• Observations of the dancing mums!

    The Gloucester Dance festival kicks off this weekend where I will find myself watching lots of pretty girls showcasing their dancing.

    Chloe will be doing two solo dances and and duet. She loves the performance and buzz that she gets from it - yet the results often disappoint her. She loves wearing the costumes, she loves loves loves being on the stage and she actually enjoys watching the older girls who are often such great role models. HOWEVER each time a festival finishes and she isn't placed in the top three she is so dejected and upset. Each time she then states she WILL NEVER do festivals again, that is until the next time.

    Therefore I don't know why we do it - part of me wishes that we weren't involved and she wasn't looking at who is the prettiest, has the nicest hair, the best tutu etc but I also do believe that it teaches her alot about life. She won't always be placed in the top three, she won't always be the best and thats the reality. As a mother its a hard lesson to help their child learn but it is important one.

    I often notice that it is the mothers that are the worse behaved. Ive seen mums cattily commenting on other gils costumes and I've witness the mums who spend ages on the hair and makeup of their girls - the worse are the mums bringing their own CD players and making the girls practise in the corridors before their category.

    So mums I implore you - let it be about the grils - let them enjoy their moment, its only a dancing competition -

    BUT please fingers crossed Chloe gets placed this time - maybe I should bake the judge a cake ;)

  • Back to work dilemma..

    Part time working has always suited our family. As a teacher we enjoy longish holidays as a family anyway. Therefore returning to work didn't faze me too much, however....

    This time when I left I was Head of Dept- a role I love and enjoy. I recieve about £250 extra a month for this responsibility. Now I understand the pro rata of pay I was previously working .8 FTE but in school everyday. Now I'm .6 and working three full days. After my first paycheck I realised I was down - it seems my HOD payment is now being pd pro rata - it never was before. I have already been asked by my Head if i can still do the job and do it well. As I teach sociology and only uppper sch I know I can. The proof is very much there that the exam results plummeted when I was on mat leave. In fact the worse in 9 years.

    Research shows that pt workers work hard on their working days and in fact bosses get great value so why are we still made to feel inferior. I will get those exam marks back up and then I will show that a pt working mum can still make her mark. Maybe I will even be brave and ask for the full time pay responsibility for HOD as I do the whole job not just a bit of it. Nobody else picks it up, I do all the paperwork for the dept.

    Or do I just give myself the easy life and just teach - and give up the responsibility?

  • Are you stricter with your daughter?

    According to Netmums some 90% of mothers re stricter with daughters than sons. This is also offered as a reason why girls do better at school. If we are stricter with girls we expect more from them and consequentally let boys get away with more.

    I am aware of this in the classroom and do my best to make sure I have the ssame expectations - yet I know I fail on this. However should I have different expectations? Is it down to me to recognise that the genderrs are different and as such treat them differently. or should it be a one approach for all.

    Considering this I have been mindful of how I am treating the Chloe and Dylan at home. I definately expect more of Chloe but can't decide if this is based on gender or on age. Afterall Chloe is 4 yrs older - therefore she gets different benefits, mostly money, staying up later, more freedom to go out and play. yet I do expect her to help out at home. Yes she does more than Dylan but is it becuase she is a girl. I'm not sure. I'm going to ponder some more and add to this after serious thought.

    To be continued!

  • Parental choice - yeh whatever.

    Tody is the day I am going to place my bets on the school I want for DD1. So much for parental choice more like what is available.

    Listening to friends over the past few weeks saying which school they are choosing I can already see that some will be disappointed. When will people realise that parental choice is a political tool that doesnt really exist. Afterall our choice is made up of four schools in the local area with a selection test, an excellent comp that is a faith school and takes based on evidence of your faith, then a couple of single sex schools and the school in special measures.

    parental choice - whats that then? Now I might sound bitter and I am. All i want is a decent mixed comp. A truely comprehensive school. Instead we are jumping through hurdles to get the school that we want. I am already expecting to have to go through a lengthy appeals procedure.

    Roll on national allocations day then we can see!

  • The setting up.

    Husband said as he was going out 'leave the buggy till weekend - I won't have time tonight to help if you can't do it' - Well hmmmm is that a challenge. Now I will grudingly admit that I don't normally do assembly becuase - well because I don't. That doesn't mean I can't though!

    Well anyway I was far too imptient. I wanted to use at at first opportunity on Thursday morning on the school run. So bearing my cake knife (well what else can I use it for now I'm doing slimming world!) to open the box.


    Gobsmacked I was. It was teeny weeny and only had a couple of pieces. My biggest challenge was opening the tiny frame - But its hardly difficult with the appropiately names 1,2 and 3 buttons! It was a little stiff obviously as its the first time its been opened and I didnt want to force anything. The wheels quickly snapped on. You hear a click when they are in place.

    The seat unit also just snaps into place. I love that it is forward ro backward facing. It is the biggest advantage for me. As lil lady obv loves looking at mummy. It makes interacting with her so much easier.


    The Xtra also comes complete with a shopping basket that just clicked on - admittedly not the biggest but it can hold the rain cover. Talking of which the raincover looks fine and I guess it will be gtried out sooner rather than later based on todays weather.

    Then ta da it was ready - shame it was 9pm and I couldn't drag lil lady out of slumber to try!! Ah well thats the next installment.....


    Note to myself and hubby - I did it all by myself - but it doesn't mean I always have to ;)!

  • Quinny Zapp Xtra arriving

    The excitment was mounting, I was eagly curtain twitching, I heard that some others had arrived. I opened the laptop to pass a few minutes - when it happened. ARggggghhh my new Quinny Xtra was delayed in transit. I immediately heard wailing - I looked at across at the lil one - but alas, the wailing was coming from me!!

