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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.

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

Posted by sunflower71 in Life with 3 princesses, Uncategorized.

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.

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.

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.


Something new May 6, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in about me, Uncategorized.
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This mummy is going bonkers.

This mummy has gone bonkers.

This mummy has managed to carve out some time for herself to do something that she has been longing for, for a very long time.   And to be perfectly honest I don’t really care is any body starts to think any of the two statements above about me.

Ever since those crazy days of this and this post….I have been longing for some form of exercise to release the tension that I was feeling building up in me.  To me it was clear that I needed a vent.  But it was not to be back then.

Until one fine day, I’m casually chatting to another mother of 3 kids, while our children are at the swimming pool about what kinds of things we’d like to get involved in if we had the time.  I mentioned kick boxing.  (You see, she is not Maltese so with her I feel a tad more comfortable to say something like this.  Every one else I know except my ‘crazy’ sister looked at me incredulously when I mentioned this.) ‘But you should go then.  We have it in Mosta (where we both live). My sister-in-law and her husband go there!  There are lessons every day, you know!’  I remember feeling very but very excited about this.  Suddenly, this ‘secret’ wish that I had started looking possible.  But somehow I never managed to get the telephone contact of this organisation.  She just told me the whereabout of the location.  I scouted around the area a bit but I missed somhow missed them.

Then, just to prove that this was somehow meant to be, I recently befriended someone who lives in the area of this, until now for me, ghost organisation.  She was, like every one else, very surprised to hear that I was interested in this, but managed to get me their number.  I immediately made contact but due to the Easter holidays and my man’s work schedule, I postponed the appointment a number of times.  Until finally I decided that I had postponed this thing enough and got an appointment and finally kept it.

So two days ago, my sister and I (I had to have her with me at least the first time), went along.

Neither of us knew what to expect.  The people we saw coming out of the gym looked very decent to us.  (We, both of us, can be real snobs if we choose to be.)  Even the ladies, we said…..’hm, ok, it seems ok from the looks of them’.  On entering, that is, we make and entrance  because the lesson had already started, the instructor greeted us very warmly.  ‘Very nice’, I immediately though of him.  ‘I already like it!’.  They are doing some stretching and general exercises to begin.  As we settle in to the routine, we start spotting people we know.  Actually between me and my sister we knew half the class!  Half way through, we were told to work with a female instructor.  She is ‘cute’.  definitely not some one I would have associated with this sport at all.  Not in a million years. 

So we work with her on the moves….or better how to hit, how to hold your legs, how to move…. and we do a few repeats, and learn or rather try to get familiar with some terminology and some hand movements.  By now, I know I’m not in a kick boxing class, but ‘only’ a boxing one.  From what I had seen till now, to me it sounded enough for what I had had in mind.

Later we join again the rest of the class for some final stretching.

And finally the ‘very nice’ instructor starts explaining to us what we could expect of this kind of class.  Now it seems crazy to me that we didn’t have this chat before we even started but anyway, better late than never.  We filled in some forms and decided to subscribe to a 10 session programme.  And, moreover, my sister and I are now the proud owners of a pair of boxing gloves, bandages and a skipping rope!

Now last night I went for the second session.  And now the real work started.  The instructor is some one else.  Not as ‘nice’ but equally professional.  I can sense I’m being pushed to my limits.  What feels good is that, he sees my limits and stops pushing me.  I like this and feel confident I can come back here for more.

Before I close off, one thing to put straight is that what I am doing is not going to make me a boxer.  I wouldn’t want that one single bit.  But I’m doing some exercise, that I who has never exercised before, is finding fun and challenging.  And at the back of my mind I know my next trekking holiday is looming pleasantly near and I want to be much fitter for it this time round.

The Star’s vocabulary and thinking skills (2) March 21, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in Uncategorized.

We are trying to settle down in bed. TC is already fast asleep. TP is nearly off too. TS is still very wide awake and has just pooed in her nappy.
Me: Francesca have you pooed?
TS: Yes ma.
Me: Ask daddy to come and change your nappy.
TS: He doesn’t know how and he has cream on his finger now.

The Star’s vocabulary is increasing as are her thinking skills March 17, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in Uncategorized.

TS: Milk mama, please.
Me: (I’m at my desk catching up on some work) Ask daddy Francesca.
TS: ‘Mela inti ma tafx’ (So you don’t know how to do it?)

boys March 6, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in Life with 3 princesses, Uncategorized.
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With three girls in the house, it goes without saying that their relationships with boys will feature in our conversations every now and then.  I had imagined this would happen sooner or later but I hadn’t figured it would happen so soon.

We’ve had this conversation:

TC (4 years old): Today me and GL (her heart-throb for this last year!) spend all our time in the yard running after each other.

TP (5 years old): Mum but why don’t I have someone who loves me like she has? (in tears)

Me: well you have me and dad and TS and TC who love you very much

TP: but I want a boy like GL to love me.

Me: (Giving her a hug) You will one day my dear.

then a few days later….

TP: Ma I support Liverpool like N.  (On this rock it’s very common for football lovers to support English, Italian teams)

Me: Really.  That’s nice.  Do you know what Liverpool is?

TP:  (in an exasperated tone) It’s a football team.  N plays with them.

Me:  Ah.  I think you mean he likes them.

TP: No he plays with them.  His back pack is a Liverpool one too.

Me:  But who is N?

TP:  He is my friend.  He tries to catch me in the yard but I run very very fast and he hardly every manages. He manages only when I let him!

Me:  Then I think he likes the football team called Liverpool FC but plays football here in town.  Liverpool is in the Uk.  Your dad has been there.

TP: I’ll ask him tomorrow if it’s like you say or not. 

Then one afternoon…

TS (aged 2): Today GL hit me.  (I’m sure he didn’t as they are in different play groups in entirely different towns,)

Me: Who is GL?

TS: the boy of TC!  He hit me very hard!

I’m sure there’s more to come…

Libya March 6, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in about me, Uncategorized.
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While all news bulletins of all tv stations have this unique subject, over here on this rock we are getting the side effects.  Sadly for the unfortunate Libyan people we seem to be getting our 15 minutes of fame since the name of our minute state is being mentioned against footage of ships full of people being evacuated from this country.

Personally, my feelings are for all those who are suffering but with regards to footage we only see men protesting, trying to flee to Tunisia and Egypt, etc.  Where are the women? Are the children safe at home?  And if the men are out and about sadly getting killed or fleeing, how are women coping with this situation? 

On a different note, between 1981 and 1987, during the whole 5 years of secondary education, I had 4, 45 minute lessons every week of Arabic.  Libyan teachers tried to teach us their complicated language and we did our best to learn the twists and turns of their consonants, the strange way they do their vowels, their rich vocabulary.  While our language might sound more similar to Arabic than any other language, in reality, the only similarity lies in the sound.  I have very clear recollections of my friends and myself painstakingly attempting to write a few sentences as expected of us during our last year.  Many of us went on to get passes in the Secondary Education Certificate in this subject but I often wonder how many of us, since then, has attempted to even read anything in this language.  So much effort, so much time, so many wasted hours that we could have spent learning something else, another language … or even if it had been simply having more time for sport.

All this talk on Libya