Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Nook And Some Exciting News

Image via Cultivate

I'm obsessed with kitchen nooks... can't you tell? I think this one is lovely...symmetry, cornices... although I am still trying to work out what is happening with the cupboard inside the cupboard? .. for the doors to come out and then to retract?... oh yeah, that's it! Live blogging! You see the penny drop live!

My weekend was eventful. I made a decision. As Frank Sinatra would say, "start spreadin' the news"... I booked a flight to New York for August. I'm going to go to the 'BlogHer' conference to learn some stuff and I decided after 4 years of blogging about New England, The Hampton's, Cape Cod....and naming my business after it all... I should get up there and have a quick look around. I ummed and ahhed over it for about 5 minutes and then decided if I only had until the end of the year to live, I would make the decision to go in a heartbeat... so I made it in a heartbeat. I have negotiated with my boys an acceptable 10 days away from them. They have said they miss me already. We're all going to be brave.

My little one has 'Show and Tell' at school this morning and has asked me to be his 'Lizard Transporter'. Brian and Nigella are going into a big bucket for the trip into school. They'll frantically scratch around all the way there, I'm sure!... so I'll have to say nice, soothing 'lizard' things to them.  Then I get to bring them all the way home when son has finished his performance. He's even going to do live cricket feeding. He's hoping to win over his teacher. He doesn't think she likes him that much... as he's a chatterbox and lively and easily distracted and social and obsessed with stick insects and never stops talking about them. He can feel it. Kids are smart. Makes my heart hurt a bit. He's trying hard to shut up in class :( 

I've told him stories. My Grade Two end of year report card? One comment - 'Talks Too Much' ... that was all she said. I was heartbroken. Grade Three? Three words. 'Room For Improvement'. I told him this and he looked at me seriously, and said so gently, "Mum, I think you have improved". 

They were harsh in those days. Hey, I still remember their exact words, 40 years later. Harsh. Please be nice to my boy. Although I'm going to piss her off by jumping all over the classroom, taking photos of him and his beloved 'Inland Bearded Dragons'. That sort of won't help, will it? Hmmm.

Happy Monday! I'll let you know how we go. Tell me what I should do about my boy's teacher. Should I speak to her and tell her how he is feeling? ... or just shut up so she doesn't single him out any more? Parenting is heartbreaking... always. That love in your heart... you'll do anything for them. 


  1. Make sure you get to Dover MA to have a look around at the beautiful homes. I lived there as a nanny in 1998 (man that makes me feel old) and it was the most beautiful town. Also, catch the ferry over to Nantucket Island for a day if you get time. That is the place I'd go tomorrow for a month if we won tattslotto - magic. The houses and design are so 'you'.

  2. I'm so excited for you. And so proud. You go girl!

  3. I would absolutely speak to her. I would also reassure your little one that as long as he's doing his very best than that's enough. Some teachers love to wield the power of disapproval. I was always told that I talked too much or was easily distracted and I'm a wonderful nurturing and caring person. Have a chat to her A-M but from a position of power and grace. xx H

  4. Smart kids, talk to much... base on reality §;-)

    I was a very talkative lil girl until I graduated in university but a Summa Cum Laude since from a young years? I never regret a sec as the most talkative student.

    Hope Mr. AM's are in the best of everything as well as you Missy?

    Have a blissful week.


  5. I agree with Kim that Nantucket is a must see for you. The beauty of it will make you swoon. (Look it up on Google images.) As for your son's teacher, I would speak to her and say, "He thinks you don't like him, and I know that can't possibly be true. Maybe there's something specific you'd like him to work on." She will then know she needs to step up the encouragement, and that her cold shoulder isn't going unnoticed!

  6. What exciting news, A-M! What a fantastic trip that will be. I can just see you walking around with your eyes wide open, marvelling at all you see. (And, taking lots of photos for us, as well!)

    My advice - talk to the teacher! Have a great day!


  7. Will you be bringing haloumi's from Justine's to America? Please:)

  8. OMG woman! This is amazing NEWS!! I am sooooo excited for you, I can't wait to see what a fantastic time you have - you are an inspiration, still, I'm so happy for you :)))
    PS I like your blog plans too, this is also great news! :)

  9. New York, New York....! Green with envy. Shame the conference isn't in October when you could go on a 'Fall' Tour to see the stunning autumn colours.

    I'm going to be a dissenter A-M & suggest you don't speak to the teacher....our darling babes need to learn the harsh realities of life - one of them : that we can't be loved by everybody, no matter how unfair that is.

    Your little angel needs to 'grow' a 'thick skin' to prepare him for life and the only way to do that is to stand back SOMETIMES(as difficult as that is) and not protect him from the unpleasantness of life & especially people.

    Being a mother is soooo very hard!

  10. Hi A-M, How exciting! I'm so thrilled for you!
    We're in New England as I type this, on an 'Architecture Tour' of the area. We spent yesterday touring the gardens and homes of New Preston and Litchfield, and then spent this morning touring Edith Wharton's home, 'The Mount' - another must-see. Edith wrote an influential book on architecture (as well as being a novelist) and her home is beautiful. Nantucket is gorgeous but Edgartown in Martha's Vineyard is well worth seeing too. Nantucket's homes are quite similar, where MV's are different right across the island. You can easily fly from NY to Nantucket for $100, and then bunny-hop across to MV on a smaller plane for $40 (Cape Air). Then you could hire a car at Hyannis / Cape Cod and explore New England that way. I've done it and it's the easiest route - much better than hiring at JFK/NY and navigating NY's traffic!
    Janelle McCulloch

  11. Soooo excited for you and well done on booking it - would have been a busy 5 minutes weighing it all up!!! You are going to have the best time, meet some great people and do some amazing research!!

    Look forward to hearing all your stories from NYC.

    Dont think the boys have heard the last of Frank Sinatra.


  12. My friend's mum was told that he "wasn't going to amount to much so don't expect a lot" ... 1981 that was. Well he became a prefect, won numerous musical awards for his drumming, has toured with bands all over the world and is one of the most in demand percusionists. Yeah ... not much from him!

  13. HI A-M, I read your blog daily but never comment, I am too from Brisbane and moved to NY about 5 years ago. We live in a lovely House very much like what you would like.
    I would Highly suggest you go to Westport CT, the houses are to die for.
    Just like this one below.
    Hope you have fun planning your trip and if I can help with ideas please let me know.

  14. du du du n du, du du du n du NEW YORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i am kicking my legs and singing that song.
    Oh how i dream of going to New York.
    HAVE FUN>>>>>

    Pen x
    "tell little one just like Dan said on the Block last night. "i am not changing who i am just to make friends"
    He will be/already is a great person as he has you as his mum for a start.

  15. Love your decsion making strategy! I think I need to adopt some of it rather than pondering over things for an age.
    With the son/teacher thing... Is there an opportunity during a parent teacher interview session to discuss it? It's not the only agenda item then and could get noted by her in the midst of a general conversation rather than being confronted with it? Kids of nine need encouragement, plenty of it, and it's sad when a teacher doesn't adopt this isn't it?
    Have a good week.

  16. What a precious, precious little boy you have, such a sensitive soul. He seems like such a wise little character so if he says he feels his teacher doesn't like him there must be something to it. He just needs to keep on being the wonderful insect loving little boy that he is. My youngest daughter is a daydreamer and a chatterbox so much so that I often hear her in the other room chatting to herself. I am sure he will have her won over by the end of the year.

  17. Oh how exciting. We will all be there with you thru blogging. My advice(being a teacher myself) is to talk about when it is appropriate to talk and how to stay focussed when it isnt.We teachers love talkers when they talk at the right times as they can have wonderful inputs when channeled in the right direction.Fiona

  18. That is so exciting! I am heading to NYC in September myself and then up to Boston. If you have time, head to Rockport, MA - they have the most beautiful homes - I spent the day walking around this gorgeous (smallish) town sighing over the gorgeous homes. I'll try and send you some pictures (if I can find them :)).

    As for your little one, it's sad that he feels that way. As a teacher, I'd be horrified to think that a student was feeling that way. Maybe have a word to her, and let her know he is feeling a bit under appreciated in the classroom, and ask if there are any areas that he can improve in? Good luck ;)

    Jen x

  19. hi AM, I feel your excitement.... We're heading off to NY & having a few days in the Hamptons at the beg of June.We will visit South hampton ,East Hampton, Sag Harbor & Montauk.Can't wait>
    There was an informative piece in Qantas mag around Easter.
    Lots to think about with boy 2.Will talking to the teacher really make it better?

  20. Good morning A-M,

    Firstly, the nook is very smart, I love the idea of the doors retracting out of sight.

    Secondly, New York!!! Wow!!! I'm excited for you and can't wait to see the photos.

    Thirdly, let it play out at school on it's own and see where it leads for now.

    Enjoy this fabulous day :)


  21. My opinion on your teacher issues...It is up to us as adults (intelligent beings and all that) to find a way to work with each and every child. The definition of a great teacher in my opinion is someone who can connect with each and EVERY child ( because in primary school they ARE children) I think that kids do need a thick skin but really at the end of the day you, AM, are paying good money for the priveldge of having your child in the school that you believe will bring out the BEST in your son. You are his mummmy and you should go with your gut. Each child is different. I have three kids all go to different schools that are sympathetic to their personal needs from the public system (that provides a realistic dose of 'real life' to private that nutures and encourages.having said that, If he can cope with the teachers 'moody' approach to teaching then let it be beacuse at the end of the day he will be a better person having had to deal with a cow of a teacher. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" and all that...When he comes home upset or not wanting to go to school because of 'Her' it will be time to intervene...we can't always save them from hurting but we can be there when they are hurting to love and hug and reinforce what beautiful people they really are. Little One will be better off having dealt with bitchy teachers, it will help him understand that not all people are kind like him, it will teach him to be mindful, and at the end of day Mummy and Big Bro are his sanctuary of love and support and nothing will ever compromise that. Good luck - I've been thru it too -it hurts, it's hard but the strong will survive even stronger! xx

  22. So exciting! My heart is hurting for you also with little Mr A-M. I am a teacher and do two days at the school where my son is in gr 1, he reminds me of your little man and Ive seen times when he has been bullied, it hurts but Ive just kept quiet and tried to help him with strategies......but where a teacher is concerned, it is not right that she makes your son feel this way, she should be more professional about this this, I agree with Jennie's suggestion, it may make her think without getting her too defensive and then also what someone else said about helping him with his resilience (although this is so very hard for some kids). He is fantastic and I hope he never doubts that!

  23. Good on you for making that NY decision. So impressed. And as they say the only bad decision is no decision. You will have an amazing time.
    And re teachers. That's always a hard one. I would probably touch base just to get a picture of what's happening in class and see his school work progress. There's no harm in doing that, hopefully. xx

  24. Great news about New York! Gonna stay tuned to read about allt he wonderful houses you'll be seeing!

    Re your boy. I remember my Grade 2 teacher to be a right ol' cow. I was a day dreamer and was bullied in school because my parent's weren't the typical private school stock.

    I don't think Mum's talking to her helped at all back in the day, it made me all the more unpopular in class. But I will say this, rising above her expectations and making something of myself was the best achievement I accomplished in my early years.

    You can help your boy channel his sensitivity and love to the positive side too. *Hugs*

  25. A-M, like Beth said, a parent/teacher interview forum is the best time to discuss this. My son is in the same sort of school environment as yours, and making a special appointment to speak to his teacher about this will "single him out' so to speak, so i would be patient and wait for the interviews process and then raise your queries and discuss. As for New York, oh baby, how i envy you! you will have a ball. take loads of pics and share with us. I am sure you will, light and love Cathyxx

  26. Hi A-M - yay for your wonderful news! I teach all boys, and a lot of chatty ones at that.
    I would email the teacher (unless it is the sort of school where there are opportunities for face to face contact) and just ask for general feedback on his progress and attitude in class and describe that your son is trying very hard to stay quiet when he should be.

    It probably feels like she doesn't like him if he's chatty because usually you say their names far more than the quiet ones.

    I hope it works out! He's such a cutie! It made me laugh to hear the comparison you wrote about the boys and your new clothes fashion show!

  27. Wow exciting trip! Wish I could go but we'll be in your favorite city then!

  28. Oh A-M, New York, I love love love New York, I will definately go back one day. I'm so excited thinking about your trip. Unfortunately I do hate the long flights and on my last trip to the USA I swore I would travel no more than two hours from Melbourne, (Hamilton Island) but i have had time to recover and I think I'm almost ready for the next one.x

  29. I'm with Jennie A-M, re little son's DESPICABLE teacher.
    As a teacher myself I would respond well to her words.
    If your son does like to talk then use that to his advantage in his learning - gee, come into the 21st century woman!(his teacher)
    NYC - green with envy!
    good for you!

  30. So jealous - would love to be going to that and back to the NYIFG and then revisit the Hamptons and East Coast after too long away. It's sheer heaven and you must go there for your namesake if nothing else (like mine) and wallow in the sheer perfection that it is.

  31. Hi A-M!
    I love your attitude how you made this decision, enjoy the US, it's great! And since I'm also a big chatterbox, I too had those words on my report cards, but I see it in a good way, we chatterboxes are mostly not insecure about ourselves, so that's a good thing right?
    Hope the lizards are enjoying there 15 minutes of fame,
    take care,
    Maureen xx

  32. Hooray for the New York plans! So happy for you.

    Year 2 should still be about inspiring the kids to love learning. Hope little one can hang in there and that Year 3 is epic!

  33. hi AM -hope the show and tell went well.
    was thinking of you today baking for your boys. just posted a great recipe on my blog for slice. super easy and divine.
    also did you see this article:
    hope all is going well
    cheers Fiona
    PS - i also got "talks too much" on my reports!

  34. Funny you should mention the teacher. I was re-living the same experience with one of my MACT classmates. We were both told we talked too much and were routinely told to shut up when we were in elementary school. Both of us are now in communications, thriving in our occupations because we LIKE TO TALK! Tell little one that regardless of what the teacher says talking is never a bad thing. It shows excitement and involvement in life. He will be so successful someday, just remember that!


  35. I love the nook! I have a thing for Kitchen nooks too, considering putting one in my 'new house' if that ever eventuates! I been to NY, I hated it, but it was a long time ago and my experiences were different - it had everything to do with WHY I was there, not the surrounds. New York is fabulously exciting and interesting and has an awesome vibe! I love watching movies where it features. I have a dream to visit the Hamptons, especially after watching 'Revenge' lol, Cape Cod...yes... so much to do and see in general, I wanna check out Boston and go back to LA. You're gonna LOVE every minute of your journey! ENJOY! Can't wait to read all about it!


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx