Archive | April 2015

Triumphs and Relief

The adoption social’s #WASO theme this week is “A Sense Of Relief”.

When I began to put this post together earlier in the week, my opening line was “What does it feel like to experience a sense of relief nowadays”?

I was feeling pretty jaded after yet another difficult weekend and I was definitely in a ‘Negative Nelly’ headspace and feeling pretty hopeless that things were ever going to change.

Cue: stepping away from writing anymore to said post before I could write something that wasn’t going to send my reading heading for the nearest cliffs like the Lemmings in a computer game I used to play, a long, LONG time ago – and no I am not going to say exactly how long. That would give up my age and as they say ‘you are as young as the husband you feel’. Oh wait that doesn’t work Bumble is 9 years older than me and I don’t want to add extra years on myself. Do I?

lemmings

As the week has drawn out, I am pleased to say that ‘sense of relief’ has washed over the household several times this week, and the majority are Buzzbee related. Although the positive feedback from this has already begun to send ripples of hopeful and positive energy through the household and which I hope will manage to hang around for at least a tiny bit of time once Waxy gets home from school and both boys are home together for the weekend – we can live in hope.

So, what are these fleeting moments of ‘a sense of relief’? What has had me doing a little dance around the lounge this week?

First of all, and really this is a bittersweet side to our first ‘sense of relief’ this week because while finally PAS have got back to us about our request for assessment of our ASF needs and responding to my cries of despair over Waxy’s latest antic, there is a big change that has been slapped onto it.  The time has come for Shamrock (our long term PASW) to hand our file onto a stranger (Ok I should say a new PASW who will take us through our assessment without the shadows of the past always getting in the way). Trusting a new professional will be difficult (especially for me) but knowing that rather than having to constantly be chasing Shamrock because her workload had become so big that our ‘issues’ were small fry compared to others and we were no longer feeling supported by her, we now have a Sydney and so far she seems lovely and is keen to help put things back on track – *deep sigh of relief*

Secondly during the Easter holidays, I visited our GP and spoke to her about our concerns about Buzzbee. I barely begun trying to explain some of the “quirks and anxieties” we are witnessing, before she had heard enough and recommended referring him back to the community paediatrician as these were difficulties that had been flagged up to her before while he was still at school and from her records she could see that CAMHS had in fact not followed the recommendations by the CP for a detailed assessment to be untaken by them in reference to the complex behaviour that his school were reporting – as some of you will know. He was badly let down by CAMHS and treated appallingly.  So our GP sent off a referral but warned us that the paediatrician was in extremely high demand and the waiting list could be anything from 8 – 12 months before we are seen (not ideal but at least she was taking our concerns seriously).

Well, yesterday our wonderful postman delivered a letter which had me skipping for joy. The letter contained an appointment date for Buzzbee to be seen by the community paediatrician who originally did both his and Waxy’s LAC medical and who also sat on our adoption, fostering and matching panel. And even more exciting is the appointment is for 12 weeks’ time (it will take us that long to fill in the mountain of questionnaires that came in the envelope with the appointment letter) – she says as she exhales deeply.

And that leave me with 2 other reasons to feel relieved this week. One, although I am happy that things are moving on and I know will be a welcome relief for my mum and our family, is also tinged with sadness.  After waiting several months, the estate agent who is handling the sale of my nan and granddad’s home, many just have found a buyer for the house and very soon the home where all the family pets are buried and where all the grandchildren, my mum and her sister grew up will no long be part of our family.  But on the flipside, mum will finally be able sign with relief and finalise the distribution of nan and granddad’s estate.

Ok so I have saved the best for last.  Last night Buzzbee successfully managed to overcome his anxiety and join a new evening club, and what’s more, the mammoth self-esteem boost that he has received doing it is even this afternoon still flooding through the house – OK it took Bumble and I, 2 hours last night to bring him back down off the ‘ceiling of success’ and just listening to the excitement in his voice and watching my supercharged, happy little bee, buzzing brought several soppy tears to my eyes – it would be hard for anyone to understand how HUGE his achievement was last night but just in case you want to get a sense of his giddiness here is the link to his own #WASO blog post about it.

While Bumble may have been at work all day, he couldn’t avoid noticing the fog of anxiety and fear that was drowning the hive when he walked through the door and although neither of us wanted to admit that we could see the possibility of it all going south if Buzzbee gets there and really cannot cope.

So on returning from the club after sitting in a room, watching our nervous snapping turtle morphing into energetic songbird, strutting his stuff carefree and nervously trying to interact with the other children and accepting the help of the ladies running the group. Bumble and I had no choice but to let out a huge sigh of relief – Buzzbee had taken a big leap and we were all now basking in his euphoric glow of excitement and sense of achievement.

small triumphs

Advertisements

Trauma Bond Olympics 2015

trrauma bond

Welcome to the ‘Trauma Bond’ Olympics, WASO fans.

For a little over 2 weeks, our youngest competitor, Buzzbee has been competing in the highly misunderstood ‘Trauma Bond’ Olympics with our eldest competitor, Beeswax.

The last 4 days have seen our eldest competitor return to his training ground to regroup, and our youngest competitor taking advantage of the rest period to attempt to re-focus himself in preparation for the return from training of his greatly adored idol, Beeswax, but as the days drew closer the nervous anticipation could be felt throughout the Home and Away training grounds.

This weekend’s event have already been in full swing for several hours and the adjudicator’s therapeutic mojo has already boarded a plane destined for Bora Bora , after having to issue numerous warning to the competitors about un-sportsman like behaviour and a breakdown in team communications – only 2 days left to go!

borabora

Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are already stacking up in the ‘stroppy relay’ and ‘extreme hurling/throwing’ events. As well as the ‘extreme control championship triathlon’ and ‘0-100 dysregulation race.

As always we have a colourful array of skills in explicit and dramatic insults, swearing and threats and it is going to go down to the wire who will be awarded the gold medal in this extremely stressful event – I can tell you one person who will not be winning any medals, and that is the adjudicator!

Over at the trampoline arena we can see that the competitors are gearing themselves up for their second attempt today at proving they are the ‘Ultimate’ champion at outdoing the other with backflips, summersaults and not forgetting our youngest competitor’s signature street dancing dance off challenge to his older, yet more inexperienced competitor – here is hoping that this event runs without the need for the adjudicator to issue more warnings – Oops spoke too soon! The adjudicator has just had to step in and call a 10 minute ‘half-time’ after unauthorised equipment has been taken into the arena to gain advantage over each other and tensions are rising.

During the afternoon we have witnessed Beeswax warming up for the ‘hurdling and 100 metre dash’ after being unsuccessful in the ‘Wind your little brother up until he explodes’ event but as of yet he is undecided whether he should enter this event, knowing that it may result in an electronic disqualification – No! He has thrown caution to the wind and not only entered this event but took his time and arrived at the finish 1 hour later than expected, and completely unable to understand why the adjudicator is upset with him.

As the day draws to a close and the competitors begrudgingly retire to their separate changing rooms to watch separate movies, while the adjudicator takes a deep breath and FINALLY manages to prepare herself something to eat before sitting down to watch ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, while not being able to help herself, overanalysing the events of today – Where did she go wrong? What could she have done better? Is she out of her depth? Is this it, is should she start getting used to seeing many more LONG and TENSE events every weekend?

Tomorrow is another but one in which we will undoubtedly see more ‘Trauma Bond Olympic’ activities with the return of the track and motor events -‘supermarket dash’, ‘car wrestling’ and not to be missed ‘fastest to make mum pull the car over for safety’ race – Both competitors are highly decorated medal holders and record-breakers in these event and they will be hoping to add yet more medals to their collection.

But who will win Gold and will they succeed in re-traumatising themselves and each other in the process for the umpteenth time today?

How many more weekends will this event continue for?

When will the external officials sit up and take notice of the repeated electronic communications and requests to look into the needs of the competitors, as well as their referee and adjudicator who are beginning to question their own skills in mediating between both competitors?

Only time will tell! Watch this space!

???????????????????????????????

Spring Fever

Delicate Daffodils, Crocuses and Cowslip, covering the ground like an aromatic carpet, as I take Beedog on her morning walk. The birds are singing and everywhere I turn there are lambs and wild baby bunnies frolicking carefree. Spring has sprung and life is good!

spring
Oh wait! Something is missing!

No, actually it is definitely not missing! But for a blissful hour Tuesday morning I was trying my best to not think about all the endless swearing and verbal abuse.  I was trying to forget about the mania and chaos that is the unwelcome squatter called ‘trauma bond’, has brought into our home, and I was definitely trying to shut out the aggression and destruction that seems to have become a permanent fixture in our home.

Flowers, birds, lambs, bunnies and the promise of new beginnings has been one of the thing holding me together at the moment.

It won’t probably surprise anyone reading this to hear that the Easter Holidays are more than a little stressful this year and I could go into a long stream of hypothesises on what is causing the tension and strife but the battery on my tablet would probably run out before I could even reach the halfway point.

In truth while the boys’ triggers are important. The time I could spend trying to think of solutions to help others learn from past mistakes, I really need to spend focusing on trying to help the boys regain their equilibrium – a task which for the most part, this holiday break, I have been unsuccessful at, but not for the want of trying I suppose (giving up would have been so much easier at the moment).

Don’t worry this #WASO post is not all doom and gloom.

