Chai & A Chat #7 #ChaiAndAChat

Okay, this week, I am being brave and attempting to try the new Guttenberg editor… Bear with me! 

Right, so the image got there okay!

Now for the news!

  • If we were sipping a chai together I’d sink back into the comfy armchair I managed to bag, and say PHEW! I lasted the week!
  • If we were sipping a chai together I’d tell you school days, especially at the beginning of the week, were kinda manic as we had loads of staff in and out, from sickness, to courses, to ‘moving days’… yes a lot of juggling bodies around to make sure no class was short-staffed!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that Wednesday was particularly crazy, as Lil Princess was suffering from a headache, but wanted to go in. Nearing lunchtime, her class teacher found me and told me she was really not well, so I had to get her things together at lunch, grab my phone which I had forgotten at home, drop her to my in-laws, and get back to set up for the afternoon, oh and eat too, all on 45 minutes… that was fun! Don’t worry, I did eat in the end – food and I can’t be apart for long!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that I had accident #4098 – yes, you know me, totally accident-prone! I managed to step incorrectly on a front doorstep first thing in the morning. my foot went under me, the wrong way, and I totally twisted it, pulling some ligaments… that day I spent in class, on my throne, with an ice pack tucked into my sock, slowly beckoning my minions pupils to me to do the work I required of them. Bless them though, they were all so concerned!
  • If we were sipping a chai together I’d tell you that the Children in Need fundraising day went really well and we raised nearly £350! And here is my dressing up effort, as promised, last week! 
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d remind you that Lil Man was getting his braces fit too this week. The day before the appointment, I got a call from the orthodontists to tell me the appointment I had been given should not have been booked in on that date as the consultant required was not working, and could I get in on the day before at 12 midday? Er, no! I had to explain, again, that as I am a teacher, it is very hard for me to get out of school, as I have classes to teach… so they reluctantly agreed to allow the original appointment to be had, with the warning that if anything didn’t fit, they would have to reschedule, and they couldn’t guarantee a time that would suit me… Grrr! Nevertheless, we got in, and it all fit perfectly. But there was definitely discomfort and pain, and at one point he even squared up to me when the pain got so bad and I was trying to help him… eeek! 
  • If we were sipping chai together  I’d tell you that the rest of Saturday was meant to be devoted to us as a couple and family, as Sunday was our Anniversary… but in the end, I spent most of it with pukey child, as Lil Princess managed to catch some sort of vomiting bug, which, thankfully only lasted 24 hours! It was not a fun day!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that as midnight struck, we romantically exchanged cards, as I had said no presents this time… there was no need to spend silly money on gifts just for the sake of it – a lovely dinner would be more appreciated… this was what I received as my ‘card’…
  • If we were sipping chai together, I’d say that the morning brought more surprises in the form of a well daughter, a son with a sore, but a coping mouth and me being sick! Great start to the anniversary! So, there was no going out, just lots of sofa surfing, with films and books all day, and dry toast! The evening arrived and I was better, but drained… takeaway for the rest of the family! We’ll try to celebrate next week, eh! In the meantime, here’s us on our wedding day ❤

And what of the next week?

  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that I shall be experiencing my first taste of moderating… this is when schools get together to compare how we grade our children, to make sure we are all singing from the same hymn sheet. A bit nervewracking, but bring it on!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you the District cricket trials for Lil Man are officially this Friday! Eeeek!!!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d say that I hope we get our anniversary dinner next weekend!! 

So, what’s your week been like, and what are you looking forward to?

If you want, drop a line in the comments, or even link back to this with a Chai and a Chat post of your own!

Wow! I survived Guttenberg! (It’s not as straightforward as the old, I have to say, I loved the copy old post function for my recurring challenge posts, so, unless it’s hiding somewhere, that will be time-consuming!) I shall reserve judgement yet…

#SoCS October 13/18 – Precious

Linda’s prompt for SoCS this week…

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “precious.” Use it any way you like. Enjoy!

So sorry for the late response (well, for me anyway!).

It was a busy evening last night, where I usually type up my SoCS piece ready to publish the next day, so I had precious little time to actually write!

But for good reason.

It’s really important to have that quality time with family, both your immediate, and your extended ones.

Last night, I rushed back after work with Lil Princess, and we cleaned the house from top to bottom (that’s my usual Friday routine, so the rest of the weekend is free!). Lil Man went to meet his mates for an hour.

We finished up and went to my in-laws to chill out with them, as though I see them every day after school, it’s usually a rushed pick up of the kids and a quick hello.

