34 and Counting…

No it’s not how old I am, I’m not quite there yet! It is in fact how many more get ups until the Christmas holidays! I thought once I’d given up teaching, the school holidays would be less of an excitement to me, but having just experienced my first school holiday as a non teacher, I’ve suddenly realised that those holidays aren’t put there for the teachers!

School holidays will always be a special time in our little family, because it’s a time when we are all together. We’re very lucky in that respect, as my husband will always be off work when the children are off school. It was so much fun to be able to do things together, sometimes planned, sometimes completely spontaneously, and after seven weeks at school for the first time, it was lovely for our daughter to finally be able to catch up on the sleep she was so desperately in need of. We had a full of week of no meltdowns over the smallest things!

In fact, even though I barely left the house the whole time due to the fact I was potty training our two year old, I still feel like I had a rest!

So now, as the husband and daughter go back to school for what used to be my favourite part of the school year, in the run up to Christmas, I’m already counting down the days until the lie ins and family time can recommence!

On the downside, that 1 1/4 mile, uphill walk to school this morning was an absolute killer, the lack of my 5 mile daily walk and overindulgence of yummy ‘we’re on holiday’ treats, have not done Project Doing up my Jeans any favours, so I’ve dug out my Slimming World manuals and today begins Project Lose a Stone before Christmas – unless there happen to be any Trick or Treat goodies left over of course… 😉

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Meme: Music as Therapy

When I was at school, I had a part time job in a very posh, 5 star hotel. At one point, the food and restaurant were rated in the top 10 in the world (I was a chambermaid so I’m not claiming to have helped it achieve this in any way!). However, to celebrate, the staff were treated to an all expenses paid party, at which, the Head Chef did a speech. He said he was often asked what his favourite food was, and whether he cooked up his award winning cuisine for his wife and children. People were very amused when he said that the ultimate treat for him was if McDonald’s was still open on his way home, as he had never been able to resist a Big Mac and a chocolate milkshake.

So when the lovely Caroline at Five Kids and Counting tagged me in the Music as Therapy meme started by MammyWoo (whose blog I’ve subscribed to for ages), and I got all excited, I thought it also best to explain before you read any further, that I love music. I love it so much that I have a degree in it. I am also qualified to teach it, not to little children, but to big ones too. I have taught A level and worked as Head of Music in a secondary school for 10 years. However, and very disappointingly especially for my husband who has a real passion for serious music, I am the musical equivalent of that Head Chef. My taste in music is appalling. S Club 7 and JLS excite me. Even One Direction make me happy! I try I really do to be all sophisticated, and I am very open minded with a pretty versatile taste, but don’t go expecting too much here, and please don’t judge me!

So, the rules of the meme:

3 beautiful songs

3 different bands

3 sets of lyrics that touch you in any way you want to show.

1. As my husband and I have different tastes in music, the moment we both heard this song for the first time, and were both excited by this ‘new’ band, was a great one. We saw them together a good few times in small venues before they hit the big time!

Keane: Somewhere Only We Know

I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river and it made me complete

Oh simple thing where have you gone
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I’ve been dreaming of?

Oh simple thing where have you gone
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

And if you have a minute why don’t we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don’t we go
Somewhere only we know?

Oh simple thing where have you gone
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

So if you have a minute why don’t we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don’t we go
So why don’t we go

This could be the end of everything
So why don’t we go
Somewhere only we know?

 

2. I’m sure that first dance at your wedding song is going to be a special song to a lot of people, and I’m no different. We’ve never been one of those soppy couples though, so this song was absolutely perfect for us. The first time I heard it, we weren’t even engaged, but I remember telling my then boyfriend, that if we got married (I may have said ‘when’ actually!) it had to be the first dance at our wedding!

Divine Comedy: Perfect Lovesong

Give me your love
And I’ll give you the perfect lovesong
With a divine Beatles bassline
And a big old Beach Boys sound
I’ll match you pound for pound
Like heavy-weights in the final round
We’ll hold on to each other
So we don’t fall down

Give me a wink
And I’ll give you what I think you’re after
With just one kiss I will whisk you away
To where angels often tread
We’ll paint this planet red
We’ll stumble back to our hotel bed
And make love to each other
‘Til we’re half dead

Maybe now you can see
Just what you mean to me

Give me your love
And I’ll give you the perfect lovesong
Give me your word
That you’ll be true to me always come what may
Forever and a day
No matter what other people may say
We’ll hold on to each other
‘Til we’re old and grey

