Chai And A Chat #24 #ChaiAndAChat

Hey there Peeps! I hope you’re ready … never a quiet one in Ritu-World!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you – “Week Three – In-Law-less – done!!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you work has been manic (isn’t it always? Life in an Early Years class…) We had Science week, so hyped the kids up with a chance to meet some minibeasts, like ginat Africam landsnails, tarantulas, African milipedes, cockroaches and a snake! Then on the Tuesday, my day started with a panic, as my team leader was off sick, and there was a moderation meeting happening the next day, across the schools in our academy. For those of you that don’t know, moderation is when you compare your judgements about pupils with the other schools, to make sure you aren’t making too easy/harsh judgements about how a child is progressing. I was worrying as I have never done one of these without here there, and the other Reception teacher has never been to one before… blind leading the blind? Yup! On top of that we had planning to do the next day too, which was going to be cut short because of the Moderation meeting. So by 9am on Tuesday, I had gathered moderation information, chased up paperwork, and created a skeleton plan for the following week’s learning. Phew! But thankfully my Team Leader ended up back that afternoon, because she cannot stay at home! So no panic in the end! But the day did not end without a tension headache… oh yes…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that, moderation went well. I kinda feel a lot more confident about these things now, and hope that the experiences will help me further along in my career.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that the rest of the school week was relatively simple, until my kids decided to embarrass the heck out of me first thing on a Friday morning. Playing up and messing my classroom before the day had even started, arguing and generally making a nuisance of themselves. I ended up blowing my top at Lil Man before he headed off to his school… Seriously? Can children not even keep calm for at least 10 minutes, without causing a storm? BP felt like it rose high!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that, on the flip side, he has done really well in a Maths test, proving that the tutoring we send him for seems to be working! And he is also playing badminto regularly, on top of the cricket, and on Sunday, he was scouted for a Badminton Academy! I am very proud of him and his strengths. (Not so much, his teenage strops and attitude!)
    If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you Lil Princess got me worried this week. I would walk past her room, and hear her shout ot periodically, “Just shut up…!”… Turns out I didn’t need to worry! Apparently she did really well, but I couldnt watch as I was short staffed at the time!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that the weekend was absolutely wonderful with Pops and Mum. They brought a huge box full of my old photos from infanthood to university and I spent a long time perusing… they also found old certificates of mine, and embarrasing school photos too! We spent a long time chatting, reminiscing and talking about all sorts, and I learned so much from them both, about their lives, and customs and traditions in our culture. It’s amazing how I learn new things about my parents every time we sit and chat. Seriously, you think you must know everything about them, and then they tell you things that make your head spin… I hope to share some of the stories one day, on the blog, but I tell you what, Mum could write a memoir, and it would be amazing!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that mum even managed to help me Marie Kondo the heck outta my kitchen which I had been dreading! We stripped countertops, emptied cupboards, threw out of date stuff away, made a (huge) donate pile and scrubbed cupboards and drawers and walls too (bit of a condensation issue in the kitchen) and then put it all back, wrapping up equipment that is used less frequently so it stays clean and generally more organinsed. Feels good, but 8 hours of that andf my shoulders are killing, my body is exhausted and eyes are itching from dust and all sorts! Still – feels GOOD!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d also say we had to sleep on the sofa bed for two nights, as I would never inflict that upon my parents, and I totally appreciated that Sunday night bubble bath that I have made sure I enjoy each week, as part of my ‘self’ word of the year!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know we went a bit spiritual too, at the temple on Sunday, celebrating the birth of a baby in one of Hubby Dearest’s friend’s family. Soul cleansed, kitchen cleansed, body cleansed… just need my mind to be emptied now, though I fear that will never happen!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that official lesson observation week is also this week, so I just need to get Tuesday out of the way, successfully (my observation day) then I can breathe and relax!
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention that this coming weekend, NOTHING is planned – honestly! I hope for lots of lazing around. I need it!

