Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A Supply Teacher's September

New year
New beginnings
Apart from I can't start yet
Other than swimming, Little Owl doesn't have a weekly group that she goes to.

I'd like to change that
Maybe a gym class or ballet? Something active
I'm also thinking she is getting more and more ready to go to a play group.
She is toilet trained and quite articulate enough to make herself understood.
She craves attention and something to occupy her.
Papa Owl and I went to look at a couple of places in July but haven't settled on anywhere yet.  
Its a big decision.

But as much as I want to get on with planning, I cant.
I don't have a job.
I'm not worried about it, the phone has started to ring.  I actually have an interview tomorrow. Possibly for 3 days a week!
But right now I don't know which days I will be working, or how many.  

A play group would help my parents out with childcare but I can't arrange anything until I have a job.
I can't sign Little Owl up to any new groups until I know which days I will be working.
I am in limbo.
I know from last year it can all happen incredibly fast. I could be starting work on Monday.
Or I may not.

This job is going to involve a lot of effort on my part. 
Teaching A Level for the first time.  
It either means evenings spent working or weekends,  or Little Owl going to playgroup on one of the days I don't work.

And where to send her? 
Somewhere I can take her to myself before I start work? 
Somewhere I can walk to? 
That sounds ideal but limiting. 
Or somewhere that is easy to drive to?

So many questions. 

So many what ifs.  

Time will tell but one thing I'm sure of is that this is going to be one hell of a week!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Cross Monday Week 28

At last!  I have finished the second section!  I feels good and as I start on the top section it also feels like the empty space is reducing and its feeling less daunting.  Its not plane sailing though.  The original pattern had some writing at the top which I'm not including so everything is shifted up a bit.  Which means I am having to work from the top down, rather than the bottom of the section and filling up.   But it does feel good!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Owlfit of the Week

Autumn is creeping in - Little Owl has shoes on!  And what pretty shoes they are but I shall get to them in a minute.  The dress comes from Westside, an Indian department store.  I love the colour and pattern and it hangs beautifully.  I'm not sure if it is going to work with tights but its great during this transitional period.  The only thing I'm not so keen on with the dress is how low the neck scoops at the front which is why I like to team it with a cardigan.  

The mustard cardigan is from M&S, its amazingly soft and lovely.   I was keeping an eye out for them going into the sale as I thought I might buy it in bigger sizes but it never happened - Marks have kept it in this seasons stock too!

So now its time for the shoes!

Aren't they just lovely?!!!  They are Mustard Ruche from Livie & Luca and I love them! I have a bit of a confession... Little Owl had some of these earlier in the summer but they didn't get worn much due to the lovely warm weather, I went to put them back on her as the weather cooled and she had grown - 2 sizes!  I was gutted as I really felt we hadn't got to wear them much - so I bought a second pair in the right size!

The soles are squidgy soft which is something I love about Livie & Luca shoes, and the velcro strap makes them easy to get on and off and also slightly adjustable on the width.  The socks are from M&S and come in a pack of 3 (the others are red and mustard!). 

So here we are - the start of autumn!  I've got my eye on lots of new clothes for Little Owl - if you want to see what I'm looking at, check out my pinterest board. 

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Leather Anniversary

Three years ago, Papa Owl and I married, it was a wonderful wonderful day spent with our friends and family.  We had a church wedding followed by a reception in the grounds of Bodiam Castle.  Each year we try to go back to Bodiam on our anniversary and this time we took the train!
The Kent & East Sussex Railway runs from the Kent village of Tenterden all the way to Bodiam in East Sussex.  We decided to join the train in Northiam as we would have to drive past it to reach Tenterden and we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time at the castle.  It also saved us a bit of money!  Little Owl was very excited to see the train but wasn't so keen on the noise!
A short walk from Bodiam Station is Bodiam Castle, a National Trust property, is every thing you would want from a castle!  It has a moat, bridge, towers, crenelations and even goldfish!  There's ample parking if you don't have time to catch the train, and plenty of space to have a picnic. We treated ourselves to lunch at their cafe before heading up to the castle for our annual photo!

Before we knew it, it was time for the train home, getting one last glimpse of the castle before Little Owl couldn't keep her eyes open any longer and fell fast asleep!

Happy 3rd (leather) anniversary Papa Owl!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Cross Monday Week 27

Is this the vine that will never end?!!! If you look very carefully... you might just see that the flowers on the left hand side of the vine are a bit more, well, just a bit more.  So there's 6 more flowers to do, 6 stitches on each flower, I should have finished last night really but bed was calling.  That really should be done by next week, and then the red chain that is going up both sides inside the outer vine needs to be completed, or at least join up.  Then comes the challenge of starting the next section, from the top down!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Hastings Pier

I've been out most evenings this week on my new bike and there's always something to see on the seafront but I struck gold on Thursday when I saw the arrival of the jack-up-bridge at Hastings Pier.  It's here to take away the mangaled remains of the Old Ballroom which once hosted famous acts such as The Who, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones and many many more.  In my youth, the ballroom was the venue for an under 16s disco, a laser quest and a night club for the many foreign students who visit the town each summer to learn english.  It really has been remarkable how the town has come together to raise funds for the rebuilt. 

The photos aren't great as I only had my phone on me, which was the same on the morning I discovered the pier was on fire.  On that occasion I ran down to the seafront before work, trying to assess just how bad things were.  They were bad, and the whole town sat in a fog of smoke that day.  Today though, the sun is shining and the pier is standing firm.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Owlfit of the Week

You might recognise these shorts from an Owlfit a few months ago.  I bought them in TK Max and Little Owl wore them loads last autumn before growing out of them.  When I shared a photo of her wearing them for an owlfit, I wondered if she could fit in them now she is out of nappies - well as you can see she can!  They aren't going to fit for much longer but I'm so pleased that I squeezed a bit more wear out of them!

The green smock was from a set of four from Marks & Spencers which have been worn and worn and worn this summer - definitely a good purchase!  The jacket is a hand-me-down from H&M, and of course, the shoes are from Livie and Luca.
Little Owl wearing the shorts last year

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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

When your child is THAT child

Little Owl was a very easy baby.  She didn't mind where I took her or when, she didn't mind crowds and fireworks, and equally would sit quietly during a church service.  I could walk out of the room at a playgroup and she wouldn't mind, I could take her for lunch and she would sit there for hours.  Hell, I even flew to India with her on my own!

But Little Owl isn't a baby any more.  Little Owl is a two year old.  At first that was fine, but something happened when she turned two-and-a-quarter. It was almost a Kevin the teenager moment, her going to bed one night all sweetness and light, waking up the next morning this fireball of energy!

Little Owl favourite thing to do now is to play with her friends.  The trouble is, they aren't always so excited.  They don't always want kisses, or hugs.  Little Owl doesn't understand this and a hug with a toddler who is trying to get away can result in them both wrestling on the floor.  A subtle turning of the head to avoid a kiss is no challenge for Little Owl who merely grabs the child by both ears enforcing a head turn until the kiss is achieved.  Little Owl's attempt to get a child to play with her on the swings could look to an outsider (or the other child's parent) that she just pushed them over.

Is my child now that child?  Is my child the one that other children don't want to play with?  Is my child the child that other parents don't want near their children?  Am I about to discover that my new found mummy friends, aren't going to stick about?  Am I going to miss out on seeing them because of they don't want my child there?

I'm usually a quite confident person, but Little Owl's behaviour is making me feel very vulnerable.  If I feel like this, then how do less confident mums feel?  Those who's children are perhaps deliberately hurting other children?

I have tried telling Little Owl off.  It doesn't really work.  She doesn't understand.  She is just having fun.  Sometimes I wonder if I am just saying the words to appease the other parent.  The parent of the toddler who is now crying... And suddenly I'm all insecure again.  What if my friends don't approve of how I am parenting Little Owl?  What if on their secret meet ups they all sit round discussing how terrible Little Owl is and how its all my fault for being a bad parent?

I know some people might read this and say "well they can't really be your friend if they treat you like that" but would you really choose to hang around with someone if you knew their kid was going to make your child cry?

My cheeky monkey!
And how can I stop Little Owl's behaviour?  Helicopter parenting has never been my style, but maybe I should start to prevent others kids getting hurt until Little Owl is past this phase?  I think mixing with bigger kids might help, but apart from sending her to nursery or playgroup, I'm not really sure where to find bigger kids!  And while nursery and/or playgroup are on the cards, I almost feel like this needs sorting first.  She is my child.  Her behaviour is my responsibility.  I can't pass that on to someone else.  I know many do.  I teach their children when they get to secondary school and its hard.  

So while I try to cling on to my friends, old and new, and try to prevent Little Owl from hurting anyone too bad, I have come up with a simple rule that Little Owl does understand: "no touching"

Now someone get me a gin and tonic and make it a large one!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

New Bike

I have a new bike and I love her!

Isn't she a beaut? She needs a name.

I haven't owned my own bike since I was a kid.  I learnt to ride on my brothers bike and around the age 7 or 8 I got my own bike, it was red.  But I didn't go on it often, I had no one really to ride with and no where really to cycle - I remember getting told off for cycling on the prom which is funny really as now there is a white line down the middle of the same prom and its called a cycle path!

Anyway, that was the last time I owned a bike until now!  We're lucky enough to live near the seafront where there is a cycle path.  Papa Owl has been taking Little Owl for rides all summer and I have been feeling a bit left out, so a few weeks ago I hired a bike from Bells Bicycles in Hastings Old Town and we cycled all the way to Bexhill.  I love the bike I hired, I'm not a very confident cyclist so I found the sit-up-and-beg position was great for me. 

Often, we only want to go out for an hour or so on the bike, or to cycle to my parents house, hiring a bike is a bit over the top for such short trips so this weekend I took the plunge and bought my very own bike!  The lovely lady at Bells was very helpful, letting me try out all of the bikes, carefully explaining everything to me whilst holding her own with Papa Owl's complicated questions (he has his mountain bike leader qualification amongst other outdoor things).  After an hour and a half I walked out with this beauty!

I took it out first thing this morning and it was wonderful cycling by the sea, saying good morning to the other cyclists, most of the ignored me but hey ho!  My target it to ride this enough times to make the price per ride less than the cost of hire so look out for more photos of my adventures!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Cross Monday Week 26

Week 26. Gulp.  That's half a year!  I had really hoped to have finished this second section by now, it would have kept me on track for finishing in a years time, but I haven't so the deadline has slipped.  I'm secretly thinking it might be more realistic to aim for December 2015!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Owlfit of the Week

As the summer is fading away, you'll start to see more cardigans and jackets appearing over Little Owl's summer outfits until I finally give in and accept that summer has gone.  This weeks Owlfit is another funky design from Me&i.  The dress is actually a tunic but I deliberately ordered it in a size too big so that Little Owl could get maximum wear out of it.  

One of her previous tunics started out as a dress with tights under, we then progressed to leggings when it was getting too short and I suspect it will be out again this winter with jeans.  The shape of the shoulders and neck have been designed to grow with the child so its not obvious that its too big at the moment.  It doesn't hang quite as nicely as the actual dresses from Me&i which I think are stunning, but with the addition of the denim jacket I think this looks great.  

I wish I had managed to get a picture of Little Owl with her sunnies and straw hat too as she looked like a proper little rock chick!  The jacket is a hand-me-down from H&M and the shoes are from Livie & Luca.

Badge for TTT, Badge

Monday, 8 September 2014

Cross Monday Week 25

Here it is - a nearly finished second section!  All that is left to do is to complete the vine going across the top.  I say all... but it is going to be tricky as the pattern for this second goes across 4 sheets of paper!  This is a brilliant kit but my only criticism of it is that there is no overlap at the edges of the paper, so wish me luck for the coming week!


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