Monday, 30 August 2010

Who would you be?

I love my life, but sometimes I do find myself feeling jealous of various people, I guess it's human nature. Being a Heat magazine addict, I often see celebs asked in interviews "If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?" and if I read this question, I'll often think who I'd like to be. Would it be someone who is rich? Someone stunning? Momentarily perhaps, but when it comes down to reality, all I want to be is happy, which I am. So who would I be?

That's where my 3 year old comes into the equation. She's happy too, which makes me happy, but why is she happy? Well unlike adults, she has no worries. Her favourite people are Fifi and the Flowertots and her biggest concern is where her toy bunny has gone, or whether she can swap her jacket potato for a Malteser, but she knows that she just has to voice her concerns and mummy or daddy, or someone else (she's not picky who!) can sort said issue for her.

I am a real worrier, I worry about everything, and I know that if I didn't I'd worry about why I wasn't! I will never change in that respect, but to have a day where all my worries went away could be very liberating, so I've therefore decided that if I could be anyone else for a day, I'd have to be someone who basically mirrored my own life in terms of happiness, family, etc. but someone who has a tendency to worry less than me, and shares my passion for chocolate cake. I can only think of one person who satisfies all these criteria, so meet my chosen alter ego:
 I look forward to hearing who you'd be!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Results Day!

After a lovely week away in London, it's definitely time to update the blog! This post is dedicated to the hard work of my Year 11 GCSE students, rather than my own children, because they are simply fab. It's a well documented stereotype that teenagers can be a little on the lazy side. Although I haven't got to that stage with my own children yet, I have been teaching them for 10 years (which in itself makes me feel very old)!

When I returned to work after maternity leave, the Year 11 students I taught had had a string of supply teachers. As a teacher, I have always seen it as my responsibility to do the absolute best for the students I teach. This is what I am paid for after all. Don't worry, I also have a normal side and enjoy the holidays very much too!

However, on my return from maternity leave, there were 2 weeks until the national deadline for the coursework. As I teach music, a very practical subject, coursework accounts for 75% of the GCSE, and so getting everything done on time and to the best of the students' abilities seemed like an impossible task. Those two weeks were the hardest two weeks of my professional career, but these students were not to blame, and deserved the opportunity to do the best they can. I was in school from 7:30am until 6pm when I had to leave to collect my children before the nursery shut! I did this every day, including my days off. I had Year 11 students with me this entire time, working hard to get the best they could achieve.

Not once did any of them complain, they simply wanted to do well. I even contacted one student at 10:30pm via msn (they had accidentally sent me an invite, due to emailing me a piece of coursework previously) so they could email me a document, and this was 10 hours before their exam!

According to data, 50% of my group should have been able to achieve C grades or above. I was so delighted when I opened up the envelope and saw 60% C grades and above. Class of 2010, you are a credit to the teenage population - well done!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Blogger's Paradise?

Am I a Mummy Blogger? Well I sometimes blog, and generally my posts revolve around children, although sometimes they are not mine. However I have given birth to 2 children, whose antics often do feature in my posts, so I guess that yes, I'm a Mummy Blogger. I'm pretty new to it though. I don't really have any objectives that I'm aiming to achieve as a result of my blogging, I simply enjoy having a little outlet where I can put my thoughts and opinions down, and have a bit of fun making them look pretty. I went back to my girl guide days the other day when one of my posts got featured on and I got a badge to put on my blog!

For me, social networking is something I enjoy and I'm lucky that I haven't had a bad experience yet, so all this talk of cyberbullying in the Mummy Blogging world just makes me feel really sad. I guess however it's just a fact of life that some people are 'glass half full' and some will always be 'glass half empty.' However, social networking is really just a branch of reality nowadays and no one can deny that unfortunately people react like this in the real world too. It's just a sad fact and here's some examples:

When I first went back to work after maternity leave I had a lot of catch up to do with my students to try and help them get the grades they deserved (fingers crossed for tomorrow!). The vast majority of people I work with were really helpful and supportive, but one colleague had two choices: help and support me in trying to do what was best for everyone concerned, or put me down publicly and deliberately make me feel like poo. When they chose the latter, I felt gutted, really upset, but did that stop me doing 'the right' thing? No, if anything, the support I got from everyone else reassurring me that this person was clearly the one with the problem, made me feel more confident than I did before, and I really hope when the students get their results tomorrow their hard work and my perseverence is rewarded.

My daughter came home from pre school today and told us a boy had taken her beloved 'bunny' from her and told her she couldn't have it back. I asked her how it made her feel and what she did. She said it had made her sad but had told the boy that he could share it with her and he could hold it for 15 seconds. Then she told the teacher who made her give it back. 1-0 to my daughter!