Have a wonderful week, Peeps! Let me know how your week went!

Chai And A Chat #23 #ChaiAndAChat

Hey there Peeps! I hope you’re ready with a large one… I’ve had one heck of a week!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d probably whimper (through tiredness) that we made it to week two with no in-laws!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that when the kids are ill, appreciation for my in-laws peaks. Lil Princess started with a headache on the Sunday evening, which didn’t disappear overnight. She battled through school on the Monday, and was in tears by the end of the day. Obviously, I had Parents Evening too, so was reassured by the fact she could go home to my brother-in -law and rest up. By the end of the day she was full of cold, and a cough was coming too. Total head cold, poor thing. My dilemma was the next day. There was no way she could go to school, but I knew her uncle, and aunt, were working from home so they were more than willing to have her. I still had another parents evening to go though. I toyed with the idea of missing it, as my co teacher would be there, but bless her, she was also suffering with a lack of voice. We were in a dilemma. Do we cancel and reschedule or tough it out, as no matter what, this evening would have to happen some time? In the end after consulting my daughter and sis in law, it was decided that I finish up my work resonsibilities. She was in good hands. But it didn’t stop that motherly guilt that I should be with my kid, not worrying about 30 other children. She needed the next day off too, and thankfully, her uncle was home again too. Finally, Thursday came and she began to perk up… the ups and downs of being a working mum…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that, on the flip side, both Parents Evenings went pretty smoothly, all things considered, but they were LOOOOOONG days! No more this academic year now!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that World Book Day was on Thursday, and we love to celebrate it at school We encourage the children to dress up as their favourite book characters, though most end up wearing the latest costumes on sale in Asda… And as a staff, we usually have a theme for the year. This year was Witches and Wizards. And I, not one to follow the crowd, decided to be the witch’s cat, Wilbur, from Winnie the Witch books!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that after the positive rejection last week, there was more news! I logged into Twitter on Thursday, and learned about a hashtag called #PitMad. It happens quarterly, and basically writers can pitch their written novel in 280 characters to agents. Only agents are to like the pitches but you can support one another as a writers community by retweeting and commenting on the pitches. Many people will spend months tweaking their pitch… I wrote one in a few moments, and didn’t expect a thing.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that I got a genuine agent like!!! And over the last 24 hours we have been emailing. She loves the idea of the book, the story, and said it needs to be heard, and gave me some amazing feedback on what she had read, with really workable critique suggestions. She also suggested that I get a critique partner and, once polished, she would love to read it again!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that I acted upon her advice and I have ordered another craft book to help me wean out the show vs tell issues, and I have approached an editor to help with with critiquing and advising me where to go next. I have the problem that I am too close to the book, and I can’t change anything as I can’t look at it objectively!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I went a bit Easter Egg mad too… We will be holding a Nursery Easter Egg hunt on the last day of term for the nursery students and their parents, and I decided that instead of trying to hide millions of eggs, I would find lots of Easter themed items, such as chicks, rabbits, and little eggs, to hide around the allotment, for them to look for, and use a tick sheet to say they found them. Then at the end, they could get a prize. And then I saw Tesco had a deal on 75p medium sized eggs…. and I ended up ordering 55! Enough for the children, and for my team too! Lil Man’s face was priceless as he saw the guy unloading my home delivery. I did have to explain to the guy I was a teacher and that these were student gifts, and not that I was some sort of Easter Egg trader, or chocaholic! So now they are hidden away from anyone with a sweet tooth, in the hope that they will last until the end of term!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I celebrated my favourite inspirational woman on International Woman’s Day on Friday… my mum ❤
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that we kept the weekend very down low. Everyone needed a rest and, aside from the kids playing badminton and cricket, we did nothing! And I scheduled posts and read. Perfect!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d have to admit that the end of Sunday was not as smooth as I hoped, as teenage hormones coursed around the house and Lil Man showed his attitude BIG TIME. Actually just trying to take deep breaths right now so I don’t go and strangle him… Seriously, parenting teens and tweens is no fun a lot of the time (though there are ups too!)
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you aside from one late evening at moderation, so we can see if our kids are progressing as others are, there should be no more late ones, phew!
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention that I am so excited for the weekend as Pops and Mum are coming to spend it with us!