We chatted, then my Hubby Dearest, brother-in-law and his wife got back from work too. After a quick chat with them, we decided to get back to ours as the kids needed to eat and go bed.

It ended up being an evening of laughter, a time where more precious memories were made. My brother-in-law is so funny, I was laughing hysterically. I haven’t laughed like that in a ling time, you know, the whole-tears-streaming-down-your-face laughter.

And we decided to have a family day today, just the four of us, not the usual weekend of being sat at home, but getting out and actually doing something together.

The kids are getting older, it won’t be long before they are making their own plans with friends, and us parents are just a liability (for a while at least – I know you regain that respect and understanding of the importance of mum and dad when you get older, but as teens and tweens – we are just the ones that seem to say no a lot, and give out money when needed – personal cash points!) so it’s great to actually do things together.

Precious times.

Catch ya later Peeps! Happy Saturday!

https://lindaghill.com/2018/10/12/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-13-18/

Phew Phriday! A Little Update

The weekend is upon us, and it’s been a whirlwind of a month to be honest!

What with the start of the month being back to school time, for me, and my children, to my birthday, the welcoming and settling in of my new nursery and reception class, family functions, initiating my school councillors, getting a nothing response for my manuscript, walking a half marathon and raising over £2500 with my Tootie Frootie group, having teen/tween crisis, then ending with a host of open days as my littlest baby will be stepping into Secondary education next year, it’s been quite a hectic one!

But I can honestly say I haven’t spent it looking at each week as a step closer to half term.

Usually, by this time of term, I am on a countdown. This year, however, I was pleasantly surprised when someone mentioned three weeks to go until the October half term!

Let’s break it down a little… School first.

Yes, I am split again this year, teaching 2 days in reception and three days in nursery, which is a tough task. But as I experienced it already last year, I am more prepared. This time last year, I was honestly contemplating giving up teaching as I was so stressed.

The children are settling in beautifully, with a mixture of abilities, as is always the case, and a rainbow of languages too. But, aside from the little pickles that are inevitable, things are pretty good.

I stepped down from governorship as we moved to an academy and there was only space for two, rather than three staff governors. That has lessened my stress levels too!

And I am still heading the School Council, where I have already made a couple of minor changes, so hopefully it will work much better over the year, bringing the desired impact for the pupils in the school.

Honestly, I do think that Art Of Brilliance workshop put me in the best frame of mind for the start of the school year, and that Pants-tastic board I created? It’s filling up with praise-filled undies!

There will always be little moments of stress, and a few teething problems, but I do feel I am handling them much better!

That Manuscript…

Some of you may remember that I submitted my age-old WIP in for a competition, the Daily Mail and Penguin Random House First Novel Competition. Well, I had to wait until the 21st September to see whether I heard anything from them… and it came and went, with no response.

I know.

First submission and all that, but I was really down for a few days, It helped to get messages from those who were with me on the journey.

“Hey, come on lovely. It’s a great story and you are a fabulous writer. Send it to agents!”

And

“I just know that you are going to be a huge success though, your blog alone will give you a massive outlet for it and your personality shines through and new readers will love that.”

Then

“I have faith in your writing, too, Ritu! Believe in your book and keep pushing your writing. Magic will happen! ✨✨✨

I feel better now, and maybe in the holidays I’ll reread and edit in earnest before submitting to some agents!
That Half Marathon…
Yup, after not really training, as such, my Tootie Frootie group trudged through the rain-soaked streets of London, raising lots of money for Cancer Research!
So proud of my girls!
Of Teens and Tweens
I haven’t really written much about this the last month, as I am trying to stay positive, but having a ten-going on 16 year old daughter, and a newly teenaged son has been a battle in itself! God, they would try the patience of a saint, honestly!
There have been arguments, and laughter, tantrums and hugs.. oh my!
But with a combination of compromise and reward charts, and pocket money initiatives, (not bribery, no!) I think we may be getting somewhere!
Secondary School
What with Lil Princess being in the last year of primary school, we are fast approaching the time where we need to apply for her secondary school, and I’ll need to give up the overprotective teacher/parent hat, as I become simply a teacher at my school, and a parent at another!
We have been to our first open evening, have another open day tomorrow and another couple next week…
Really?
Is she ready to go to secondary? Actually, I think I should rephrase that… am I ready for her to grow up?
It’s inevitable, I know, but I still can’t quite comprehend that this time next year both my children will be in secondary school! EEK!
So, there you have it… my busy September!
I’ll be sure to enjoy this last weekend, then on we go to an October packed with more fun and games!

 

Of Brothers and Sisters #RakshaBandhan #HappyRahkri #SundayBlogShare

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Today is a pretty special day for us Indian sisters, blessed with brothers, and vice versa.
Today is a day brothers and sisters celebrate their special bond.
Initially, a Hindu festival called Raksha Bandhan, it then became more widely celebrated around India, and in the North, the Punjab, where my family hail from, it’s known as Rakhri or Rakhriya.

Rakhri is a word which means to look after, and on this day, sisters tie a special thread on their brother’s wrist, and brothers pledge to always be there and look after their sisters. Something sweet is then the exchanged, and usually, the brother gives his sister a small token to show his love.

Way back when, before all this women’s lib and equal rights, it was a woman’s job to be at home, and basically all her life was dependant on the males, be it her father, or husband, and she didn’t have many rights, so it stood to reason, that she needed someone, her brother, to be there for her, through thick and thin.

Nowadays there are all sorts of different enjoyments, and jokes attached. You see, it’s not only your brother that you tie one on, but your cousin brothers too. And male friends who you consider to be like brothers. So, if you don’t want a certain guy to bother you, then you tie a Rakhi on him and declare him your brother! Also, the brothers of today get bankrupt! Gifts are elaborate, for the real sisters, and add on all those cousins, handing out £10 notes (or more sometimes!), a brothers pocket is soon empty! Kerching!!! For the sisters anyway!
The threads themselves can range from small, plain, tasteful, to great big tinselled lovelies!

I spent a couple of hours last week writing letters to my brother and cousins, and for my Lil Princess, to her cousins, sending rakhis (tasteful ones, obviously!) to the four corners of the world, and for some special people who I consider brother like, there will be messages sent tomorrow. It’s not about the gifts or money for me. It’s keeping the connection alive. Like those who say days like Valentine’s Day are contrived, and that you should love your partner every day, I guess this could be the sibling equivalent. But for me, it’s just a special day to make it known again, that I love my brother, and cousins, and as much as I love and appreciate their protection, I have their backs too, I will be there for them, come rain or shine.
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This year, we may not be together, but our connection is just as strong. I know he will wear his rakhi with pride, and I also know that he is there for me always… Love you, my dear, dear brother!
And Lil Princess is so excited as her Rakhi has already winged its way over to her  Finjabi cousin brothers, one who is celebrating his first rakhi too!

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I will be tying a Rakhi on my brother-in-law, and Lil Princess will be able to enact the whole ceremony properly with Lil Man. Love days like today, they have to be nice to each other !!!! I know it’s only a few more years then they will really appreciate the sibling bond, but until then, one day of peace will be lovely!!!!!

So, to all those who celebrate, Happy Rakhri! Happy Raksha Bandhan!

And especially to my brother, my cousin brothers, and my special brotherly friends!!!

Have a wonderful day!!!

But I Smile Anyway...

The One Where Doogie Howzer (Indian Edition) Almost Delivered My Baby! #BirthStories

Recently, I have read a few really lovely birth stories on various blogs, and it prompted me to reminisce on my blog about my own!

Some of you may know, and the newer followers may not, but my pregnancies didn’t come easy.

After a year of unsuccessful trying, I was diagnosed with PCOS, and it took another year, give or take, to fall pregnant finally,

You can read about it here, in my post When Will Someone Call Me Mummy?

After the struggle to get there, my first pregnancy was absolutely perfect. No morning sickness, no real tiredness, just a healthy bump that grew strong.

I was one week away from my maternity leave. The plan was that I would leave two weeks prior to my due date so I could relax, and well, you know, first babies never came on time, so I would probably get longer to enjoy the sleep-filled nights before baby came along.

How wrong was I?

I remember sitting at my desk the Monday before I was to finish work. Going about my business, as you do, when I felt a slight wetness. I waddled to the loo.

Strange, I didn’t remember sneezing, but then it was summer, and hayfever was around, so maybe…

The day passed with no further incident and I came home.

I hauled my bump upstairs to put my bags away and then went to the loo where I discovered more fluid.

Now I knew I hadn’t sneezed! Hubby had just gone to the gym too.

My phone beeped with a text from my friend: Hey! How you doing? I had a dream you had your baby and it was a boy!

I messaged her back: You might be psychic. I think my waters broke!

She called straight back: “Oh My God! What are you doing? Have you left for the hospital?”