We did manage an almost harmonious Easter weekend and I found myself joyfully able to sit back and watch Bumble, Beeswax and Buzzbee beavering away and working as a well-oiled machine, dismantling our old trampoline and then building the new one.

Spring was sprung 156 times.

I don’t mind admitting that I was dreading having to deal with the trampoline situation.  The boys are not known for their patience when it comes to waiting for things, nor are they for their willingness to let go of even a molecule of control, add to this lethal cocktail, more often than not recently they become experts at pushing Bumble’s buttons far too quickly, and not one of them will even contemplate reading/following the instructions when it comes to building the new trampoline.

But, I have never been so happy to say that I was worrying for nothing (yes, Buzzbee got frustrated a few times when his enthusiasm was outweighed by is physical height or ability, and yes, Bumble had to take several deep breathes when ‘Beeswax the controller’ began to rear his head, but there was no arguments, there was no ‘throwing in the towel’ and more importantly rather than getting impatient with the timescale of taking down and building up. Instead the boys mucked in, listened (well most of the time) and thoroughly enjoyed teasing Bumble when they all got stuck putting the springs on and had to admit that ‘mother knew best’ (WHY DO MEN REFUSE TO READ INSTRUCTION!!!!!).

On a separate note, the next time I suggest that the boys help me with some DIY or decorating, I will NOT be accepting the excuse that they are rubbish at it and it would only end in arguments. I have photographic and video evidence to the contrary and I am not afraid to use it.

trampoline

Our weekend success continued, the day after, while spending a wonderful afternoon eating fish and chips on the pier and visiting a sand sculpture festival with my 3 men.

sandcastle

While it might feel to Bumble and I at the moment that this half-term we are drowning in teenage angst, and the effects of the boys’ early trauma. Weekends like this are precious to us and give up just a tiny glimmer of hope of one day feeling like a family rather than a spin off episode from the Jeremy Kyle show.

CHOCOLATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Easter Bunny is readying itself to pay ‘The Hive’ a visit, so what better time for The Adoption Socials’ #WASO themed week to be Our Favourite Chocolate Recipe.

It is not a secret that the occupants of our household are more than a little fond of chocolate and anyone who follow me on Twitter or Instagram will know that I can be found often making something either made completely of chocolate or contains chocolate in one form or another.

With this said, I have found myself struggling to decide on my favourite chocolate recipe. So, in a vain hope that my 3 handsome men would help me choose the recipe, this morning I asked them to write down their favourite chocolate thing I have made on a piece of paper and I would either then choose one of their ideas or go for my ‘professional pacification’ recipe (also known as chocolate truffles).

favourite things

Truffles it is!

Adult Only Truffles

Truffles need to be eaten within 12 days (never managed to survive the day, even less if it is social workers/professionals eating them).

120g (4oz) chocolate (white, milk or plain) broken into small, even-size pieces (I use deluxe Belgium chocolate)

4 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature

2 tablespoons double cream

½ teaspoon brandy, rum or liqueur of your choice

Grated chocolate to decorate (I always put the chocolate in the freezer before grating – it makes it so much easier to use)

  1. Put the chocolate pieces into a heatproof glass bowl and place over a pan of hot but not simmering water. When it starts to melt, stir gently until completely melted. Do not overheat.
  2. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the butter, then the cream and liqueur.
  3. Leave to cool, then cover with cling film and refrigerate for 2-2½ hours until set.
  4. Remove the mixture from the refrigerator. Using a teaspoon, scoop out small pieces of the mixture, then use your hands to roll them into balls.
  5. To decorate, roll the balls in grated chocolate. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.

Kiddy-Friendly Truffles

Truffles need to be eaten within 5 days – if you have kids like mine, you will be lucky if they last the day.

To make about 10 truffles:

100g (4oz) chocolate (broken into small, even-size pieces)

25g (1oz) butter

50g (2oz) plain cake, crumbled into fine crumbs

4 tablespoons chocolate sugar strands (alternatively and our preferred option crated chocolate)

Small paper cases (optional)

  1. Put the chocolate pieces into a heatproof glass bowl and place over a pan of hot but not simmering water. When it starts to melt, stir gently until completely melted. Do not overheat.
  2. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the butter.
  3. Carefully lift the bowl out of the water.
  4. Sift the icing sugar through a sieve into the chocolate. Add the cake crumbs and stir until everything is mixed well.
  5. Leave the chocolate mixture to cool in the bowl. Then, put the chocolate sugar strands onto a plate.
  6. When the mixture is firm and thick, scoop up some with a teaspoon and put it into the chocolate strands.
  7. Using your fingers, roll the spoonful around until it is covered. Then, put it in a paper case if you wish.
  8. Put the truffles onto a plate. Put them in a fridge for 30 minutes. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge.

Disclaimer: I do not claim to own these recipes. They are recipes I have found over the years that I believe have the best results for making truffles.