Getting out and about with your baby or toddler can either be a joy or an ordeal, it depends on the day. Some days everything goes great, you’ve got that child who smiles and is happy. Others it’s more like bringing the Spawn Of Satan to Tesco, or worse, a full on trip into town. In the two and a half years I’ve had a tiny posse, we’ve definitely had a mixture of the two. Days can be made or ruined by little things – not having the stuff you need in the bag, people not moving out of the buggy spots on the bus, and one of my pet peeves, lack of appropriate changing areas. I’ve written before about my list of baby friendly places to grab a coffee or some food in Cork City, and have been told others found it helpful. Sudocrem recently ran their Baby Changing Room Awards 2016 and I’m thrilledto see some of my favourites on their list! Here are my top six places to head when baby needs changing and I’m out and about in Cork (city and suburbs).
Halloween falling on a Monday this year (albeit a bank holiday, but still) means a lot of plans for outings had to be relegated to the weekend. However, it’s still good to be able to celebrate the night itself in the traditional way – lots of junk food (or healthier treats like these cookies if you’re that way inclined) and Halloween movie . This may work better if you’re lucky enough to be off for the midterm, or if you’re off for the Bank Holiday Monday to start your marathon on the Sunday! Gone are the days of needing to head to a shop to rent the scary DVD, Netflix has a range of horror and scary shows and movies, ranging from those suitable for the kiddies, to those you’ll be sleeping with the light on after. Here are a few picks which are on my list (for watching behind a cushion, with popcorn, of course).
As a teenager I was rarely out of the cinema. Every weekend, I went to see something with my group of friends in Waterford – I was up to date on everything, good bad and indifferent. For date nights as I got older, the cinema was always a good bet followed by analysis over a late night pot of tea or a few beverages. Since having a baby and a back injury which causes me to have to skip out on long periods of sitting, I’ve not really been able to make it for movie night. However, in the last few months I’ve managed three cinema nights, which makes me a bit too excited for a grown adult. Here’s a look at what films I’ve been checking out in the cinema of late.
It’s been a while since I’ve written much about the little man. It’s not that he’s not been around, he certainly has been, it’s just been manic and monotonous at the same time. Parenting seems to ebb and flow in and out of a Groundhog Day situation. We have the same routines, the same arguments, watching the same episodes of Paw Patrol until I can recite them. The more things change, the more things stay the same. He’s changing, but doing it on the sly, while I’m not looking. He wakes up an inch or two taller. He comes home from creche with new words. He’s half way to five, I realised the other day. Half way to schoolbag on his back, out the door, being a proper little person.
My heart is sore. I’ve just finished listening to an incredibly brave woman, Siobhan Whelan, talk about her pregnancy in an interview on Prime Time. Prime Time never gets the good news stories from maternity wards, and this interview was no different. Siobhan, who was pregnant at the same time as I was in 2013/2014, was treated in Cavan General Hospital. This hospital has been in the news quite a bit over the past few years, home to numerous tragedies caused by medical misadventure. Pregnant women have entered and left empty handed, mourning the loss of their babies, believing in many cases that it was their fault. This isn’t the first Prime Time interview I’ve watched with women who were treated there, not the first I’ve welled up to. It draws little surprise, even though the topic is heart-wrenching. The lack of shock about the conditions is what hurts my heart most of all. It’s not exactly the only example of pregnant women losing their voices in the course of pregnancy as far as the medical profession is concerned. Bodily autonomy isn’t something afforded to those with child here.
Last week, myself and Himself had our first proper holiday together. After four years, we decided it was time for a true test of our relationship. Time to see if a week together constantly would make us kill each other or not. Happily I can say both have survived, and despite both catching THE PLAGUE, we’re all good. We headed to the city of Seattle, Washington. It was my first time to the USA, and after that week I am hopeful it won’t be my last. However, I did notice quite a few elements of our trip which did make me question our budget for the trip. There were some things we did to ensure we got the best value for our dollar. So, to pass on those tips, here’s my guide to visiting Seattle on a Budget – and it’s probably applicable for most cities in the US.
Last Saturday was my birthday. On that day,25 years ago, my mother became a proud c-section Mammy, and I entered the world. I’m sure there have been many times since then that she wishes she had kept the receipt to return me to the midwives, but here we are. At Twenty Five.
