I’ve been driving my little silver Hyundai for a year now. I love it, driving has opened up my world to so much more freedom. It makes getting from A to B with a toddler much easier, especially for spur of the moment jaunts. However, it being a year since I bought the car, it means it’s a year since I insured it. And so, the great saga of car insurance renewal began. It’s a tale of the ages, of mysterious numbers being pulled from the deep, legends of people turning mythical purple colours from blood pressure spikes upon hearing the price they’re being quoted. And so, I’ve got a tale to add to the bunch, but mine is a tale of victory, of slaying the dragon. In as much as a learner driver with only a years experience can slay.
I’ve been blonde for about six years now. After a bad breakup, I decided to change things up and have, for the most part, stuck with it ever since. It is a lot of maintenance though. Despite the prominence of the balayage trend, even keeping on top of that requires at least five colour treatments a year (four if I’m REALLY pushing it). At around 100 euro a pop, it’s a big ask.Bigger than the money issue is the back pain issue. Sitting for long periods of time kills my back, it is prone to seizing up, so spending close to three hours in a chair, staying still does not bode well for me. Such instances need to be rare and spaced out. So, perhaps it’s time to say goodbye to blonde.
Lately I’ve been looking a lot at the different ways people get traffic towards their blogs. I’ve been doing this for three years, and feel like I pour a lot of myself into it. I write because I love to write, I love to share things I’ve found. I have opinions and I get to put them out into the world. However, sometimes I put my heart and soul into posts and tumbleweed happens. So, in an attempt to lessen the tumbleweed, I’ve looked into different methods of gaining attention for this little blog. Pinterest has been a big one that I saw mentioned elsewhere, so I’ve been working on it a lot lately.
Paw Patrol has been shoved to the back burner. These days we’re all about PJ Masks. Or CD Mac, dependent on how much he feels like working on his pronunciation. It’s not on Netflix, so we work from recordings on the Sky Box from the POP channel. He sees a lot of ads this way, but thankfully doesn’t seem to realise they’re for ACTUAL toys. I hope.
Much like Paw Patrol and other kids shows that have filled our heads over the last three years, PJ Masks leaves me with so many unanswered questions.
As a child, I was a complete bookworm. So much so, that when I got lost in shops, the first place to look was the book section. There I’d be, whiling the time away stuck into another story blissfully unaware, while the world went on around me. As an adult, this has lessened due to circumstance – I don’t make the time as much as I used to. The vast majority of my reading is digital, through the Kindle app on my phone, and even that means time focused on just that. The big change came with my introduction to audiobooks through Audible. I’ve found that I’m able to multitask, listening to these books in the background and getting on with what I need to do.
I’ve found books I probably wouldn’t have picked up the hard copy of, and felt like a friend was talking to me listening to them. In particular, I like my audiobooks non-fiction – I don’t know why, it feels like they’re meant for things factual and conversational. I like them to pique my interest in a topic and pull it out slowly. I’ve found lots that have me inspired to be and do more with my life. So, here’s a few that I think every woman should listen to – for both that joy feeling, and self development all wrapped into one.
Disney movies were a key part of my childhood, like that of many children. I spent hours watching, singing along and playing pretend with friends and family about the worlds of the movies. As a parent, I’m now watching them with different eyes than my five/six year old self. More knowing, more judgemental – and definitely a whole lot less dismissive of some of the issues they bring up. So, here goes, an analysis of the Disney Movies I once loved, but now through my adult eyes.
Childcare is often declared to be the second mortgage of many homes. Personally, it makes up almost as much as our rent per month, and we only have one child. It’s a major outlay and can really have some families in a bind as to whether both parents working is actually financially worth it. The price of childcare differs dependent on your needs and what form parents use – au pairs, creche, montessori, in house childminders, childminders in their own homes, grandparents and family members. So, how do we ensure we have affordable childcare?
Getting to see Ireland’s gems of historical sites is definitely something I want to do more of. Being able to drive now has opened up so much more of the country to me and I plan to embrace it. I studied Celtic Civilisation as part of my degree, and so discovered a lot of interesting history of these amazing sites. They’re a great resource to bring kids to as well – they make a fantastic day out and they’ll be learning to boot. Many of these sites are now owned by the Office Of Public Works (OPW).
On a normal basis, these sites are mostly paid entry. However, on the first Wednesday of the month, they are free entry to the public which makes them a great free day out. AND from July 1st, they’re all free entry EVERYDAY for kids! Here’s a list of the sites waiting for you to discover them – great for days out when the kids are off and you’re needing something to do!
Ah, the school holidays are upon us. There’s a whole lot less traffic in the mornings, the skies are (mostly) blue and there are kids country wide exclaiming that they are bored. Standard stuff, really. There are loads of summer camps around to keep them busy, but the cost of those can really pile up too. So, what’s a parent to do? If your kids are in Cork, Cork City Library have a full Summer programme ready to start next week. Hopefully there’ll be something there that will catch their imaginations and get them out of the house (and out of your hair!).
“Love Many, Trust Few, Always Paddle Your Own Canoe”. That’s a phrase my dad repeated through my childhood. It makes sense, keeping your own sense of independence. I was brought up to work hard for the money I got, that there was a pride in working for an honest wage. Work was important, as was being able to support yourself. So, when being out of work for extended time due to my back injury has reduced my income to the level where I’m not independent any more, it probably shouldn’t surprise me that I’m not thrilled with it.
Childhood and teen years are somewhat through a different lens these days. The impact of introducing technology into their hands at a young age has been to change their technical ability, but also opened a whole world up to them that previous generations could only dream about. At our fingertips, we are literally able to find the answers to life’s big questions (Thank you, Google), speak to others around the world and discover things we never would have known about before. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube – they’ve opened our eyes to a much wider world. It’s an amazing powerful thing – but, with great power comes great responsibility!
If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know that I’m passionate about the topic of mental health and in particular postnatal mental health. It’s something which has personally affected me and others that I love, and in this country, it’s something that isn’t dealt with in a big enough way. So, back in April when I was asked to be part of a public forum organised by INFANT (Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research) in CUH, on the topic of perinatal mental health, I was thrilled. And then terrified. But mostly thrilled.
Argh, it’s rolled around again. I could have sworn there was a whole other week left before Father’s Day, but no, here it is, this Sunday. So, if you’re like me and need to make the Dad in your life feel a million bucks, but have left it to the last minute, here’s a guide to gifts he’s sure to appreciate!
Another day, another horrific tale in the news. It’s unfortunately part of life in Ireland in 2017. In the last few years, the topics of mental health and the 8th amendment have been in the news seperately and together, but yesterday’s news had something different. The Irish Times journalist Kitty Holland reported on a case from the Child Care Law Report Project which took place in 2016, and opened our eyes to fresh horror.
Late last year, I started seeing a therapist. It was after my return to work (I’ve since been out again), and I wasn’t coping particularly well with my schedule and other pressures. It wasn’t my first foray into therapy; I’d seen counsellors in college on two separate occasions for a number of weeks each time. I was good with the idea that it worked, just not that I truly had time for it.
My therapist this time was a wonderful woman, who spoke in THAT VOICE, the one that says it’s alright to talk and cry and let it all out without judgement. She could bring me to my knees in the first sessions, letting out feelings of guilt, insignificance and anger. She left me with two major discoveries: the work of Brené Brown, and the need for self care.
When your friend or family member has had a new baby, it’s natural to want to see them and their new bundle in the early days. As anyone who has held a newborn for any period of time can tell you, there’s something in their freshly-born scent that just makes the world a nicer place. Oh, and your friend is fairly kick ass too, you know, for that whole making a human and bringing them into the world thing. However, as much as you want to see them and are looking forward to visiting, here are some common pitfalls to watch out for. Here are the 15 Cardinal Sins you need to avoid when visiting new mum for a stress free visit!
We all have little memory trinkets that we want to keep. Some people keep baby books, others keep shoeboxes full of memories. In the modern era, there are entire apps and computer programmes dedicated to a technological way of keeping your precious memories safe. Sometimes however, old school is the best way. There’s a certain comfort in knowing that theres a book, an album, to rifle through for the nostalgia. As parents, we want to keep the memories safe. We make sure that our children (and theirs) will be able to look back and see their childhood. What is the best way to preserve these memories?
It’s almost the end of May. We’ve managed to survive another month which included some solo parenting, while D has been away. I’m grateful that the trips have gotten a lot shorter in recent months. Random weeks are much easier to deal with than long stretches that feel like they’re home less than they’re away. It’s been a bit of a mixed bag of a month. So, as a bit of a catch up on real life, here’s a snapshot of our lives today as part of the My Little Loves linky on Coffee Work Sleep Repeat.
I’ve got a three year old little boy. He’s a proper little boy these days, absolutely no baby left. We got through the “Terrible Twos” and have launched head on into the “Threenager” phase. It’s a time of much discovery, for everyone involved. So, as a quick guide to what it is like, for the unfamiliar, here is an A to Z guide to Parenting a Three Year Old.
If you’ve got a long journey ahead of you travelling with kids, you’ll know that it’s tough to keep them amused throughout. On our journeys to Wexford from Cork (2/3 hours in the car), we used to try to balance nap time, youtube videos and cow spotting. Sometimes, the lack of decent phone signal would cause a serious deterrent in the youtube use, which was a major pain.
The things we were able to set up for him to watch were also a bit more limited, inevitably the stuff he demanded wasn’t on there at the time. Also, with a ridiculously small data budget on my contract, it was super expensive for a few hours of streaming. So when Netflix announced that they were introducing the ability to download and watch later, we were thrilled. These Netflix Downloads have made road trips and upcoming flights seem a whole lot less intimidating with toddler in tow!
It’s 1 May – which means that April is all over and done with. It’s Bank Holiday Monday, E is staying in his grannys, and my body clock has decided that being awake at 8am is still par for the course. Still though, it’s nice to have the time to sit down and reflect on the last while. I really liked the format used for the linky from Awfully Chipper a while back, so I’m going to use that again. Here’s a look at a snapshot of April in our house.
In the run up to Easter, it’s been great to see a load of kid-centric activities to fill up the holidays popping up. Egg hunts, fun days, these are the things that memories are made of. So when we were offered the chance to try out the Rathwood Easter experience, we jumped (bunny-hopped?) at the chance. Rathwood is a home and garden centre in Tullow, Co. Carlow. I’d been there a few times previously, but never taken part in any of their experiences (I guess 25 is not their target audience age), however armed with the three year old we decided to try it out.
The school holidays are here, so it’s time to get out of the house to beat the cabin fever. If you’ve not got kids in Easter Camps, it may be nice to have some activities to look forward to as the week goes on. Here’s a look at what Cork has to offer in the way of fun for kids and grownups alike over this Easter Holiday season. Hopefully these Easter Activities will help keep your kids occupied and stave off the holiday rage!
Binge-watching and Netflix go hand in hand, it’s an inevitability. The level of new content they’re creating of late is fantastic. It’s a great platform which is allowing creation of shows which may not have worked on a network level, and is changing the way we watch television. One of the more recent additions to Netflix is 13 Reasons Why, the adaptation of the Young Adult novel of the same name by Jay Asher. While it’s all about high school and the drama that ensues, the content is definitely something that all adults should tune into. So here are 13 Reasons Why you should be watching 13 Reasons Why (With No Spoilers).
On the 24th of March 2014, I became a mother. At 7.05 am, my son was born by emergency caesarean section. Since that moment, my life has changed forever. It’s been a tough journey at times, but it’s also been so, so rewarding. And now he’s three. THREE. A proper “big boy”, there’s no baby left here.
So, what is he like at Three? I really liked the framework of the linky post I took part in recently with Awfully Chipper, so I’m going to use the same for him here. So, here’s a snapshot of my little boy, as he turns three years old. (more…)