3. Very few songs have actually reduced me to tears because of the words, but my final choice did from the very first time I heard it. My daughter was hours old. We came home from hospital, then the next day the midwife came round to do the routine visit, and she wasn’t happy with her hearbeat, so we had to go back to hospital again so she could be monitored. It was fine, and turned out to be a heart murmur that had corrected itself before her 12 week consultation, but for a first time mum of a 2 day old baby with a poorly heart, too many people telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing, and no sleep for the longest time ever, I was feeling very emotional and out of my depth. Then I heard this song, and whenever I hear it now I just have to pick up my daughter and give her the hugest squishiest cuddle. It’s our special song and always will be:

Melanie C: The Moment You Believe

Time to face what you are hiding from
Don’t have to do this on your own
Together we are strong
We don’t need anyone
No matter what they say the time has come

I’m ready now to start a new beginning
With all our hopes and all our dreams
And I know the stars will shine for you and for me
From the moment you believe

I know they think that I’m no good for you
But we both know that they’re wrong
Together we can fight
Show everyone we’re right
I don’t care what they say our time has come

I’m ready now to start a new beginning
With all our hopes and all our dreams
And I know the stars will shine for you and for me
From the moment you believe

When you believe there’s nothing you can’t overcome
When you believe the earth is brighter than the sun
I believe

I’m ready now to start a new beginning
With all our hopes and all our dreams
And I know the stars will shine for you and for me
From the moment you believe

It’s amazing, even writing this, the tears have started appearing in my eyes, thank you MammyWoo for starting this, it makes a welcome change from singing along to Team Umizoomi!

I’m going to tag a few of my new Twitter buddies, sorry if you’ve been tagged already…

@SuddenlyMum http://suddenlymum.com/

@apartyofseven http://www.familyjamesfive.typepad.com/

@Milla64 http://milla-countrylite.blogspot.com/

@JenniferJain http://jenniferslittleworld.blogspot.com/

@danielleGparker http://www.blogbybaby.com/

 

 

 

Small Criminal…

I’ve always liked to think of myself as being a relatively generous and honest person, so when I found myself last week, being detained in Boots on suspicion of credit card fraud (ok it wasn’t quite as sinister as that sounds, but until it was resolved, neither my credit card or I were allowed to go anywhere!) I was slightly uneasy about the whole thing! Luckily I was found to be perfectly innocent, and in retrospect, I have to hand it to MBNA because they were very quick on the uptake and had I been unlucky enough to have been a victim, they would have put a stop to it straight away.

It turns out though, that I’m clearly not as charitable as I thought I was, because it was a donation to Cancer Research UK through Harry Moseley’s (a hugely brave boy who tragically lost his fight against brain cancer aged 11) website that put the fraud people onto me. Apparently this donation was hugely ‘uncharacteristic’ of me, which doesn’t make me proud.

Despite this, you may have realised if you’ve read my blog before, and the title of this post, that I haven’t got to the point yet. The fact was, I wasn’t in Boots alone, I also had my daughter with me. Never deliberate over which anti wrinkle cream to purchase with a four year old in tow, unless you’re prepared for comments such as:

“But Mummy, the wrinkles on your face aren’t as bad as the wrinkles on your tummy.” or

“Mummy, that lady over there needs some as well!” at a volume slightly too loud for comfort!

By the time the credit card saga had been sorted, we’d been in the shop for well over an hour, and this is where I get to the point! As far as I was concerned, given the circumstances, she’d been fantastically behaved, so I bent down and told her so, and mentioned that I thought perhaps she deserved a little treat for her efforts. I wasn’t expecting cries of delight or grateful embraces, not even a cuddle, kiss or thank you. However I also wasn’t expecting the response I got…

“Mummy, I was thinking I’d been good too, and I thought you might say I should have a treat too – so I had a Kinder Egg!”

Cue an incredibly chocolatey hand emerging from her pocket! My little pickle had helped herself to a reward in advance while I was on the phone! So now, not only was I emerging as an uncharitable fraudster, I also had a shoplifting daughter. A far cry from the professional secondary school teacher that I was only 8 weeks ago!

I was caught totally off guard and didn’t know how to deal with it at all. Obviously I had to pay for it because it was working its way through her digestive system by the time I realised, but it was how to speak to her and what to say.

I remember as a child, helping myself to a few of the penny sweets that were on the counter, and my Mum dragging me back into the shop to return them and apologise to the lady, but I was older, probably twice my daughter’s age, and she wasn’t consciously deciding to shoplift, aged 4. In the end she said sorry to the lady for not asking if she could take it, and when we got outside the shop, we had a conversation about how she would feel if somebody took something of her’s without asking. She then asked me if a policeman was going to come and tell her off too! I think she learnt her lesson and understood how wrong she was, but what do you do in that situation? Is there a ‘right’ way to deal with it, or is it just another one of those learning curves for parent and child?! I just hope this isn’t a skill she tries to pass on to her brother, because given his current eating habits, I’m not convinced he’ll be able to deny it quite so effectively: