Friday, 30 November 2012

Brain ache

This is Dexter, waiting for his Friday croissant in Costa.
We were bolstered by coffee and bacon sandwiches for a staff training day. It was brilliant. A whole day of input from a leading world-wide expert in education. I loved it, but by the time I collected the boy, my brain physically ached.
How fortuitous that we have a three day weekend...

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Dream Freeze

Another Extended Learning Day; another year group 'inventing' gadgets and presenting them 'Dragons' Den' styl-ee.
My group won a prize. They invented the 'Dream Freeze' bed - a bed that goes cold when your alarm goes off to make you get up.
After a full-on day with one year group and leading a training session for two hours after school, I would gladly have crawled into said bed, regardless of the temperature.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A creative Wednesday

My biggest work achievement of the day was clearing my emails. I get twitchy if I have more than ten in my inbox at any one time. I had way more than ten - a sign I'm spiralling out of control...not that I'm prone to exaggeration.
The boy and I got home relatively early. Hand over to Daddy was swift. The lift-share ladies and I went to a wreath-making class. It was great fun and such a lovely mid-week, relaxing thing to do. It's amazing what you can do with a bit of spruce and some dried orange slices.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Ear, ear...

Had to leave school pronto today. The boy had a doctor's appointment. We ran down to the surgery. Unfortunately, due to a weeing incident, lack of spare clothes in his box (slack mummy), and some borrowed nursery trousers, the run down the hill was halted three times due to the boy's strides falling to his ankles.
When we finally got inside the surgery (fully clothed), our wonderful GP said he was happy to refer Dexter for a hearing test to see if that is affecting his (lack of) language acquisition. He did take a quick look in the boy's ears. It was like taking him to the hairdresser, only worse.
God knows what he'll be like at the test itself...

Monday, 26 November 2012

Wearily, wearily

Since sharing this blog with them, two of my students have started blogging. This pleases me.
Feeling like a ball in a particularly frenetic pinball machine does not please me.
Neither does the constant darkness.
By the time we get home, I just want to climb the stairs and go to bed.
Am counting the years until retirement...

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Wash-day blues


Today has been a bit of a washout - as demonstrated visually by today's #366 picture! There have been some moments of winter sunshine, but mainly, the rain continues to fall. I am writing this at approaching four o'clock, and it's really getting dark out there.

There was a plan for today: riding lesson for Mummy; play, lunch and nap for Dexter, followed by a family trip to the park.

The boy is currently still snoozing. There is no point in waking him up yet as the park plan has been abandoned. Rain has stopped play.

I have used nap time very efficiently. I've made the world's biggest vegetable lasagne (official), Dexter has clean and dry bedding and towels, and the cat has a clean toilet. You'd never think I had a pile of exercise books waiting to be marked...

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Having a splashing time


The weather dictated events today. The husband and I are both totally shattered, and the constant rain has made a visit to the park a little unfeasible. Dexter still got a spot of fresh air though, albeit splashing in puddles to and from the car for a visit to Waitrose.

It's been a slow, toasty, yawny, choresy sort of day.

The boy was allowed to stay up 'late' to watch Strictly. The husband and I had dinner in a box and watched telly.

I've caught up on three weeks of the blog. I'm over it now, hence the bland and brief nature of my latest posts. I'm determined to finish a picture and post for every day this year, and then I'll think about a new direction. Lazy days like today are not the most inspiring.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Shiny happy people


I enjoyed work today. In reality, I think I often do, but I don't have the time to reflect and appreciate that fact. I do sometimes feel like the only mummy who works full-time, even though I know this is ridiculous and untrue. 

The boy has been really good again today. Maybe last week was just an off week - a glitch - or perhaps he picks up on my stresses.

I like smiley, easy Dexter.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Nordic values


I led the sixth form assembly today. I shared with them my obsession with all things Nordic. They possibly thought I was a little bonkers, as I wittered on about interiors, maternity rights and forest schools. I just think there should be some  Skandi common sense in this country.

Today's #366 picture captures Dexter engaging in his latest obsession: getting into our bed. He finds it hilarious.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012



After the excitement of last night, combined with a quarter past one in the morning bedtime and a full day at work, this is how I am feeling.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Hero worship


I collected the boy earlier than usual today and handed him straight over to Daddy (who had been working from home). Dexter has been good today; he feels a lot more calm.

I headed to London, to Shoreditch House, with a dear old friend who is much better connected than I can ever dream of being. We attended Sarah Brown's charity (Piggybank Kids) tenth anniversary celebration.

It was very exciting: I overdosed on canapés and celebrities. Not content with Bill Nighy, Gordon Brown, Stephen Mangan and Kathy Lette in the same room (at very close proximity), I met my absolute idol: Caitlin Moran. 