Have a wonderful week, Peeps! Let me know how your week went!

Chai And A Chat #22 #ChaiAndAChat

Well hello, again Peeps! I’m already chugging away at my chai as I type this to you. Yes. Week one of no In-Laws is over!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say “Yes! We survived the first week!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that things have been going pretty smoothly on the kids at the end of the school day front. They either come to me or to their uncle if he’s working from home, and that has been really helpful… except one day when Lil Man (he had to do something, didn’t he?) when he took so long to get to me, I wandered the roads outside our school for twenty minutes and even called up his school, only to find him sauntering into the gate, with a lollypop stick hanging from his lips and a blue mouth! He can’t seem to grasp that I have to fit a whole load of work into less time at the end of the day at the moment, so I don’t leave late, and takes his sweet time getting anywhere!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that the migraine decided to come back with a vengeance too on Monday evening… I guess I am stressing a bit about everything. It made me go to bed early, after popping a pill, and I woke with it still there. More tablets and I managed to get through the school day, and once that finished, it reared its ugly head AGAIN! No fair! But please don’t worry, I am better now!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I’ve had a few interesting emails over this week. The first was one from that blessed car servicing place, who tried to fob me off with a 20% discount on next year’s service, even though in my original email I had expressly said I would not be using their service any more. Then they came back and offered me a £20 refund… I still haven’t replied, since I paid nearly £300 for the pleasure of being carless for 2 days for NO REASON!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d excitedly say we got some lovely news on Friday for Lil Princess. She got her first choice for her secondary school place in September. I can’t believe she will be going to big school soon, but am so happy that she got where she really wanted, as so many kids out there didn’t… seems the Government forgot there was a baby boom in 2007/2008 and places were going to be scarce!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know I got another email that, though it might seem negative to some, is actually really positive. I received my first REJECTION from an agent. This is, so far, the first and only one I have sent out, so to get a response was just amazing!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that my Tootie Frootie lades and I had a great night out on Saturday for a Comedy Night, a few bevvies and a bite to eat. We giggled our way through the evening!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that I had a lovely video conversation with my Finndian family on Sunday morning and I can’t wait for a couple of month’s time when I get real cuddles!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that we have managed to book a long weekend away to yet another Center Parcs too, this time in Elveden Forest! Another exciting time! We need to get booking activities now!
  • f we were sipping chai together I’d say that thankfully the in-laws arrived safely, though my father-in-law left here feeling a little under the weather. We were a little worried about the whole India Pakistan thing going on, especially as they closed the airport closest to where they stay, but they assure us they are okay, if wet, as they combat rain, whilst here we had three days of glorious weather, and on one day we were hotter than the tropics! (It’s wet now, but shhhh!)
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies  I’d tell you that I have two busy evenings this week, with Parents Evening rearing its head. So School gets me for nearly 12 hours on two days… I know it is a long day, but I do enjoy catching up with the parents and discussing their children’s’ progress.
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention that I don’t want to have anything else planned next week. I deserve a quiet rest of the week, after the parents evenings, but let’s see…!

Have a wonderful week, Peeps! Let me know how your week went!

