Category: Life

15 From ’15 – Roundup of the Year that was!

The very lovely Sadhbh from Where Wishes Come From has this year again obliged with kicking off the linky for a yearly roundup, this year aptly being 15 things from 2015. I took part in this last year, when it was 14 from 14 (see how this works?), and thought it was a brilliant idea so was thrilled to see it was happening again.  It’s a really nice way to sum up the best bits of the year (with a couple of the not so wonderful bits thrown in to humanise me a bit!). Lots of my favourite bloggers are taking part too, you can check them all out by clicking the link at the end. It was one hell of a year for a great many reasons!

15 Things from 2015 - Yearly Round Up - Blogging - Four Walls, Rainy Days, January 2016.

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December Little Loves

It’s been a while since I did one of these posts – about a month in fact, so there’s a lot to catch up on! I really do love the format of the Little Loves posts for summing up what’s been going on, as it covers all angles, as well as getting to join in with a fab linky from the (recently rebranded from butwhymummywhy) lovely Coffee, Work, Sleep, Repeat. It’s been quite a hectic month with lots going on, as December tends to be with Christmas coming close and a million things to do! We’re getting all sorted with only a few days to go until the man in red arrives, presents are wrapped, Santa has been visited, Secret Santa presents exchanged and family visited. So without further ado, here is what we’ve been up to, and what we’ve been loving so far in December.

December little loves - four walls, rainy days Christmas 2015

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The Black Dog at the Christmas Table

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a time of love and joy and everyone is happy and smiling and nothing could possibly go wrong in this time of magic. Right? Then why are you feeling snowed under, like you want to crawl under the duvet and not return until someone promises to eradicate that Mariah Carey song from the earth? At a time of so much happiness surrounded by family and friends, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking the black dog, depression, the blues, whatever you want to call them, will take holiday leave and allow you to enjoy the tiny bits of sparkle and magic at the end of the year. Unfortunately, he’s not into taking holidays much, and this time of year, he can sometimes pull a lot of overtime. You are not alone.

Black Dog At The Christmas Table (more…)

A Book Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas – Books on our Santa List

I’m an unashamed bookworm from childhood; I grew up with my nose in a book, I love libraries and get annoyed when life doesn’t work out for my fictional characters. It’s something I would love for E as he grows up, as it’s a love which can stay with you for life, the ability to fall into a million other worlds and lose yourself in their lives. I’m also a firm believer that it’s not Christmas unless there is a book present, so as far as the toddler is concerned, here’s a look through what we’ve got in mind this year!

A book is for life - Not Just For Christmas! Santa Book Presents Christmas 2015 Four Walls, Rainy Days - Gift Ideas.

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Listography : Songs That Transport Me To A Particular Time and Place

I do like me a good list, and in turn, I do like certain music to have a story to it. So when I saw that the lovely Kate Takes 5 had started a linky about songs that brought you right back to a certain time and place, then it wasn’t really something I could ignore. So in the midst of all the tinsel filled Christmassy stuff, I may as well throw in a bit of nostalgia, none of which is Christmas related, just so I don’t lose the grinches among you.

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Craft-y Gift Ideas at the Glucksman Gallery

With Christmas close at hand (yes, I went there, Tesco has been blaring the music since midnight on October 31st), thoughts have started straying towards gift ideas and trying to find unique gifts that friends and family will love. I spotted the Glucksman Gallery in my alma mater UCC was holding a Craft & Design Fair last weekend and thought it would be a good idea to check it out, to see if I could spot some gift ideas from local craftsmen. I was not disappointed.

Crafty Gift Ideas from Craft & Design Fair, Glucksman UCC - Four Walls, Rainy Days

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Everything but the Fireman’s Pole : A Fire Station Bedroom for My Toddler

Have you got a fireman-crazy kid at home? Looking for some bedroom revamp ideas? That’s exactly what I’m up to at the moment – trying to plan a room for my little man that will make him feel like Fireman Sam.

Creating a Fire Station Bedroom for My Toddler - Four Walls, Rainy Days

My nineteen month old is OBSESSED with Fireman Sam, or as he refers to it “Nee-Naw”.  (Loudly, in public, shouting it out for all to listen to). The theme tune, the characters, every single fire engine he sees, he’s mad about it. It makes sense, since from really early days he has been mad about the colour red. The theme tune is permanently stuck in my head, and I find myself spending too much time thinking about how much easier life in Pontypandy would be if Norman Price was sent to boarding school and other such things, but it keeps him quiet and isn’t half as annoying/questionable as some of the other offerings of Children’s Television these days.