Someone pushed my son over the other day because he rang on the door bell of the play house in the kids area at the gym. My son wasn't impressed, but it didn't stop him ringing the bell again... relentlessly for about 10 minutes!
We're all sensitive people. I think the difference with cyberbullying is that firstly it's there for all to see, a public humiliation of sorts, and secondly, it can be relived. A blazing row is just that. Over in minutes and all you can do is relive it in your head (and if you're anything like me try and work out what would've been a better, wittier retort to make instead of the pathetic one you did!). When it's through the computer though you can read those comments again and again, they don't change, and they probably don't get any easier to read. Those same horrible stabbing pains in your stomach return every time.

No one has the right to make another person feel this way. It's fine to disagree, but please read what you write before you post your comment. You need to explain why you disagree otherwise your thoughts can just be construed as insults and correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure that's not why we're all here!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Happy Birthday!

Today is my husband's birthday. Out of the four of us, his birthday falls latest in the year and we've not had a particularly successful run of birthdays this year. My son had chickenpox on his first birthday back in April, and felt very sorry for himself. I've never seen a case of chicken pox as bad as what he had, and in conjunction with his eczema flaring up from the calamine lotion I'd put on him, he was very miserable indeed.

Just three weeks later, my daughter turned three. The day before I was driving here there and everywhere to sort out her party, and the pink icing for her cake, which was apparently compulsory, and she threw up in the car, which was the start of a horrid (though thankfully very short lived) sickness bug.

Last month saw my birthday loom. I was hoping it would be more successful than my 30th last year when my surprise party had to be cancelled due to a funny rash developing on my daughter on the morning of my birthday. It's strange how as soon as you say 'Evie has a rash...' all manner of excuses came flooding in by text! Turns out it was nothing serious but it was disappointing all the same. So I turn 31 and what do I get? Tonsillitis! I spent the day feeling very sorry for myself waiting for the antibiotics to kick in!

But my husband is celebrating today. The 'glass half empty' part of me was kind of wondering what was going to jinx this birthday, but we woke up this morning, the sun was shining, we had a lovely time opening presents and having a nice family breakfast. The kids have gone to nursery as it's my 1 year old's last day in 'Babies' today before moving up to 'Younger Toddlers' (queue lots of broody feelings from me now 'I don't have a baby anymore' *sob sob*) so he has his leaving party!

The world is our oyster, no one is sick, we both have the day off, we can spend it however we want to. I had visions of a nice lunch, walking along the beach perhaps, but obviously it's my husband's choice. What did he decide to do for his 'ideal birthday?' Well nothing can beat walking down to the local shop to pick up a Ginster's Sausage Roll, then coming back and playing on XBox all day can it?!

Oh well, boys will always be boys I guess, at least we've got this to tuck into later!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Fun in the Sun!

I think I've finally got it! So many of the people I know live for their holidays. I'm not talking about the kind where you don't have to go to work, I'm talking about the ones where you have to pack a suitcase and go away from your house! I've never been one for holidays. Even as a kid, my parents used to have to cut their holidays short because I was (in their words) "a bloody nightmare!" I just didn't understand why people would want to leave their house and their comforts, to spend time somewhere strange with nothing to do that they normally enjoy doing. I had this opinion until this summer. My husband and I got together in 2002. Until this summer we had had one holiday, which was our honeymoon in 2005, which I think we only really went on because you kind of have to! We had lots of weekends away, visits to friends etc. but nothing you would actually term a proper holiday.

Having grown up very untravelled, I never wanted this for my children, so my husband and I decided that from this year we would make sure that we went on holiday somewhere every year. Even booking it this year was only done 3 weeks before we left, because I had so many fears and reservations, but we had to do it for the kids!

However, I feel quite grown up now having been on a proper holiday all by myself! We had 2 short holidays back to back. First of all we went camping for 3 days to Norden Farm near Corfe, very close to where we live, we then went to La Grande Metairie campsite in France for a week. The kids had an amazing time as they got to experience things they've never done before, and with an innocence, enthusiasm and excitement that can never be seen in the mundanity of every day life. So what made it so special for me?

  • Not wearing a watch because it didn't really matter what the time was
  • Not cringing every time the kids got dirty because it'd soon wash off in the pool!
  • Being able to say yes when the kids asked to do something because there was no reason why they couldn't like there is at home
  • Drinking wine in the middle of the day
  • Having no internet or xbox!
Her fave place on holiday (expensive as we have one in our garden)!
Poor Daddy's turn!
I asked my 3 year old what she most enjoyed about holiday too. Here are her answers:
  • Eating chocolate yoghurts and Smarties ice cream
  • Saying Bonjour and Au Revoir
  • Burying Mummy and Daddy in the sand
  • The bouncy castle and swings
  • The mini disco

Here's what she thought her 1 year old brother enjoyed most:
  • Eating chocolate yoghurts
  • Eating Smarties ice cream
  • Burying Mummy and Daddy in the sand
  • Eating sand on the beach
  • Weeing in the shower!

Giving it some at the Mini Disco!

I've definitely learnt to understand why people value their holidays now and we're already looking into next year, although knowing us, we'll be scrabbling around 3 weeks before again, just hope we get as lucky second time!