!

A day enjoying the sunshine, the swings, the slides and of course the ducks!

A day enjoying the sunshine, the swings, the slides and of course the ducks!

Middle girl very proudly showed both of her sisters how to make daisy chains!

Middle girl very proudly showed both of her sisters how to make daisy chains!

Fingers crossed that part 2 goes just as well!

Half Term (Part 2)

Published April 19, 2015 by thefamilyof5

Half Term Part 2 is over, I feel really very sad about sending them back to school tomorrow. We’ve had an amazing time, the transformation in the girls has been remarkable, especially middle girl, she’s surprised me the most!

So, here’s how our final week went.

Sunday, it rained, a lot, so we went with my sister to see Cinderella at the cinema, in hindsight it probably wasn’t the best choice of films. All 3 girls found the ‘dying mother’ bit too much to handle. They’ve lost so much already in their little lives that any kind of loss overwhelms them. Baby girl found it particularly difficult but was able to talk about it straight away unlike her sisters her pondered the story line over night and eventually told me about how sad it had made them feel the following morning. After our movie we enjoyed a lovely meal, the girls were very impressed that they got to take home the funky straws from Bella Pasta.

 

 

Monday we had plans to meet in the park with a friend of mine and her 2 adopted children. The girls enjoyed a great time scooting and chatting with them and they all even had a game of ‘tag’ afterwards whilst us mom’s sat chatting and slowly freezing to death, it wasn’t as warm as we’d hoped!

Tuesday we were expecting a dishwasher repair man between 10am and 2pm. So we snuck out for a cheeky McDonald’s breakfast first thing and then the girls played in the garden, it was a gorgeous sunny warm day. Baby girl even set up (a very easy) crazy golf course! PS dishwasher repair man couldn’t fix it so he said we could have a new one!

 

Wednesday was set to be warm, and it didn’t disappoint! The morning was spent doing crafty stuff, mostly painting!

 

When Daddy got home from work we dusted off the BBQ and enjoyed the first family BBQ of the year, fizzy pop and everything! Baby girl, sipping her drink through her new funky straw, said ‘mommy this Orange is fizzy and its tickling my tongue’ .

 

The tickly tongue comment gave me an idea. I gave them some popping candy after our BBQ, their first ever experience of it! I wish I could show you their faces, or even the video I have of them with it crackling in their mouths. Needless to say it was a new experience for them, and a fun one at that! Oh how we laughed!

 

Thursday was a tad cooler so we warmed ourselves up with an ‘Unlimited Breakfast’ at our local Brewers Fayre pub, it really is a favorite of the girls. Then home for play. Middle girl and Big girl opted for crafty type play whilst baby girl decided to get out the water play, she really does like ‘water play’. Later on we added some ‘Gelli Baff’ to the water and they all enjoyed playing (big girl said it was gross and chose to watch) with the yukky sludge.

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Friday was sunny but cool so we made plans to meet some of my family and spent a couple of hours in the park, a quick lunch in the Harvester before heading to the shops to do what girls do best ‘Shop’.

Saturday was spent at home again waiting for the new dishwasher to arrive. We decided to have a BBQ for tea but hadn’t taken in to account that once the sun left our garden around tea time, it was going to be quite chilly. So we wrapped up warm and soldiered on eating our burgers and sausages whilst shivering and wiping dripping noses! yum! We managed to keep ourselves warm laughing!

 

On Monday a lovely couple in the park had asked when the children went back to school. This was enough to plant a seed for my girls, school was officially back on their radars. Thursday, at breakfast, the lovely manager in the pub asked the girls how they were spending the last 2 days of holidays. I’d say that’s when it really hit home. The ‘I don’t want to go back to school’ started, sleep deteriorated and their irritability returned. On a positive note they were all able to talk to me about how they were feeling, even Middle girl, and she never tells me anything, ever!

Today we’ve encouraged the girls to play separately, and I know this may sound like an odd tactic given how well they’ve played together this half term. You see today their anxiety levels were at an all time high, Big girl’s voice was so high pitched only dogs could hear it, Baby girl was clingy and controlling and Middle girl seemed to be ‘disappearing’ again. Id imagine many people that have adopted siblings will understand what I mean by a ‘Trauma Bond’, but for those of you who don’t, I’ll try and explain. The girls share an intricate bond which was formed during a traumatic time in their lives meaning they ‘feel’ each others negative emotions and have the ability to ‘re-traumatize’ each other in times of heightened anxiety. So today we decided to try and prevent as much upset as possible by encouraging them to enjoy their own space and activities.

We did break up the day with lunch at a local world buffet, they even had a chocolate fountain, Baby girl thought she’d died and gone to heaven! In the car talk of school raised its ugly head again with all 3 declaring they didn’t want to go and wanted to be ‘home schooled’ instead like our friends children. It was quite a moment as Middle girl has NEVER once indicated that she doesn’t like school, in fact she’s often been the one to tell me she’d rather be at school than at home. But, she doesn’t always say what she means, or mean what she says, so I’ve never been sure of how she really felt about school, her anger tells me she hates it but her words say she likes it!? So when Middle girl declared she didn’t want to go back to school I pointed out that she’d always told me she likes school. Her reply, ‘I like being with my family’. This is a really big thing, she’s always been so angry that I genuinely thought she hated us all! I’m not kidding!