I am not a fan of bedtime. The child going to bed, yes, perfectly happy with that (what parent isn’t?) but it’s an ordeal at the moment. No matter what kind of routine we try to put in place, it’s a bit of a non-runner. Basically my two year old has skipped childhood and gone straight to the teenage years. Refuses to sleep until late at night, is a GRUMP in the mornings and doesn’t want to listen to a word I say. I’ve not yet gone seeking a refund from the midwives in CUMH just yet but I’ve been close. However, the one bit I do like of the whole farcical routine is curling up with bedtime stories and reading together. It’s a nice time for the two of us and once I’ve got the books that I can’t stand out of the way (I’m talking to you Stickman!), it can be nice and relaxing. So, what have we been reading lately? A mesh of old and new books on the shelves, some I’ve spoken about before, but this is what the two and a half year old is loving right now (and I’m not tearing my hair out reading).
My return to work has left me resentful of public transport. Without a car, I’m somewhat dependent on it. The last time I was in work, we lived in the city centre, which meant it was a 20 minute bus journey from the bus stop 10 minutes walk from my house. The current commute, including creche drop off on the way, is a 20 minute walk, creche, 10 minute walk, 20 minute bus journey – and inevitably the waiting times between the buses. The journey home can take more than an hour in the evenings, which isn’t ideal when you’re already working past the closing time of creche and are depending on help to collect small man in the evenings. So, I decided this wasn’t for me, and after putting it off and allowing my back to rule the roost, I went for automatic driving lessons.
As a general rule, I have this depression/mental health thing sorted. I’ve gotten help from my GP, I’ve an understanding partner and family, I’ve seen a psychiatrist regularly over the last two years. I take my meds every night, I make sure to try to get sleep, I know it’s good to talk. For all intents and purposes, for the most part I like to consider the black dog my bitch. There have been a few dips, of course, to teach me my place, but I put a lot of it down to having too much time to think while out of the workplace. So when I returned to work I assumed I wouldÂ be on the home free road. And we all know what they say about people who assume.
It’s Awards Season in the Blogosphere, it’s all very exciting. Yesterday evening, I got an email to tell me I’d gotten through to the Shortlist of the Blog Awards Ireland with BadMammy.com, this little blog here. Not only that, but two shortlists!
My toddler is a curious fellow, an ever changing personality. I’d point out some manufacturing flaws (the lack of love of sleep, the mess) but I did make him myself so I’ve nobody else to really blame. However, flaws aside, he does provide me with endless entertainment, a new perspective on life and some thoughts on the kind of old age home he’ll be paying for to make up for the 5am wakeup calls. Something new changes every day – whether it’s learning new words, or stringing together sentences, or managing to scoot through the entire apartment flawlessly – he’s an ever growing lovely little thing.
If I’m asked to describe him, there’s no real single word I could choose, there are too many things to just pick one. I quite enjoyed a similar post about myself that I did last summer, so here’s a look at an A-Z of my toddler, a bit of a fun idea to capture a little snapshot of him in time, right now, aged 2 and a quarter.
At the end of last month, I was very lucky to be offered the chance to attend Inspirefest. Inspirefest is a technology and science conference, but one which not only shows a lot of merging with the arts, but also issues about diversity and gender. As someone who hasn’t studied science since her Junior Cert exams in 2006, I was definitely much more driven towards the diversity and gender side of things. Who’d have thought by the end of it I’d be rethinking my entire vision of future careers?
It’s decided, it’s set. Next week, after an unpredicted break of 16 months, I’ll be headed back into the workforce. Back to the (hopefully, for the next while at least) 9-5 grind. After more than a year out of the game, I’ll be ditching my comfy hoodie and walking shoes and donning my more appropriate work clothes, dropping E at creche and contributing to society. I’m headed back to being a working mother. It’s a good change.
