Last Night … (Clone Machine Required – Read On For Details!)

Oh man, the tiredness (sorry to keep mentioning it, but it’s a constant companion at the moment!) last night culminated in another headache. That is the fourth Monday in a row where I have had to pop pills. I may need to rechristen my Mondays to Migraine Mondays!

Still, I had been looking forward to the evening.

After a busy day where all the classes got to meet their new teachers for the next academic year, and any surprises regarding staff movement were unveiled, we were to be heading to Lil Man’s school as he had been selected to participate in the school’s Sports Presentation evening!

It was a large, stuffy hall we were packed into, and after introductions, there was a motivational talk from a former pupil, who is now a business man.

All well and good, using language that the kids understood (including a couple of bad language slip ups, and referring to snogging!) until he showed his presentation on the projector and there were… SPELLING MISTAKES and MISQUOTED QUOTES!

I’m sorry but the writer in me got het up straight away! I wanted to go and edit his presentation! And the teacher in me wanted to get a red pen!!!

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The Achievement Formular! Formula!!!!!

I wondered if the Head Teacher was cringing as much as I was!

But no matter, the kids thought it was great!

And then the awards started…

It was a loooooooong night, as they mentioned every team they had and all participants got a certificate, but certain pupils were named and rewarded with a mention for player of the year/most improved etc!

Lil Princess was getting bored… and thirsty! She took several loo breaks, and stated that she now knew what dehydration felt like (guilt trip inducing comments all night as we hadn’t brought a bottle of water!). She lolled around over mummy and daddy all evening in the sticky hall…was not fun. My headache was emerging and tempers were fraying!

After pretty much every team had been mentioned, in EVERY year group, and the presentation had gone on an hour longer than stated, finally cricket was mentioned!

And we came away as very proud parents with an extremely happy Lil Man.

He got his participation certificate and was named Wicket Taker of the Year and Player of the Year!

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The Cricket Team getting their certificates!

Thing is, by then I was suffering from a pounding headache, and just wanted bed!

We all crashed out early last night!

Oh and did you say you wanted to hear what my job has in store for me next year?

I’ll still be working with the Early Years, but instead of restricting me to the Nursery 3-4 year olds, I will be being spread, like jam, across the whole foundation stage, so two days as a Reception teacher (4-5 year olds) and three days with my Nursery babies (3-4 year olds).

On top of this change, I will have joint responsibility for the Eco Team of kids we nominate in school, Healthy Schools, PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) and the School Council! There are three of us who will oversee all that  but my special interest will be in the School Council!

AND – yes there’s more – I have been chosen to be part of the Board of Governors as of September too!!!!

So, new responsibilities, on top of being basic teacher, wife, mummy, daughter, daughter-in-law, friend, writer/blogger….

Did I say I was busy?

I believe I may need to really find a clone machine over the holidays!

Metamorphosis In Action

The life cycle of a butterfly.

It’s a common topic amongst classes in primary school.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar story is read and all sorts of songs are sung about the changes that happen in that life cycle.

And there are so many activities that come from the story!

We often have the caterpillars in a special net to watch turn into chrysalises then butterflies. In fact, one of my colleagues’ father breeds them so she will bring over 100 ready, in a special net enclosure for the children to watch, and when the resulting butterflies come out, they have a mass letting go session!

But nothing beats nature, let’s be honest!

A few weeks ago my class patiently planted some seeds and the Nasturtiums had grown, and were almost ready to flower… until we noticed that something had been eating them!

And what we found, or actually what my pupils found, was amazing! There were dozens of caterpillars!

As we hunted further, we found eggs and have been watching them over the last few days, and have a range of caterpillars now from 1 mm long to at least 4 cm! I am hoping they at least get to see some real chrysalises too before we break up!

They’ve not left much in the way of leaves on one side!

And we even found a cabbage white caterpillar!

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As I said, there is nothing quite like Nature to teach a child a lesson!

 

My Loopy Family! #ThrowbackThursday

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You know about my immediate family, parents, siblings, Hubby Dearest, children and my in-laws, but I have yet to introduce my full on family!
I come from a pretty run of the mill Indian family, where the extended family is as much a part of your life as your nuclear family.
Our background is that my ancestors moved from India way back in the day, and settled in Kenya, in East Africa. Both my parents were born there, and after marriage moved here to the UK where my brother and I were born.
Mum’s side was mostly in Kenya, and at a later date, some moved to Australia, but we grew up together, even though we were in different countries. Through letters and visits yearly, my cousins and I forged a great bond. Being similar ages, we gelled perfectly, and enjoyed many summers together in Kenya. My two uncles and their wife’s, my aunts, as well,as my grand parents, doted on my brother and me. I was the oldest grandchild this side, and felt a great responsibility to be a good example.
Pretty simple family, 3 cousins there, all similar to us, we got on great!
Then we turn to my Pops family… Now I hasten to add, there is NOTHING wrong with my dads side, there are just a heck of a lot of them!!
I always knew from the beginning , that my dad had a brother, who had 5 kids. They lived back in Kenya, and were older than us, the youngest being 5 years older than me. On this side, I was the youngest grand daughter. We would go every summer and share our time with both sides of the family, forging bonds.
One year at school, I was asked to make a family tree. We drew my mum’s side and as I drew dad’s he looked at it, and looked at me, confused. “What about my sisters? Your aunts?” Huh? Somehow, even though I knew those people very well, and called them ‘Bhuaji’ which means father’s sister, it hadn’t clicked that they were actually my Pops sisters!
You see, in Indian culture it is the norm to address any elder as aunt or uncle, or grandma and grandad, it’s a sign of respect.
Suddenly, as he drew my real family tree, requesting extra sheets of paper, as there was not enough space, my mind was opened up to a whole new dimension of family! I went from having a perfectly respectable 7 first cousins (another on my mum’s side arrived after this event!) to 29!!!!!!! “What the..!?!?!” As Lil Man would say! So Pops actually had 1 brother and 4 sisters, and a surrogate sister, who was so close to Pops, that we need to count her too. (And she had a further 8 kids, so, theoretically you could say my first cousin count was actually, 37!!)
He was the youngest too, which opened up another revelation to me. He had been born after his eldest sister had already married and borne 2 children! This means that many of my first cousins were my fathers age, and married with their own kids when my dad married, and had us!
So, again, culturally, we don’t do all this second, third cousins, let alone the once or twice removed malarkey! If your aunt or uncle has a child they are your cousins, yes, but you address them as brother or sister. Hence when they have kids you now have nephews and nieces. This meant that I was born an aunty to several children already, and over the years, as you can imagine, to many more…scarier still, as they got married and had kids, my qualification increased again… No, no great aunts and uncles here, straight to grand ma status! Yes seriously!!
In fact, if you go a layer further in my family, I was even a great grandma! (Lovingly called GGM and since… there has been more babies and I am now a GGGM!)
I always remember going on a family jolly to Blackpool for the day, and my 40 year old ahem, grandson, with can of beer in hand, stopped the traffic, saying his grandma needs to cross the road. And sauntering along came…me!!
Yes, a colourful bunch we are here! Weddings and functions galore, and where there are people and weddings there would be reproduction, so the family just got bigger and bigger! And crazier and crazier too! We are a bit of a mad bunch, our family get togethers, though few and far between nowadays, are always most memorable, with singing and dancing, and great food!
Alongside the joys of a big family, there are equally that many more people to say goodbye too as well. Sadly, death has played a part in our lives from an early age, but we have learned to accept death for what it is, and though we always feel great sorrow when someone dies, we accept it as God’s will.