    So it finally arrived on Monday morning - to add to the torture it arrived at 7.30 am just as we were all leaving for work. Therefore I knew it was sitting in my hallway shouting open me open me! I knew that I wouldnt be able to open it until Wed night as I had a pile of marking to do Mon eve and my school opening eve on the Tues. Boo

    Still, at least it was here and all mine - well I guess mine and the lil ones! I had pre requested the black - I'm thinking then I can get a funky blanket / footmuff for when it gets colder.

    I am still so pleased that from the 3000 or so application that I was chosen. I do suffer from pram envy and am now in the competition. Especially as the Quinny Xtra is currently in made for mums hottest buggy's for 2011

    Tomorrows blog will cover the grand opening, putting it together and first impressions.

  • And the snuguns winner is

    The machine picked number 5 and number 6

    Which is Jen and Jenny!

  • Big School woes

    I normally blog about the lil one and being a new mum again. But this time all attention is focussed on my big girl. Y6 is already proving stressful. on the first day back we recieved the letter on secondary schools. Now, both her dad and me are teachers so, pretty clued up about the process but i'm beggining to think its a hindrance rather than a help.

    We have gone around in circles. Big girl will not sit the grammar test she is an incredibly talented dancer and very creative but not an academic. Therefore we are left with the local comps. In Gloucester we still have 4 grammar schools, then another couple of single sex schools, a new academy that is on split sites and a smaterring of other comps.

    I want a mixed school that has a proven track record. Not too big a wishlist. Yet it is.

    This week I have cried with frustration after visiting schools, considered taking her to our schools which are both some 12miles away.

    I have listened to parents claiming that it is there childrens choice so are letting them choose. Well I do know given the choice big girl would choose the local single sex comp as that is where her friends go. Is that a good enough reason? should young children be given such an important decision when they cant see the big picture because of there age?

    Arghh maybe i should do a lucky dip? Any suggestions? Do you think its such a big deal?

  • Autumns here!

    Well summer has passed and I for one am beggining to feel much colder. The wind is picking up. I really like autumn especially going for walks. I am not a fan of winter when its really cold but do like wandering around watching the trees change colour and the leaves fall. I havent succombed to switching on the heating but know it won't be long!

    I love seeing cute little kids wrapped up in their gloves and scarves on enjoying all nature has to give. Therefore when I was offered the chance to road test some new gloves there was no chance of saying no!

    The SNUGUNS arrived really well packaged and come in a wide variety of colours. They look expensive and you can tell staright away that they are high quaility. Well the quality is merino wool which keeps little hands really snug.

    The bit I really like is that they are thumbless which makes it quick and easy to put on wriggly hands, furthermore there is no right way round to put them on!. They also have long arms so that they can go under a coat (and little ones cannot pull them off) or over coat sleeves. Finally they have the little non slip dots to help little ones grip.

    I was really pleased that in practise these gloves were as good as the packaging promised. They stayed on Erin's hands and her hands were really warm.

    They can be bought from for £9.99 a pair. They suit age 1-3, They are fab as a pressie too because of the great packaging.

    Whats more you can get your hands on a pair here from me!! Snuguns have offered two pairs in my competition. All you need to do is tell me which is your favourite season. Make sure that you leave a way of me contacting you, otherwise i can't let you know if you win. You can leave an email, twitter name, facebook name


    Comp closes on Friday 24th at 7.00pm. Will use a random number generator to select winner.

  • My bubble has burst

    My wonderful bubble has burst. As you will have gleened from my writing over the past few months – I have been blessed with the easiest baby ever. I know this because I’ve had two others so I really do understand how easy I have had it with Erin!
    However reality is now kicking in as I walk the tightrope between work and family. I have loved being at home but need to work to pay for the lifestyle I want to give my three fab kids. So now the school holidays are over its time to put into practice the routine we have planned. This morning was the first morning back at school for the older two and my day off with Erin. I had packed up the school bags last night, hung the school uniform on door handles and was ready. Yet at 8am this morning I was still running around like a Blue *rsed fly because I’d lost my keys. All calm goodbyes, photos by the door were forgotten as I tore around looking for said keys with Erin on the floor wailing (think she was a bit confuzzled by the early start and the fact we were dressed before 10am!), Chloe making her own way to school – because she didn’t want to be late and Dylan wanting to watch a bit more TV. Arrghhh
    However we made it. Erin is now back in her cot, giving me time to have coffee and reflect. The summer holidays have been wonderful – ok the long hot summer we were promised never arrived but I love having my children at home. We have been on walks, visited friends we often neglect due to lack of time and just play together. At times we have been housebound as Erin will only sleep in her cot which includes nap times. She has been delighting us all this month with her waving and clapping. Erin still hasn’t taken her first crawl and it does bother me a bit that she won’t take any of her weight on her legs! But I know she will get there. We had the last Fisherprice shoot last week and little Finlay and Logan are so strong on their legs – we wondered if it was due to playing in the jumperoo. Erin hasn’t had one so we are getting one to see if that makes her legs stronger!
    The boys were all so cute at the shoot and it was great to see the babies together. They had all changed so much. Well Aiden wasn’t even hatched at previous shoot!
    Erin is loving her cookie jar this month. She has a fascination with putting things in and out of containers. Although she can’t put the shapes in the correct holes yet it doesn’t stop her enjoyment. I am starting to think about her birthday now which is in November. I was really upset to see it is on a Wednesday which is a work day. Obviously being a teacher I can’t take the day off either.
    Erin is also starting to take a real interest in books – which I love being an English teacher! We are reading the fisher price books to her, she especially the loves the noisy counting book.
    Well hope your little ones are all doing well – and if your heading back to work after maternity remember to put your keys someone safe everynight!!

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