I reassured her that I was fine (this baby wasn’t coming for at least three weeks, remember!) and that I would call the relevant people and rang off.

Then I wondered what to do. I called my mum.

Me: Mum, what happened when your waters broke?

Mum: I don’t know, you were a caesarean birth and they broke mine with your brother…

Me: Oh, you’re no good!

Mum: Why?

Me: Because I think mine might just have!

Mum: Oh my! What are you doing? Does Hubby know? Have you told your mother in law?

Er… nope.

Another call finished and I rang Hubby Dearest’s phone where it went to answerphone: Er, hi babe, don’t worry, but I think my waters just broke. Don’t hurry back, it’s okay, but we may need to visit a hospital sooner or later…

Then I waddled downstairs to my mum in law and got her all in a fluster too!

It was just me that seemed calm. After all, there were no pains and just a little fluid.

I did call the hospital though, to get advice, and was told that if, by 2pm the following day (that would be 24 hours after the first feeling of wetness) nothing had happened, or pains hadn’t started, to come in.

Then I called my manager. He was sat at an event.

Me: Hi, I’m so sorry, but I don’t think I can come in tomorrow…

Manager: Oh no! Are you okay?

Me: [nonchalantly] Oh yeah, I’m fine, I just might be about to have the baby…

Manager: [shouting to the others around the table he was sat at] Ritu’s baby is coming! [Bacl to me] Don’t you worry about a thing! Go, have that baby and we’ll see you soon for a cuddle!

Hubby Dearest arrived back in a panic from the gym, and I needed to calm him down, explaining that the baby was en route, but not due to arrive imminently, so he needed to chillax! (Along with everyone else in the family who was now calling constantly, even though we hadn’t even gone to the hospital yet!)

By bedtime, there was still nothing. I slept, rather like the Princess and the Pea, but on top of around fifteen towels, in case there were any more leakages!

And 6.30am came. Hubby Dearest’s alarm went off.

HD: So, nothing?

Me: Nope.

HD: So… maybe I’d be okay to pop into work for a little bit? We don’t need to be at the hospital until 2pm you said…

Me: Yeah, that’s if something doesn’t happen sooner!

HD: But, I could go to this meeting and be back by 11…

Me: I don’t think so!

HD: Why?

Me: [lifts duvet to reveal a tiny swimming pool that had just appeared] I think things are about to happen!

It was rather comical, the scene that followed. Me, with towels draped around me, dripping, and between my legs, trying to crab walk with some dignity, and my bump, to the bathroom. (Remember, we still lived with my in-laws at this stage) Stepping into the bath, I’d rinse myself, only for the baby to move, releasing more fluid. I gave up and just stood there laughing, like a mad woman.

But still, no pains.

It ended up that we went in at 2pm, as requested, and after all the main checks, I was laid down, so the doctor could come and check me. (Here’s where Doogie Howser comes in!)

The doctor arrived and he was a short, young Indian guy. And when I say young, I mean his baby face was totally reminiscent of the original boy doctor, Doogie Howser!

Image result for doogie howser

I only just found out he was Neil Patrick Harris lol!

Seriously.

The guy also seemed to have a bit of a complex with treating Indian women. Maybe he was used to all female mothers-to-be who were brown-skinned to be fresh off the boat, from India, unable to speaka da lingo? (There are a lot of guys here who marry girls from back home) They were too shy to speak to other males and would wait for their other halves to communicate with the Doctor -Saab. But no, I was born and bred here, I knew how to speak to him, yet he insisted on telling Hubby Dearest everything, rather than looking at me, and reassuring me.

Apparently, the fluid was out, but contractions hadn’t started naturally, so they would need to induce me if a sweep didn’t kickstart anything.

Then the midwife arrived to insert a cannula into the back of my hand, ready for the various drips they would need to induce me if the sweep didn’t work. She tried several times, but couldn’t get the needle into my vein, missing but allowing spurts of my blood to shoot across the labour room… It hurt!

AND (yes, capitals, because the doctor was annoying me already, the midwife had drained half of my blood, inadvertently, and this just took the biscuit) Wimbledon was on.

I had been admitted into my own room, and it was rather cosy, with an armchair for him, a room with a view, and a TV.

So, whilst Doogiejit Howser-ji was fiddling about with my nether regions, checking everything, he was also having a great tennis-inspired chat with Hubby Dearest!

All the while, I’m laying there prone, unable to move because I was attached to foetal heartbeat monitors, wanting the doctor to speak to ME!

Time moved slowly, as did my dilation. This baby was quite comfortable, fluid or not.

Then as the sweep hadn’t worked I was given the seratonin drip to start the contractions.

No one told me that contractions that come as a result of drugs really HURT! Even more severe than your natural ones (I know, I’ve experienced both!) It’s all because you are forcing your body to do something it thinks it’s not ready to do.

But I was hoping to go au naturel… no drugs who am I kidding? Gas and Air, Pethadene? Anything!

The gas was fantastic. It left me all giggly and nearly killed the pain. I remember it being evening, around 8pm and Eastenders had been on. I’d giggled through the episode, sucking away at the gas, only to make myself feel nauseous!

The midwife came in to check on me. She advised me to leave the gas for a while, and she called the anaesthetist.

I was writhing in pain every time a contraction rode over me, but as I was so tense with the pain, I wasn’t dilating quickly either. I needed something STRONG!

A lovely Indian lady anaesthetist arrived (not Doogie Howser-like at all! Thankfully, at 7pm the shifts changed and another doctor was now on duty as well as this woman) and she came over to me, stroking my brow, like a mother. “There, there now Rati”, (she gave me her own little nickname) She crooned in Hindi. ” They don’t want me to give you anything because there are not enough midwives, but I can see you are in a lot of pain. If you want, I can arrange it.” (It pays to speaka da lingo sometimes!)

And before you knew it, all the paperwork had been signed, and I was sat up having this HUGE needle inserted in my spinal cord!

And the relief I felt!

Oh, it rushed over me like a wave. My legs, up in stirrups as another doctor came to give me the once-over, felt like two legs of ham that I was poking, because I couldn’t feel a thing. It was bliss!

I soon fell asleep, exhausted from all the lying around, the pain, the headache that the gas had given me… surrounded by Hubby Dearest, a great midwife, who had to stay with me as I had had the epidural, and a student midwife, just to make up the numbers. Oh, and the doctor who periodically popped in. Quite a party!

When I woke I was nearly ready. It was past 2am now.

The epidural had helped to relax me enough to allow nature to finally take its course. Only, baby’s heartbeat kept disappearing.

The doctor (he was a lovely doctor, he spoke to me, to my face, not the TV screen, or to Hubby Dearest) wanted permission to go in and use a needle to extract fluid from the baby’s head. He was worried baby was in distress.

Of course, we agreed to whatever they felt was the safest.

He disappeared to scrub up and I braced myself for the possibility of a caesarean.

As the doctor arrived and went in for the sample, he stopped.

Doctor: “No. No time. This baby is coming NOW!”

Obviously, I couldn’t feel a thing, but the contractions had been coming hard and fast and baby was crowning.  They need to get him out fast.

Doctor: [watching the foetal monitor] Okay, when I say go, push, as hard as you can! Right… GO! I said push!

Me: I am pushing!

Doctor: No you’re not!

Me: I’m sorry, I can’t feel a thing!

He got over the ‘can’t feel it’ thing with the use of a venteuse. But the suction cap kept slipping. This baby had so much hair they couldn’t get the plunger-like contraption to stick to his head!

Then the forceps came out. I am so glad I couldn’t see any of this.

Moments later, the doctor held the baby up.

Doctor: Congratulations! Baby is okay, the cord was around the neck but we just slipped it over the head.

He passed baby to the midwife who brought our little bundle to us, and wrapped the baby gently.

Hubby Dearest and I just sat there staring at this little being, totally unaware of what was happening the other end [clean up and stitches] mesmerised by the little fingers, the ton of hair…

Midwife: So, don’t you want to know what you’ve had?

Hubby Dearest and I looked at each other. Our dream of having our very own baby had come true, we’d totally forgotten to ask whether it was a son or a daughter. Just a baby was enough for us!

She lifted the wrap and the leg gently.

Midwife: It’s a boy.

There were tears, there was laughter, then there was toast and tea. I was ravenous!

Hubby Dearest went out to call the family and let them know that the new addition had arrived finally then came back to cradle his firstborn.

I lay there, not sore yet [that epidural was great!] but exhausted, watching him sitting, keeping watch over our little miracle, as I drifted off to sleep…

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Presenting Lil Man!

And there you have it, my fun birth experience!

Don’t worry, the second one had it’s fair share of silly moments too! Maybe I’ll treat you to that one soon… it’ll be entitled The One Where Madonna Advised Me About My Labour. (Yes, really!)

 

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