Since we moved house in September, I’ve been meaning to do up his bedroom and make it much more of a little boy room, rather than the adult-based neutral themed boring room. The obvious answer is a Fireman theme – not necessarily Fireman Sam, as that can get dated quickly and add expense to a theme which can be put together in a less costly and more creative way. I’ve been eyeing up little bits which I think would pull together a room which he would adore (and hopefully want to sleep in).  (more…)

To Paris, With Love

stockmen

It was a Friday night like any other, even if it was a Friday the 13th. Families crowded together, home after a busy week. Music fans attended concerts, football fans games in large stadiums. Bread was broken in restaurants. Normal things that people derive enjoyment from on a regular weekend. Me, I was drafting a blog post about a craft fair which I visited today, until my Twitter feed lit up with news of a shooting in Paris.  (more…)

These Quiet Moments

 
 You snore. You get that from me – apparently, I don’t believe I snore but apparently I sound like a train breaking down, so if that’s to be believed then you take after me. You’re currently curled up in the foetal position, all 80cm of you managing to take up a considerable amount of bed space with your tiny frame. Though I put you sleeping on the pillow next to me, you’ve curled over so your foot is in my rib, your body stretched out across the rest of the bed, meaning that when I lie down, my head is aligned with your nappy. I pray for a peaceful night. (more…)

Scary Or Sexy: A Hunt for a Halloween Costume

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Ah, that time of year again. Gone are the “bikini-body” workouts being flaunted in every magazine, newspaper and bathroom stall scrawl, enter the confectionary-filled holiday season which begins at the end of October. Not that anyone has told the local Tesco, who have been stocking selection boxes since before schools went back last month. Yes kids, the one time of year where it is not only socially acceptable, but rubber stamped okay to ask strangers for sweets and accept them from them without feeling creeped out or violated in any way.

Unless you’re a woman. (more…)

Toddlers and Lock-Ins; my near heart failure.

Toddlers and lock ins.

Since E’s Daddy has started going away for work, I’ve started noticing a definite move in his favouritism between the parents – where I used to somewhat get a bit more of the love and adoration (probably thanks to me being the one who made dinner, to be fair), since we’ve started having a whole lot more one-on-one time he’s rapidly gotten rather bored of me. His reaction to Granny dropping him off after a sleepover at hers the other day was to freak out at the thought of being left alone with me. Harsh, kid, harsh. You need a thick skin to parent toddlers, that’s for sure. It’s so damn easy to be made feel like the Worst Mammy On The Planet (trademark pending) by someone just higher than two feet tall. This week though, I think I may have earned a little bit of the wrath. (more…)

The Kid is Alright

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Last week, we had an appointment with a doctor who we were initially referred to for a reason that I’m sure will be the impetus for many jokes at E’s expense in years to come – the size of his head. Apparently, my tiny, too-small-for-premie-clothes baby, upon deciding to grow, put a little more effort in when it came to the size of his head than the rest of him, and many months ago, this had the public health nurse worried. From the outset it wasn’t something that had me very worried, it’s a trait of my brother’s which we laugh about (in good fun, no harm meant), but when the professionals are mentioning things like fluid on the brain and growth at a rapid state before “…but I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about”, it does get the heart racing a little bit. And not just because he’s a Precious First Born with a hypochondriac Mama. I swear. (more…)

Why You Need To Watch How To Get Away With Murder

Watch How To Get Away With Murder

Straight up – to me, Shonda Rhimes can’t do much wrong (though she makes my tear ducts activate on an almost weekly basis). For the last ten years, I’ve been a major fan of her work on Grey’s Anatomy  but before that, she wrote my favourite teen movie, The Princess Diaries (as well as the sequel AND Britney Spears movie Crossroads). So when I see her getting involved in new things, I get excited for amazing soundtracks, captivating storylines, a cast which inevitably will cast at least one gorgeous man, one gorgeous woman (who am I kidding, they’re all pretty gorgeous, this is the entertainment industry) and some of the best acting talent out there. So last year once I spotted the trailer to How To Get Away With Murder, a legal drama based around a law lecturer and her team of interns who somehow get caught up in a murder themselves, I was captivated. I ate up the episodes, a lot of them in one go, and then mourned for the summer that I’d have to wait for Season 2 which I am VERY happy to be enjoying every week at the moment. And now I see that the whole first season is being added to Netflix UK (It’s already up on the US and some other places) at the end of this week (22nd), it’s all safely there for more marathon binges where I can spot the little things I didn’t notice before. If you haven’t already, you should be joining me in checking it out – but of course I’m going to say that, I may as well give you a few reasons why.

So – Why do you NEED to watch How To Get Away With Murder? 

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Heading Into Nature: A Wander in BallyBrack Woods, Douglas

Wandering into Nature

Winter is definitely coming. The weather is finally starting to get cold, the evenings are getting darker and there are leaves all over the ground in gorgeous reddish/orange shades. Living in Cork, this also means getting into the mindset of dealing with even more rain, but for the moment, I am cherishing the days without, where it is cold and crisp, and I’m able to head out walking with my boy. We’ve recently moved further out of the city than I’ve ever lived before since my move down here in 2009, and so have started exploring a whole other area which I’d not really paid too much attention to before. Through a curious wander the other day, I discovered a trail that went through Ballybrack Woods, behind the playground, and resolved to go back as a three so we could enjoy a nice family wander into nature.  (more…)

A Year On: PND and me.

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Almost a year ago, I started writing a piece for this blog that I wasn’t sure about writing but knew it had to come out. It wasn’t something I was ashamed of, as such, or something I thought was wrong. I was perfectly happy with the anonymous people of the Internet knowing it, it was the not so anonymous faces of friends, family and other internet friends who I wasn’t so enamoured with knowing my “secret”. I sent it to my best friend and got the mister to read over it, to check that the wording was okay, that it wasn’t “too honest” and that I wasn’t making an absolute idiot of myself. In a way, I was looking for their seal of approval that it was okay to write this piece, to tell anyone who read my blog that I wasn’t finding life so easy, that I had been diagnosed with postnatal depression. A year on it seems on one hand crazy that I put so much time overthinking it, but on the other it seems completely justifiable and even now like something I should do.  (more…)

Boots, Blogs and Teenage Angst: My Little Loves

my little loves

Hello October. It’s officially hurtling towards winter, and that time of the year when people obsess over a day of much food, some love and a heap of stressful shopping trips. Let’s not mention that yet though and enjoy the time that is October. Leaves are coming off the trees, the weather is as temperamental as my newly out-of-wonder-weeks toddler, and even the mid-riff baring teenagers seem to be dressing a tad more sensibly these days (yes, I feel ancient writing that). So, while I contemplate getting the electric blanket out of the cupboard and onto the bed, lets check out what I’ve been loving this week in my Little Loves post (part of the butwhymummywhy linky). (more…)

Balance Restored: What I’m Watching while avoiding the rest of the unpacking

Netflix Picks October 2015

Balance has been restored to the Four Walls, Rainy Days household. It may have taken 21 days, three phonecalls ending in crying with rage, two failed installations, one failed activation, and learning a whole new definition of morning (apparently 9.30-1.30, but potentially can go on up to 5pm) but we have broadband in our new house. Not only that, but thanks to our new place having a TV that has a HDMI slot (yay for entering the modern era), I can finally get to use my Apple TV and watch Netflix on a screen that is bigger than my laptop.

There’s been a lot of kids tv. I’m not proud, but solo parenting while moving house and balancing a toddler means that sometimes, Peppa has to give Mammy ten minutes of peace from “No!” and “Mama! Mama! *scream*”. We’re managing to get back on our feet though (happily welcoming Dada back from his work trip, getting a bit more settled into our new home) and the child has started actually going to bed (and staying asleep) at a reasonable hour. Which means we’re actually able to sit down and watch things, in full, and be able to follow them. The novelty. So, after my month of deprivation, of not being able to depend on 90210 to make me feel better about life, I’ve accumulated quite the list of things I’m looking forward to enjoying (and have started on some of them).  (more…)

18 months.

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It’s strange how these things go. Through the 40 (37 in my case) weeks of pregnancy on a first baby, time drags, it slows down, yet once that tiny bundle is placed in your arms, time races forward as if to make up the difference. It’s a real blink-and-you’ll-miss-it time, though some of those endless sleepless nights feel like the clock is going backwards. I’m suddenly the owner of an 18 month old, a boy, not a baby, and I’m terrified to blink again in case he heads off to college while I’m not looking.

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Lets Talk About Consent, Baby.

Consent. It’s the hot topic word of the moment, being flitted around the media, around the twitter sphere, with differing opinions from many people from many walks of life, stretching over different generations. The publication of Louise O Neill’s “Asking For It” has sparked a debate that isn’t going away any time soon. More recently, Hollyoaks has run a successful campaign peering into what exactly consent is, and what it isn’t.   The concept should be simple; do both of these people want to have sexual intercourse, or any sexual contact with each other, and are they of a mental capacity to make such a decision? However, as we all know, nothing in life is simple, nothing is ever black and white and it is in the shades of grey where we find our current situation in Ireland.

Lets Talk About Consent Baby

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Being Enough

being enough

This week I turned twenty four. An age that I used to think would be one where I’d have my life together, all figured out. It seems like a properly grown up age, doesn’t it? On paper, I guess I do have that life together. I’ve found a very lovely man, with whom I live in a very lovely apartment, with our (not biased at all here) very adorable toddler. I even work for a company who while I won’t go as far as describing them as very lovely, do treat their employees with decent conditions and some rather lovely perks. I’ve been to university, attained my degree and an education on top of it which didn’t happen in the classroom or lecture hall but rather in the rainy cold mornings spent working towards something Student Union related, or the late night “tired and emotional” chats enjoyed with Lennoxes chips. I live in a city which I now consider home (not quite “home home”, but getting there) after six years here, it’s given me my accent, my love of tea and my life as it currently stands. As far as things go, it’s not a half bad way to be at 24. 

But. Is it enough? Am I being enough? (more…)

Calling Nonsense on “Back To School Essentials”

I’ve written before this week about how my newsfeed and everything around me is screaming “Back to School”. It being almost the start of September, that is to be expected. My inbox is also being bombarded with back to school emails, both from companies that I really should unsubscribe from thanks to the levels of junk mail I wind up with, and press releases which I don’t think my toddler and I really fit into their target market. I’ve noticed a resounding theme – everything is being marketed as “Back to School Essentials”, in some ways a “you-are-terrible-if-you-don’t-have-it” item. What are we talking about here, books, schoolbags, lunch boxes? Not exactly. So I’m calling nonsense on these essentials, which if you check out my list you might agree with!

Back To Schools Essentials - Calling Nonsense on some of the silly ones! BadMammy.com (more…)

Scribbles in Print : My article in Easy Parenting Magazine

Scribbles in Print - Easy Parenting Magazine

When I started this whole blogging thing, it was an outlet for me, a diary of scribbles to let out all the feelings (and there were MANY feelings) that pregnancy had given me. I was huge, and trapped inside thanks to an inconsiderate storm which clearly didn’t understand that I needed chocolate and to escape my apartment. I certainly didn’t envision that 18 months later I’d still be writing, but not only that, actually having work I’ve written getting published in a magazine, where people would actually read it. I know, crazy.  (more…)

Back To School; Compiling the Complete Guide

back to school a complete guide four walls rainy days cork ireland

We’re not in back-to-school mode at the Rainy Days house; thankfully E is quite settled in his creche having now properly made the move to the Waddling Ducks room – no longer the youngest – and being there throughout the summer. It does make such a difference that he is not only happy to go there each day, but that he genuinely seems to have a good relationship with the wonderful creche workers who keep him entertained, safe, fed, and nurtured throughout the day. He’s gotten to the stage where he is happy to run in the door, not looking back apart from to wave me off as if my presence would be ruining his fun in his Mammy free zone.

However, my entire Facebook feed is taken up by Back To School – it appears that everyone around me is a couple of steps ahead. Tearful goodbyes, last minute dashes for forgotten lunch boxes and grumps about itchy uniform socks lie ahead for much of the people whose lives I watch go by on my Facebook feed and in the blogs I’m a regular reader of. At the same time, a wealth of knowledge is emerging from some of my favourite parenting bloggers, many of them Irish, on a variety of topics around going back to school, or starting for the first time. I thought a roundup was in order, to have the best advice all in one place available to anyone who is looking at a tiny uniform or a little schoolbag and wondering “How exactly does all this work?”, so I’ve put together a little something today. Hopefully you will find them useful – and get to discover more amazing parenting bloggers in the meantime! (more…)