Apparently, you should never meet your heroes. Cat-Mo was the exception. We managed a couple of chats, a photo, a hug and a kiss and she told me I was wonderful. I love her. I fully intend to make a teenage Dexter read her stuff, and I fully intend to bore him with this story for many years to come - and wheel out embarrassing photos of him in the bath.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Sharing the blog love


Back on it today: what glorious weekend?

The boy has been a little tricky.

I shared my blog with my Year 11 class as an example of 'opinion writing' as they may be required to write their opinion on something in their GCSE exam.

They said I'd probably 'scrape a C'.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Achy, breaky heart


The most memorable weekend I've had for a while finished with a huge breakfast, a walk on the beautiful Winchelsea beach in glorious winter sunshine, and a spot of seal watching.

I have had the best time - the weekend has been such a tonic after this week, but my heart actually started to hurt today from being away from my boys.

It was great to get home. I've missed this face!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Weekend treats


What a glorious day! Pancakes and croissants for breakfast; a potter round nearby Rye; chips and shandies sitting outside the pub; a whole afternoon of pampering; Strictly at Wembley; delicious roast lamb dinner; cocktails and champagne; disco dancing until the small hours.

I think my boys have been to the garden centre.

I miss them, but I'm having a lot of fun!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Ladies' weekend


Aaah, I have no real recollections of what Friday was like at school. I'm part-way through a truly epic catch-up with the blog - hence the shorter and totally uninspiring posts. 

However, Friday afternoon marked the start of a weekend adventure: ten lovely ladies, one amazing house in Winchelsea, loads of wine and sparkle, and a shed-load of fabulous food and cleaning products - for we are civilised ladies, after all.

Daddy did nursery pick-up, and the above was my goodnight.

I am sleeping in a bunk bed and going Instagram-crazy over the lush interiors.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Dark days


Today's low was an incident that involved me cutting the fleshy part of the palm of my hand quite badly with 'safety' scissors during a lesson. It bled so much I had to go and get it dealt with at 'Welfare'.

The days and constant lessons are blurring into one. I had yet another meeting after work. The boy has not eaten his tea at nursery all week. He was borderline hysterical again and seems to have developed a fear of the dark. Today's #366 picture only captures a smile because Dexter LOVES lights - a camera flash being a particular favourite.

There's a long winter ahead of us, baby.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012



After the worries and high emotions of the last few days, the boy has been much calmer today and consequently much easier to handle.

With hindsight, it was still perhaps an error to watch the Children in Need special episode of 'DIY SOS', as they were re-building an amazing centre for children with various learning and behavioural difficulties and their parents.

Cue sobbing on the sofa. Poor timing, Mrs W. Why do you do this to yourself?

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Cause for concern


I am at risk of boring myself by continuing to reflect on how crazy work is. My timetable at the start of the week is truly epic.

No tears from the boy at nursery pick-up today; it was my turn instead. The nursery owner is concerned about some of the behaviours the boy is displaying and wants to get some outside agencies involved.

This parenting malarkey is not an easy ride. I am still unclear as to how much of what Dexter is and does is 'normal' toddler stuff and how much is cause for concern. Guess we can just investigate all avenues and hope it all sorts itself out eventually.

Meanwhile, Mummy is running on empty.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Tell me why, I don't like Mondays...


This is the boy refusing to come into the house this evening. This was after he refused to leave nursery with me this afternoon. This followed on from a truly bonkers day at school. This was always going to be the Monday I would inevitably have after a trying weekend.

Keeping calm; carrying on.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Getting into a scrape


Today's highlight was not a wedding, but a really exhilarating, challenging and fun riding lesson. Dexter got to go with Daddy to the park.

The lowlights? My riding hat has disappeared, vanished, gone - completely inexplicably. It got even worse after riding. I had to negotiate a very packed Waitrose car park. Upon taking the parking attendant's advice to stick 'as close to the wall as possible', I have completely scratched and dented the passenger door. Grrr. This weekend has been one of those that makes me ready for a new week to begin.

Come on Monday, bring it on...

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Saturday sulks


Today was not the usual Saturday family loveliness it should have been. Dexter was up at six thirty this morning (yuk!), and spent the day being over-tired and having tantrums.

We ventured into town; it was hideous. Really hideous. We did manage to get the boy a new pair of shoes though. His feet seem to be growing at an alarming rate.

I went to a lovely colleague's wedding party in the evening. It proved to be easily the most enjoyable part of my day.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Book worm


This afternoon, I had a really interesting coaching session with a girl in my tutor group. She is astonishingly bright. She was telling me how she has been a voracious reader from a very very early age, having taught herself to read! I did ask her if she was in fact Matilda, but apparently not.

Despite the fact that today's #366 picture shows the boy in front of the box, prior to this, I had read the same 'Meg and Mog' book to Dexter approximately fifteen times. And for once, I didn't mind one bit.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Upside down, boy you turn me...


Although today marked a return to the usual routine, I felt all over the place. It was a struggle getting the boy and me up at six. He had a meltdown at returning to nursery. School just felt a bit odd and it was a horribly long and traffic-filled journey home.