Tonight before bed we’ve had strops, sulks and tears. I don’t think it will be long before the anger and tantrums and bickering return. The next half term is in sight but its only one week long, I’m not sure that’s long enough. This school holiday was 2 weeks long yet it took Good Friday, Saturday and Easter Sunday for them to ‘come down’ from the hype of school. Given that the build up started around Thursday of this week I’d say that leaves us with Tuesday and Wednesday of the next half term as possible ‘good’ days! I really wish school didn’t have such an impact, or that I could pin point and fix whatever the issue is!

Baby girl had a good idea tonight, she suggested I have an invisibility button installed so I could go to school with her! I think its a brilliant idea!

I’ve linked this post up with #WASO over at The Adoption Social

 

 

Photo Challenge #FO5photo day 15

Published December 5, 2014 by thefamilyof5

The theme for today’s photo challenge is ‘Happiness’.  Things are tough here right now, I’m sure it’s the same for many families, the run up to Christmas means anticipation, christmas plays, new school timetables and it can prove too much for many.

I long for the happiness to return. I fear we may have quite a wait though, in reality the only time we’re really free, really happy, and away from the stress and pressures of school with it’s expectations and demands, and the only time we’re really able to relax, is on holiday. It doesn’t matter where we go, or for how long, what matters is the girls know ‘holiday’ means ‘no school’, so it’s the only time they really relax, which means it’s the onlly time we ALL relax.

Happiness is.......

Its all ok now, isnt it!?

Published August 28, 2013 by thefamilyof5

One of the (many) difficulties adopters face is the lack of understanding from friends and families. The people we leaned on for support over the years, that change in job, moving house, end of a relationship, start of a relationship, money worries, health troubles the list goes on, they’ve been there, they’ve understood because usually they’ve been there themselves but suddenly they aren’t able to understand, they’ve never been involved with adoption and only know what they’ve read in the newspaper or snippets from a film. They know nothing of the real, raw, life changing facts of adoption. 

 
I met with a friend last night, I met her at Prep Group, we started the adoption process together. We got there first, they followed less than a year later. They live some distance from us, it’s manageable but it’s not ‘pop in for a cuppa whilst passing’ distance, if you know what I mean. Over the last 3 years we’ve met up a few times a year with our husbands, enjoyed some good food and much needed chatter. Organising a time that’s convenient for all, and arranging a babysitter for the chosen date, has always been quite troublesome. Like us, the only real practical support they get is from her parents, but sadly hers live quite a distance away and mine have busy lives of their own. 
 
I met with her last night, just her and I. Recently we’ve been leaving our husbands home to babysit so we can meet more regular. We’ve needed too. We’ve needed that opportunity to offload. We head home with a smile, feeling a weight lifted. 
 
Aside from our usual rants, moans and outrages, last night we also discussed friend’s and family. Neither of us have seen anyone this holiday (aside from our parents). We’ve spent the entire school holiday, just us and our kids and of course our husbands when they haven’t been at work. Were exhausted. Emotionally drained. Lonely. Fed up. There’s been no over night stays with grandparents or sleep overs with friends, there have been no play dates or outings without us. 24/7 it’s just been us and our traumatised kids.  Yes, they’re still traumatised, it didn’t wash off in the bath one day.
 
This got us talking about how we see and hear very little from anyone these days. In those early weeks we may have had the odd phone call, facebook message or text with offers of support and help, if I’m honest, other than my mum, I never had many of those, I guess everyone either figured we needed some space, or that we could cope, I’m not sure, but in general, adopters are supported by friends and family and their struggles understood for at least a few months much like a family with a new baby. 
 
But 3 years in, almost everyone seems to have forgotten us. 
We’re settled now. 
We’ve gone through the worst bit. 
The children are secure.
ALL myths.
 
It didn’t feel like it at the time, but that 1st year was the easiest. We had regular social worker support and the children were so terrified they didn’t dare do anything except please us. Our friend’s were still ‘our friends’ and we hadn’t been consumed by the trauma of our children, and we weren’t in therapy. That was the Honeymoon period. (it’s different for each family, but I think our honeymoon period was about a year). Then things changed, our friends had faded in to the distance, the social workers had vanished, the therapy had started the trauma began to leak.
What no one seems to realise is that the more settled the children become, the harder it is. The more boundaries they test, the more they explore their feelings around their past, the more angry they feel, the more loss they feel and the more trauma they offload. And it’s us they offload it onto. 
 
If ever there was a time we NEEDED support, some practical help, that time is now. Yet we rarely receive offers of practical help anymore because 3 years down the line we’ve got it covered, haven’t we?!
 
I’ve written this on behalf of adopters out there that feel abandoned, unsupported, and lost not only by the system, but by their friends and family too. Those that have experienced the pressure, the expectations and assumptions from everyone else, that everything is ok, when really it’s not ok, we’re not ok! 

 

Schools Out for the Summer………

Published July 20, 2013 by thefamilyof5

We booked the last week of school off as holiday like always. The final week of school is just too much for the girls, too  unstructured and too much change for them to be able to cope with. So we’ve been on school holidays for just over a week now, and doesn’t it show.

Even though we’ve been making the most of Daddy being off work and have  crammed in lots of activities, and even though we’ve had the heat wave to contend with and to try and sleep through, I’m pleased to say that the  bickering has pretty much stopped, middle girl hasn’t been refusing to sleep for hours on end every night,  even baby girls need for control has eased, she’s even eaten vegetables without fuss!!  All is calm in  the Family of 5 household.

During our first year as a family I remember commenting about how much easier things were in the holidays, but then things started to change and the girls behaviour in the school holidays was not so easy, in fact I stopped looking forward to them and instead began bracing myself for them.

So I’m really happy as you can imagine, about the calm that has descended upon us, and I can’t help but wonder if the news of a new school for September has also helped things too.image

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