The world has been a scary place of late. It feels rather on edge, like we’re waiting for the next shoe to drop, there’s a feeling of tension. Perhaps it’s my own anxieties magnifying the scale of it, but the world is some days so dark and gloomy with news of murders and health cuts and imminent doom that all I want to do is duck my head beneath the duvet until it’s all gone away. They’re scary times. We think we’re doing so well, and then BAM, a shooting, a terror attack, a tragic death rocks the world. They are times that make me wonder if having brought life into the world was such a good idea – this isn’t a situation you’d willingly throw someone into. Times where we have to look on the bright side just to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I am one of those people who was clearly talking at the back of class the day organisation was handed out – it’s not something that has ever come to me naturally. That’s not to say I don’t try – my Leaving Cert study timetables were a work of art, I was obsessive about the notes being perfect and I attempt to keep track of my life in a diary. However, unless my phone reminds me of certain things, I can be a bit forgetful – it’s not that I forget things are on, I just lose track of the date. So, even with all of the ads in the shops, Fathers Day rolling around this weekend is still a box I need to tick, for both E’s Daddy and my own. Given that I have a few days left, it’s not as if I can order a personalised anything that will get here on time. I’ve also used up my token amounts of times I can give socks. So here are some ideas for those, like me, who are that bit less organised but want to get something to make the Dad in their life a bit special.
What’s that strange glowing ball in the sky? Ireland has lately been graced by the sunshine, the heat, something that actually resembles a summer. While we’re being told by meteorologists (who may know a thing or two about weather) that we aren’t actually going through a heatwave (apparently that’s FIVE consecutive days of temperatures over 25 degrees), it’s undeniable that we are getting to enjoy some rather lovely sunshine. People are smiling, sales of ice creams are going through the roof. Snapchats are being sent left right and centre with temperature filters over them, and people are baring a whole lot more skin than they have in months. Aside from the glow in the sky, we’re also facing the glow of pale Irish skin in the sunlight. This means it’s time to ensure that skin is being looked after from the potentially harmful UV rays. Being sun safe is something often neglected by us here in Ireland – especially when we’re still at home, not off on holidays elsewhere.
There is sunshine, everyone is far chirpier – the Leaving Cert weather has officially begun and we couldn’t be happier about it (unless there was a breeze of course). June has officially kicked off, so it’s time to look back on the month that was May! Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to lately!
If you missed it on Wednesday night, a rather incendiary debate kicked off on Brendan O Connor’s new current affairs show “Cutting Edge”. In response to a rather thought provoking piece from writer Louise O Neill, which spoke about how being a woman did not necessarily mean you wanted kids, Niamh Horan added her two cents. The piece from O Neill had put forward the idea that women who choose not to exercise their womb are thought of as selfish. In response to this, Horan, who is of the same age bracket, commented that in her opinion it is the parents who have their children but leave them in childcare, creches, while they head out to work, who are the selfish ones. It is, she said, the children who are suffering for their mother’s need to “have it all”.
I’ve described my son as a walking ear infection in the past. The poor pet, he seems to go from antibiotic to antibiotic, frequent flyer in the doctors office, coughing like a 50 a day smoker but a trooper throughout. I remember ear aches from childhood – there are few pains like it, and I look at him, happy and active while according to the doctor he’s suffering from a bad infection. Recently it became obvious that something would need to be done – likely grommets, and so the path to getting them done was begun. It starts with the hearing test.
A year has gone by, a year since the Marriage Equality referendum passed. There has been no great breakdown of society, no children ripped from mothers arms to be placed into a motherless home, no great scandalising of the Irish people. In fact, nothing has happened at all, apart from bringing more happiness into the world we live in.
I come with a tiny entourage, all 3ft of him, my two year old toddler. I spend most of my days trying to teach him right from wrong, good food from bad food (i.e., leave the stuff in the bin IN THE BIN and come back and eat from your plate) and to say please and thank you to others. Trying to bring a child up is a massive learning curve. I’m a wholly different person to who I was three years ago, before I fell pregnant and my life changed. He’s taught me so many things (yes, I know that sounds cheesy). Here are just some of them…
I’ve not quite hit the midweek slump yet, but I can feel it on the way. I’m over the half way mark of this solo parenting venture, the end is in sight when Himself will be back with us and I will be able to pee by myself. Oh, the little things that bring us joy. It’s been a nice week overall so far, weather-wise it’s been much nicer than usual (let’s ignore getting soaked on the walk home from creche on Tuesday), the scales were in my favour at my weigh in, and I got some very good news at the end of last week, which is always nice. Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to lately!
I’ve just finished my fifth week of Slimming World. I wrote previously about starting it all off again, this weight loss journey, and how happy I was one week in when I was down almost half a stone. A few weeks have gone by, there have been some ups and downs along the way, but now I’m thrilled with how it’s going.