Dexter seemed to share my 'out-of sorts' status: look at that grumpy face at bath time. He also took an uncharacteristically long time to settle to sleep.

Us Waynes are creatures of habit. Hopefully, we'll be back in the swing of things soon.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

No pants required


Travelled home after a jam-packed day. I am craving normality. True to my Taurean star sign, I am a creature of habit and routine.

Dexter and Daddy had embraced the banal today with a trip to Halfords and Waitrose. They seem to be 'boys behaving badly', as today's #366 picture of a TV dinner demonstrates.

Dexter is so in touch with his inner 'laddishness' in the absence of his Mummy, that he greeted my return completely in the buff!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Skype, Skype baby!


Today was a totally full-on day of assessment at the National College. I was involved in a full range of activities, from planning training programmes and facilitating, to building spaghetti bridges...

Dexter and his Daddy returned home today. We Skyped. The boy seemed somewhat bemused by the whole thing.

I miss them.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Puddle Zoo


I was really reluctant to return to work today. As clichéd as it sounds, it's like we've never been away. It felt a bit strange, setting two days of cover work and heading up to Nottingham this evening.

Dexter spent the afternoon at the zoo. He ignored all of the animals and spent the whole time splashing in puddles.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Making the most of the quiet


I was (unsurprisingly), a wee bit fuzzy this morning. My riding lesson sorted me out.

I spent the afternoon making the most of having the house to myself, by working. Whilst this wasn't particularly fun, I got loads done, guilt-free. It reminded me a little of what life was like pre-husband and definitely pre-child: I was married to my job. I'm glad to have a new family now!

The boy spent his time at Nana and Grandad's splashing in puddles. I can guarantee he will not have noticed my absence.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Home alone


This morning, I packed a bag for the boy as he is going to be spending a few days with his Daddy and grandparents in Kent. I am returning to Nottingham to be assessed on the training I did a few months ago.

It was sad saying goodbye to them. I consoled myself with a haircut, a facial, solo shopping, cocktails, dancing and chips with a dear friend, and a three o'clock in the morning bedtime, with the blissful promise of a guaranteed lie-in.

I coped.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Country Living

Today is my final official day of freedom; I never count weekends as part of school holidays as they are work-free as a matter of course. The boy and I whizzed round to a lovely mummy friend's place. Dexter and her daughter watched CBeebies and generally felt sorry for themselves as they are both under the weather. Dear friend and I drank delicious coffee and chatted interiors, Christmas and whose homes we most envy on Instagram!
My lunchtime plan was a drive out to the country - in fact, to the village which is my number one choice for if we ever do manage to leave Brighton (watch this space Spring 2013). We were visiting another lovely friend - one I haven't seen for far too long. I taught her twin daughters (now in their twenties), and used to loan a horse from her, hence I spent a lot of time at her house. She and her husband were guests at our wedding. Since having Dexter, I've only been up there a couple of times, so a catch-up was long overdue.
Her house is amazing, but the welcome so warm and unpretentious. The boy and I arrived; it took a while to actually get him in the house as the driveway is filled with gravel...
We bowled into the huge, beautiful and toasty Aga-warm kitchen, the kettle went on, I threw Dexter's lunch into the microwave, and a catch-up began in earnest. There was time for some homemade lemon drizzle cake (Dexter ate half of mine), a toxic nappy (the boy's tummy is not right), and a catch up with the ponies. Dexter enjoyed pushing some toy trucks off a step in a compulsive and repetitive manner; he found it hilarious.
Yet again, I was reminded of the privilege of having such dear and lovely people in my life and of the fabulous female role models I have to aspire to.
It was a lovely way to round off a lovely week. I truly feel like I've had a break from the rat race and it will be okay to return to it on Monday... 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Ups and the Downs

I decided that yesterday's intention of a walk on the Sussex Downs should be put into action this morning.
It was grey, freezing and desolate up there. Dexter kept falling in cow pats, trying to kneel in puddles and was generally grumpy and needy. It is thanks to the magic of Instagram (see yesterday's post for more Instagram love) that I managed to capture what has to be my favourite #366 photo so far. I know he's my boy, and therefore I'm horribly biased, but my heart actually hurts when I look at it.
Don't be deceived completely by the Instagram magic; we spent approximately fifteen minutes on our 'bracing walk'. It was enough fresh air though to ensure a post-lunch two and a half hour nap. I joined the boy in Snoozeville for an hour - the first time I've napped this week, and boy it felt good.
Lovely Super Saz (again, see a previous post from the summer), called round in the afternoon. It's always great to catch up with such a good friend, and the boy was beautifully behaved and helpfully self-sufficient, aside from an alarming nappy (which poor Sazzle had to witness), indicative of teething/a rotten cold/tummy upset/all three. I'm glad he's having a week of R&R as it will be all too soon that he's back in his somewhat gruelling daily routine.