Happy birthday Cuthbert

A great weekend has been had by all – first time meetings with Auntie J, Uncle M, Granny and Grandpa G – a trip to the local soft play – a fabulous Mr Tickle birthday cake made for us by good friends J & L – and everyone singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Cuthbert at church (while he stood on the stage, arms folder, grin on face, all by himself – ‘no daddy, I want to go up by myself’), and it was the first time we’d been to church together!

He’s had loads of lovely presents which he’s been playing with all day (thank you to all of you very generous people…). The biggest hit was a keyboard from Uncle M and Auntie C (thanks for that – but you forgot to include ear plugs!) which he plays while dancing in his seat – so cute! The bubble machine from Granny and Grandpa G has also been a great success in the garden – he runs round among the bubbles shrieking and dancing!

Home together

Just a quick update – we all got back safely yesterday late afternoon. It was an emotional goodbye for the boys, but the journey improved quite quickly with the distraction of Roald Dahl’s ‘The Enormous Crocodile’ and ‘The Giraffe, the Pelli and Me’ on CD!

The boys settled really well last night, with all asleep before 8.30 (Dibble was last to close his eyes). Cuthbert was quite upset and wanted to speak to his foster carer on the phone to say night night – but after that, Mrs D sung him to sleep quite quickly.

Mrs D got up once in the night to untangle Dibble from his blanket, but an uneventful night otherwise. McGrew had a dry night, which is absolutely fantastic! Small heads popped round our door at 6 this morning, and we had a mummy, daddy, doglet, McGrew and Cuthbert bed cuddle for half an hour.

We’re off to Nana and Grandpa’s for lunch later, and perhaps a walk in the park with doglet too.

It’s only 9.30, but seems more like lunchtime already!

Shoes

A photo from our hall today…

We’ve had a great weekend – the boys have been with us most of each day, returning to a local hotel to sleep… we’ve played football in the garden (‘mummy, try and save this’), run around the house playing hide and seek (‘daddy, you come and find us now’), been to local parks to walk doglet and visit the playparks (‘look how high I am, daddy!’), watched Peter Pan on DVD and eaten lots of yummy food. And McGrew and Cuthbert have earned lots and lots of stars for their star charts!
Back down to their foster carer’s house tomorrow and then home on Tuesday forever!

First day at our house

The boys visited us today for a few hours. McGrew and Cuthbert were so excited to see their new bedrooms, they ran round and round shrieking… normal house rules were suspended for a while!

Dibble was in his element, speed crawling from room to room and looking longingly up the stairs through the bars of the gate! He was intent on investigating every corner of every room, and seemed exceptionally happy!

McGrew spent quite a bit of time testing the boundaries, as we thought he would. But he was almost inconsolable when it was time for him to go, with real tears of distress at having to leave. It must be so confusing for them all. Having seen their bedrooms and their beds, but not be allowed to stay and sleep in them. But McGrew loves doglet – he gave her a huge cuddle and a kiss before he left, and told her that he loves her.

Cuthbert was his usual happy self, with only the occasional grumpy face when Dibble did a good impression of demolition man with the wooden railway track.

They’re back tomorrow for the day – hopefully the rain will stop long enough to get out for a walk in the park with doglet.

Back home

Mrs D and I got back home this afternoon – it’s nice to be back, though a bit strange to be without our boys…

They come up tomorrow with their foster carer, and we get to see them for a couple of hours as they explore their new house and garden! Then we have them all day Saturday and Sunday (but not overnight), before they go back to their foster carer’s on Monday.

Then we bring them home on Tuesday.
I can’t wait!

Happiness is…

1. your son running up to you in the park, throwing his arms around you for a huge hug, just because you’re daddy
2. the expressions of sheer excitement and delight on your sons’ faces as the train goes through a tunnel
3. your youngest son falling asleep in your arms
4. your eldest son calling Mrs D ‘mummy, darling’
5. catching headlice from your children (!)
6. realising that star charts will get your children to behave impeccably in the car (so far!)
7. listening to your youngest son singing ‘Frere Jacques’ at the top of his voice on a swing in the play park
8. showing your middle son how to climb up the cargo net in the playpark, and then watching him do it all by himself
9. kissing your sons good night and telling them that you love them
10. being a daddy (this should perhaps be number 1)

Mummy and Daddy

Things still going really well…

We took the boys to the farm on Friday with their foster carer – they loved the calves, particularly when one of them licked McGrew’s tummy! McGrew and Cuthbert both climbed to the top of a wooden fort in the playpark at the farm, and then shouted at the top of their voices ‘ mummy, look at me!’ – Luckily Mrs D had her sunglasses on, to hide the tears of joy!

Yesterday we went to the local park by ourselves and spent ages playing football, going down the slide (and reminding McGrew that you go up the ladder and down the slide, rather than up the slide!) and generally having fun. Then to the duck pond to feed the ducks and pick brambles on the way back to the foster carer’s – though I’ve never know ducks to have been fed cherry scones before! One of the highlights of yesterday was both McGrew and Cuthbert shouting to me ‘daddy, can I go on your shoulders?’ – which of course they did, though one at a time!!

We ended yesterday by bathing the boys and then putting them to bed after reading them a story…. It’s great!

Today, we were up at the crack to make sure we were with the boys for breakfast… then we took them out in the car ourselves to a maize maze! Despite losing McGrew for a few minutes, we did get them all back in one piece… And then lunch, which went better than we had thought it would – so well, in fact, that McGrew and Cuthbert were both allowed pudding for behaving so well!

We’ve three days left now before we go home, and the boys come up to see our house and get to know where we live next weekend…. The plan is they’ll then be at home with us for ever from the 26th….

We can’t wait!

First meeting

We met McGrew, Cuthbert and Dibble yesterday morning.
Words just can’t describe how we felt.

They were so excited to see us – well, Dibble had been up all night being unwell, so he slept for most of the first half hour… but McGrew, Cuthbert, Mrs D, the SW, the boys’ foster carer and I all sat round on the living room floor playing snakes and ladders.

Cuthbert was the first to move towards Mrs D, sidling up and then ending up on her knee. McGrew then went round the back of Mrs D and stroked her hair for a bit!

The two older boys were really keen to show me their bedrooms, books and toys, and then we had to go out the back to be shown their bikes (I had to put their shoes on for them, as they seemed to have forgotten how to do it themselves!). Despite foster carer’s protestations, McGrew was adamant to show us he could ride without stabilisers!

Then we had some more time playing on the floor – both older boys becoming more sure of us, and wanting to sit on our knees. Cuthbert is very tickly!

Then Dibble woke up a bit, and started investigating. If there was an Olympic sport of speed crawling, Dibble would win gold in Beijing – guaranteed! He’s pulling himself up on furniture and using that to walk round the room – it won’t be long before he’s walking by himself!

Our time with them seemed so short – and after an hour and a bit we left – but we’re seeing them again this afternoon…

We also met the boys’ birth mum yesterday – it was a really helpful meeting – she gave us permission to be the boys’ mummy and daddy and said that she wanted the boys to be loved, and hoped they would fulfil their full potential. That is more meaningful then any court order. It was emotional, but I’m so glad we did it – and have a photo of us with her which we can show our boys in years to come.

We then met McGrew and Cuthbert’s teachers – it was really good to hear their thoughts on the boys – what they’re good at (McGrew loves investigations, and has excellent coordination, particularly in football!), and how they are with class mates and friends.

So – the planning meeting today (setting out the timetable for the next fortnight), then a couple of hours with the boys this afternoon, and the whole morning with them on Friday.

Let’s hope we get a wee bit of dry weather so we can go to the park!