Getting married was just going to increase the numbers, wasn’t it? But Hubby Dearest’s family was a little more controlled with a grand total of 6 first cousins, all born close enough to each other so you don’t have the ‘interesting’ mishmash of relationships my side has! I had to start tutoring Hubby Dearest when we were dating, if he had any hope
of understanding our family tree by the time we were to get married!
But, as I said we are a crazy bunch, any excuse for a party, fancy dress, music, dancing. And not all Indian families are like that… He flatly told me before the wedding, and subsequently, before every function we go to, “Ritu, I am NOT dressing up, ok!!”
That’s ok I guess, there are enough loons without adding another one, though secretly when he is there, you can see him loosening up, and enjoying himself! One day…. One day, I’ll get him fully involved!

So there you have it. A potted history of my little but large family!

Lonely Cat

I really feel for Sonu Singh at the moment…

When we got him Hubby Dearest was working from home. At 2 months old, he had a constant playmate, and then when we all arrived back from school, he was spoiled!

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Then came a period of about 3 months where Hubby’s work took him out of the house daily, and Little Sonu Singh had to fend for himself. He was tiny then, and prone to getting himself stuck under the settee and stuff, so we bought a special pet pen where he would spend the school hours, then get his freedom when we got home.

Since then, and for the last 2 years, he has had Hubby for company again, as, working from home has it’s advantages… and Sonu Singh was never alone…

But now, we have a change of job in the house, and three year old Sonu Singh is having to occupy himself on a daily basis. Oh he is very vocal when we wake up, and when we get home, but what does he do all day?

Sits and looks outside from the window.

Or sleeps on the table, or near the front door, waiting for us…

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When we are home, he either goes crazy running around trying to get us to play hid and seek with him, or he sits on/in our bags, hoping that we might take him with us the next time…

He tries to stop me from working or writing, by laying on my books!

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He lays near me and pulls funny faces so I may spent my time looking at him.

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He even offers himself up as a phone holder to Lil Man, so he may be centre of attention!

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But the sweetest thing, every night he crawls onto me and ‘cat-kisses’ me, then snuggles up on my lap for a sleep.

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Don’t worry Sweet Sonu Singh… under three weeks to go, then we will be home with you for a whole 6 weeks! You may even be glad when we go back to school!

 

Happy Birthday Lil Man and My Mum! <3

This time twelve years ago I was proudly holding in my arms, a little bundle of love who Hubby Dearest and I had waited years for!

Lil Man made a pretty spectacular entrance into the world, with his own little build up attached.

Sitting at work, (it was my last week before maternity leave started) I realised that I was a little, ahem, damp, down there. Funny, I didn’t think I had sneezed (ladies with pelvic floor issues after pregnancy will be aware what I mean!)

I thought nothing of it. Coming home, I waved Hubby Dearest off to the gym, and then something happened again. It was only little but I knew for sure I hadn’t sneezed.

No.

It couldn’t be! My due date was in three weeks. It was my first baby. First babies were late!

I tried to ignore what was inevitably un-ignoreable. My friend messaged me, saying she had dreamt about me having a baby boy.

I called her up straight away. “Your dream might be coming true sooner rather than later!”

She convinced me to ring the hospital, and to tell my mums too.

But I was in shock. How could my waters be starting to break?

Needless to say, yes, things were happening, and after a full on water break, dams busting, gush of amniotic fluid all over my bed, we went to the hospital.

He still made us wait though.

I was there for a good 12 hours on various drugs and monitors, before I finally, epidural-induced, pushed this little miracle out!

And what a wonderful day for him to arrive, on my mum’s birthday!

Going forward, 12 years, I am a proud mum to a very confident, caring, sometimes frustrating Lil Man.

He may be small, but he is special in so many ways, and I wouldn’t change him for anything!

And I always say to my mum that I could never outdo the present I gave her on her 55th birthday… her first grandchild!

So, here’s to two very special people in my life!

Happy 12th birthday Lil Man, and Happy 67th birthday to my Mum!

Love you both lots, and wish you a wonderful day!

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