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Morning outing with neighbours July 27, 2012

Posted by sunflower71 in activities for children, Life with 3 princesses, Summer 2012.
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This morning my neighbour and I took five kids out to The President’s Kitchen Garden in Attard.  It is one of the best places I know where one can entertain the kids for a couple of hours during our hot summers.  Here they are trying to look good in the pictures 🙂

 This place has also some excellent snacks.  After chocolate muffins and ginger breadmen and juices for the kids, and coffees and freshly baked Belgian Chocolate croissants and coffee for the mummies we took this photo.  I admit it was very very tough to get all 5 looking in one direction.

 

Finally all hot but happy we found our way back to the cars through San Anton Gardens.  At the clock we stopped to watch the giant minute hand moving while counting it’s 60 seconds to the next one.

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Summer 2012 July 26, 2012

Posted by sunflower71 in activities for children, Holidays, Summer 2012, Uncategorized.
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It came upon us before I could notice. The scholastic year 11/12 had been even more hectic and demanding on me more than I had imagined. The lack of blogging shows just how many free minutes I found to update this space and keep a record of our comings and goings for the girls to read one day.

June was characterised by heat. So the benefit of half days for the girls and myself (one of the major benefits of working as a teacher is that my ‘formal’ working day ends at noon as the girls’ school comes to an end) we spent quite a few afternoons at the beach with other teacher colleagues. Thanks to them I found the courage to take 3 little girls to the beach without my man. Catherine is a still learning how to swim. Maria is nearly there but needs constant watch and Francesca still has no clue how to keep afloat without support.

Here they are ‘dressed up’ as mermaids with decorated tails courtesy of a dear friend and colleague who helped me mind the girls at the beach and who the girls have come to love dearly.

Mermaid Francesca, Mermaid Maria, Mermaid Catherine

Parent/School Relationship February 23, 2012

Posted by sunflower71 in my opinions, Uncategorized.
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A few years ago, in my pre-children time, I would have thought this to be a simple and straightforward matter.

Fast forward to the present and I can confirm that this relationship is as straightforward as causes and solutions for global warmth!

Now, it’s not like because I have 3 children matters are made simpler.  They aren’t. They are just more complicated.

Here goes the background before I start with my list of reasons.  Catherine and Maria attend the local primary school.  Francesca, the youngest has started attending another school that happens to be closer to where I am working right now.  Being that during the day, I am the one who is called upon every time something or other happens, I chose for Francesca, who will probably be involved in more ‘mishaps’  to be closer by.  Another reason is that we have a 30 minute unaccounted for time every morning where both my man and I are already gone to work but school hasn’t yet started.  We have our blessed home helper who takes care of Catherine and Maria….but I couldn’t ask her to mind also Francesca, who even alone is a real handful.  So for Francesca we chose this other school that while closer to my place of work has also added services such as child minding before hours.  (Yes carton jigsaw puzzles have been fashioned on the juggling families do to balance work and family life!)

Back to today’s topic:

I deal with one school in respect to two of the girls  and with another one for the third.

1.  The School’s Administration think that all mothers can come for meetings, talks, and social gatherings every few days.

2.  The School’s Administration writes notes to us about said meetings, talks and social gatherings in tones reminiscent of the good old days when women were asked to leave their job when they got married.

3.  Every few days the girls bring home notes asking for money for outings, publications and other assorted activities.  Please note that even the two girls attending the same school do not have the same requests for us.

4.  Number 3 happens so often that I think next year I’m going to suggest they ask us for €100 at the beginning of the year and take from time amount until it finishes.

5.  We are asked for parental consent (one of the parents) for every little thing that is happening to our children outside the class room.

6.  Francesca’s school takes number 5 one step further and asks for the parental consent of both parents.

7.  The fact that two local schools have different policies (number 5 and 6) makes me wonder how much in reality this procedure is needed.

8.  Whenever I have the need to call the school things are explained to me in tones that remind me of when I was my self in primary school and the head of school told me for something or other.

9. The single most infuriating thing must be the us-them attitude.  When I’m called in to pick up one of girls because she’s unwell, I’m made to feel like some irresponsible parent who sent her daughter to school when she was sick instead of keeping her at home.  When we’re called in for class visits, teacher-parent conferences, general info meetings, whatever visit in reality, I can help but feel under scrutiny and about to be told off for a wrong step.

Now this might seem like I’m someone with a few childhood unresolved issues.  Please belive me.  I am not.  I have very happy memories of my childhood school days.  I am generally very positively disposed towards schools.  I choose teaching as my profession that I went back too and am enjoying after dabbling in a couple of other jobs.

The only thing I hope and wish for is that whoever is administering schools takes into consideration that in most families there is more than one child and that parents struggle to keep down jobs.  I think that with these two basics in mind, parent/school relationships could be made far smoother and friendlier.

Running January 20, 2012

Posted by sunflower71 in running.
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Last May I started, for the first time in my life, to have a real hobby.  I’m sure many of you are familiar with that funny feeling of having to fill in a form, or a cv, and needing to say what hobbies we have, and we write ‘reading’ or ‘travelling’ or something equally vague.  We’ll I’ve done this all my life.  But won’t be doing it any more.  I now have a hobby I’ve come to love and to whom, with Stephen’s support I’m able to dedicate about 3 to 4 hours every week.  I’m doing a mixture of boxercise and running.  I’m a late convert to exercise as those of you who know me are very well aware.  I’m also very and constantly surprised at how ‘fast’ my body adjusted to this new routine.  I still do sometimes nearly hear my muscles and tendons discussing together what’s gotten into me recently, that I make them do things they had never done before! 

My progress has been constant and in August I asked the fitness trainer at the gym I attend whether I could run the half marathon next February.  He suggested that I should go for the walkathon and maybe jog parts of it. In October, together with a few other people, the gym offered us a different option – that of starting a running club.  Every Monday we started going for a 45 minute jog, that has seen us improving until in December my running partner and I completed a 17.4 km race in 1 hour 47 minutes!

That’s the medal and here my partner and I a few seconds after we crossed the finish line, still incredulous of our feat!

 

 

We’re still all of us alive…. January 20, 2012

Posted by sunflower71 in Life with 3 princesses, Uncategorized.
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Hello again from me here at life with 3 Princesses!  We are still all of us alive, healthy and growing.  I haven’t given this space the attention it deserves.  After all, those elusive few minutes remained elusive.  Today is no different.

As I write Francesca is next to me watching Baby TV. Catherine is on the other side attempting to read what I’m writing. Maria is in the next room busily dreaming.  Right now my wish is that she sleeps through the night.  It is the same wish I have every night.  She is a very light sleeper and every night without fail she comes along to our room with a number of requests ranging from being cold, being hot, needing a drink, needing the bathroom, bad dreams, and her latest excuse, “I came to be daddy’s hot water bottle”!

As you can see from the little ticker tapes on the left of the screen, Francesca is now 3.  In a few days she will start going to the big school as she likes to call the Kindergarten she will be attending every day.  She is very looking forward to wearing her new uniform to be just like Maria! She craves to be older and be doing older things.  Today the squabble with Maria was on who has most homework for the weekend!  To me it sounded a  bit too nerdish….but funny too! Oh, how I will enjoy reminding them about these little quarrels when they are older and probably, like all teenagers , reluctant to complete all the homework!

In the mean time Stephen and I seek to keep them healthy and happy.  Here we are a couple of months ago at a friend….in a rare picture where all 3 Princesses not only looking at the camera but all of us are actually enjoying being photographed!  Thanks Becky for this!  It’s one our best photos all together.

in need of a good dusting September 8, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in Uncategorized.
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This blog has been lying mostly dormat these last few months.  This mummy has been very busy doing what mummies usually do and a few other things on the side that hardly any time was left for blogging… Well, my intention is to revive this space and let you, my dear loyal, follower or two, into our family’s advetures again.  See you soon.

7 years on June 6, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in about me.
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7 years ago……

How time flies!

But in reality why am I wondering where all these days went…. we’ve had the 3 princesses in the mean time… that is where these 2555 days went….