Chai And A Chat #21 #ChaiAndAChat

Well hello, again Peeps! Have you got that drink ready? My chai is waiting!.. I have a doozy of a week to tell you about!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d sigh and possibly be looking for something stronger than a chai! (That, I said last week, and it still stands this week too!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that the half-term holidays is a chance to recharge your batteries… yeah right!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that the simple car service and MOT did not go to plan. I can’t bore you with all the details, but if you click here, you can read my anguish in full! Basically, it failed its MOT on something ridiculous and the garage could have sorted it out easily… and there were other issues, I have emailed the company I booked through to complain, and am still waiting for a response… Oh, and it was dang expensive!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say the above rigmarole really messed with our plans. As it was Lil Princess’s birthday in the week, there were umpteen things to do, and being without a car for two days really didn’t help. But it did give me a chance to do more #KonMarie- clearing! I got up into the attic and really had a good scour around, in the dusty place, found some gems and got rid of loads again! I think another 10 bags or so of old soft toys, puzzles, more toys and clothes, again!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that all was not lost though. I treated myself to the All-New Kindle Paperwhite and it is lovely! All my unread books are ready for me to dive into, which is just perfect! My old one was cleared and set up for Lil Princess, and she loves it!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that on top of the car-aziness on the Monday and Tuesday, we had an impromptu visitor. Hubby Dearest informed me that his cousin, who was visiting from the USA, was popping over, and would possibly be staying over. I do get on with this cousin of ours. He is great fun. The kids love him too, but it was just a bit manic, with my hallway full of black bags full of stuff that no longer sparked joy and me with no car. ANd the worst thing? He was driving up in his parents’ car, and all the electrics failed as he was nearing us, so he had to abandon the car, and get a lift to us too. I don’t think this is a good week for cars in our family…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that Wednesday and Lil Princess’s birthday finally arrived. She tells me it was her best birthday ever! We finally relented and got her a SIM card for her phone, and as she walks home alone some days, I feel it was a good call, but not before a lot of coaching on the appropriateness of how to use a phone, Social Media, sending (or not sending) photos to people, etc. She also got an Instax camera which she thinks is the bomb! Added to a catch up at an ice cream parlour with her friends, and CAKE, and lots of lovely presents, she really did have a wonderful day!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know we even managed a mother-daughter nail appointment on Thursday, a girlie lunch date on Friday while Lil Man was meeting his friend, and on Saturday, we had our hair done. Truly a great bonding week for us both! We also watched Life of the Party, where a mother ends up going to college with her daughter, and despite huge embarrassment and misgivings on the daughter’s part initially, they both have a fantastic time in the end. (I still don’t think Lil Princess is convinced that it is a good idea for us in the future thought…!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you Lil Man discovered his Dhol drum again too, and I really wish he’d take it up again. He is so good… That is my boy playing below. What do you think?
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know we managed to help the in-laws get packed and ready for their extended trip back to the Motherland too. It’s always bittersweet when they go. I appreciate the freedom we suddenly have but miss all the support they give, and the reassurance I have that no matter what, the kids are always in a safe place.
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies  I’d tell you that it is back to school time, and though I am always up for the new challenges that every term brings, it’s always a little fraught while the in-laws are away, and I can never give my 100% as I am worried about my own children after school!
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention that we find out where Lil Princess will be going to secondary school this week too, and I am as nervous as anything. She wants to go where her brother is, and I am hoping she gets her place there, but you honestly never really know… Roll on Friday, with some good news!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d add that I’ve also got another Tootie Frootie night out planned on Saturday, to a comedy night, and I am just a tad excited, especially as I personally know two of the fantastic comedians who are performing!

Have a wonderful week, Peeps! Let me know how your week went!

Chai And A Chat #20 #ChaiAndAChat

Well hello, again Peeps! Have you got that drink ready? My chai is waiting!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d sigh and possibly be looking for something stronger than a chai!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that it’s been another week of fun at school. A four day week for the kids meant that we had to squeeze in plenty, to make sure all was covered, and another bout of short staffing meant Wednesday in particular, was rather trying, but, again, we coped, and I am still here!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that Thursday, aka Valentines Day, was memorable for several reasons. I got feedback from my writer friend for my manuscript, and though there was plenty there that I could work with, there were some items that I found a little hard to stomach… But, I got over it! Then I was informed that my Brother in Law feeling great, so he wasn’t able to go to the function we were meant to be attending at the weekend, which in turn impacted upon our plans to go to my parents as a family. Hubby Dearest doesn’t get to go often and I was so happy he was coming with me, as were Pops and Mum, but because of this turn of events, he would now have to drive his parents, meaning they would head back home, leaving me and the kids to go to Birmingham. Simple.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say I lied. Nothing is that simple, is it? On the same Valentines Day, Lil Man came home with a terrible headache and fever. This meant playing nurse to a teen who was even more grumpy than usual, and not agreeable to anything, trying to keep calm about our plans falling to pieces, and cooking a dinner to celebrate what should have been a romantic night… At least I got flowers!
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Valentines Blooms #valentine❤️ #flowers

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  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that Friday was a training day for me with the Brilliant Doctor of Happiness, Andy Cope, and it was another inspirational session (yes, I bought another book…) And there was more computer-based training in the afternoon for all staff, which I had already done, but needed to assist the older members of my team with. Then we were done !
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know that Lil Man was still not well, so he’d been off school that day with his grandparents. I arrived home to find him on the sofa, not having eaten anything major all day, still burning up, and still suffering headaches. I was a little scared. He’d mentioned one of the lads hitting him on the back of the head a couple of days before (bants, they call it – I’m not sure if it was more being picked on…) And with his history of concussion, I was worried. At the course that day, another teacher had been talking about her son’s 14-year-old friend who got hit on the head, then lost the ability to walk for a while… We made the decision, with me getting rather emotional, that we wouldn’t go anywhere on the weekend, and if the headaches lasted until the next day, we would go to the hospital.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d confess I was so upset on Friday night I cried. It really hit me this week, how far I am from my parents, and that they aren’t getting younger. Pops had an investigative procedure on Sunday, and it seems to have been okay, but still, I wanted to see him and had been hoping to, before ill health had struck the household again. As I rang Mum to tell her of the change in plans, she was so calm and kept saying “Don’t worry, God willing, we will see each other soon.” That made me feel even worse… what if God had other plans…? Pops and Mum are also addressing the issue of advancing years by seriously considering downsizing their property, meaning a whole load of #KonMarie type sorting out happening there, and them looking at flats and bungalows…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know I had to see Hubby Dearest off on Saturday morning, then checked up on the patient, whose fever seemed to have subsided, thank goodness. We spent a calm day watching films and when the kids were settled doing their own things, I started in earnest, to go through the wardrobes of the house, and I did really good! 15 bags of clothes cleansed from our cupboards! I spent around 3 hours doing that, and then got read of 14 of them on Sunday morning! There is one bag which was filled with Indian outfits that mum-in-law is taking to India, but the rest… gone! I need to get three large bags out from the attic to sort them out too, then it’ll all be done, clothes wise. There is still so much more to do though!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you we had a chilled out Sunday too. After a leisurely lunch we popped into Bluewater Shopping Centre and had a wander around, picking up bits and pieces for Lil Princess’s birthday that is coming up, and my Father-in-Law’s too.
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d breathe a sigh of relief and say “Thank Goodness it’s Half Term!” A week off. But it’ll still be busy! Today I’ll be carless, as my car goes in for service (hopefully it won’t cost a bomb!) and we have dentist appointments. There will be hair and nail appointments, as well as get-togethers this week, to celebrate when that Lil Princess of mine turns 11 too… I’ll be wrapping presents soon!
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that I am also excited as I have spoiled myself with an All-New Kindle Paperwhite which should arrive later today, and I can start transferring my TBR list onto there, then wiping my old one clean to give to Lil Princess, so she can start her own collection!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d add that I’ll need to be on hand to help the in-laws back as the next time I speak to you over a cuppa, they will have flown to the Motherland for 6 weeks!

Have a wonderful week Peeps! Let me know how your week went!

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