It has been a fairly rough ride but when all is said and done very manageable thanks to my man.  He is the one who kept us going.  He is our rock. My rock. So thank you, dear, for having chosen me to share your life with.

Maria: creature of habits May 31, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in Life with 3 princesses.
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Our Maria is really and truly a princess who likes routine….

One fetish of hers is to watch movies over and over and over again.  I know that most children her age are like that but I also think that she is a little bit more stuck to something once she likes it.  She is just over 4 years old but she has already been through her Annie phase, The Sleeping Beauty phase, The Sound of Music phase and now we are currently in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers phase.  Every free moment she has, she wants to watch the same movie.  The running commentry she makes up while watching them is also unchanged.  What is funnier though is her sisters’ s reaction to her suggestion to watch her current favourite….they are already resigned to her constancy, and they are just, simply, patient with their sister.  The dynamics between the three girls is amazing.  At their young age, it is impressive to see how they are coping with each other’s character traits. This is one of the moments that gives me most pleasure – seeing my princesses building bridges towards each other and learning how to live peacefully together.

 

is it time to let go of the nick names? May 31, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in Life with 3 princesses.
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Originally, when I started this blog, I was very reluctant to upload pictures of my children and even to call them by their name when I write about them.  Now I don’t know if maybe I’m getting a false sense of security, but I somehow let go of this fear and eventually started up loading pictures of them.  I feel that I’m now at another point in the security issue.  I think it’s high time I got rid of the nick names and to make my life and my readers life easier, I am going to start calling them by their names….. So dear readers, may I introduce you to Catherine, my eldest, Maria my second daughter and Francesca the youngest princess.

What I’m thankful for May 26, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in about me, Life with 3 princesses, Uncategorized.
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Busy mummies are not only that.  Obviously.  We are also women, wives, colleagues, sisters, daughters, friends, etc.  And being human (I hate being apologetic here, but somehow when one becomes a mother, other roles tend to become secondary) we also get our full share of different emotions.  Among which that pesky feeling of being ‘down’.  Now when does a working mother of 3 little girls have time to feel down?  But you know, sometimes it happens.  The reasons could be various.  For me usually it happens when I make comparisons.  I know they are odious but I guess they are also part of human nature. This time the comparison was with my single younger colleagues.  And I got a general feeling that I was born too early.  I started missing the freedom to do as one pleases on the spur of the moment. 

And then a friend notices my ‘face’ looks different and after a few days of seeing this ‘face’ asks me “do you have something missing in your life? Why are you sad?”

The question shocked me.  I wasn’t expecting it and anyway it took me some time to give myself an answer.

In reality what is missing in my life?

The things I listed are not worth mentioning here. 

My friend then surprises further me by sending me this poem:

Die slowly by Pablo Neruda

He who becomes the slave of habit,

who follows the same routes every day,

who never change space,

who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,

who does not speak and does not experience,

dies slowly.

He or she who shuns passion,

who prefers black on white,

dotting ones “i’s” rather than  a of emotions,

the kind that make your eyes glimmer,

that turn a yawn into a smile,

that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,

dies slowly.

He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,

who is unhappy at work,

who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,

to thus follow a dream,

those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,

die slowly.

 He who does not travel,

who does not read,

who does not listen to music,

who does not find grace in himself,

she who does not find grace in herself,

dies slowly.

He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,

who does not allow himself to be helped,

who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck,

about the rain that never stops,

dies slowly.

He or she who abandon a project before starting it,

who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know,

he or she who don’t reply when they are asked something they do know,

die slowly.

Let’s try and avoid death in small doses,

reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.

Only a burning patience will lead to the attainment of a splendid happiness.

Then reality hits in and I realize I have nothing missing.  Instead I have a lot to be very thankful for.

And this list is definately worth listing here.  The order is not in order of importance.  It would be too difficult to put an order….

I am healthy.

I have 3 beautiful, healthy girls.

I have a husband who loves me and is fully dedicated to our family.

We have two jobs, a house and food on the table.

 …

 

It’s not a long list but it is a lot to be thankful for and enough to blow away any ‘down’ feelings.

Thank you for reading.