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! Read More

Life After The CAO Results

On a Monday morning in August each year, the pressure cooker which has been boiling the brains of thousands of Irish young people for the whole long, rainy Summer comes to an end. At six am, offers are made via the Central Applications Office to different courses in various colleges and universities to the thousands of students who have applied many months in advance. Some will get the course of their dreams. Others will be more disappointed. Some will have a basic idea if they are home safe or not by now, going on the results which they received last Wednesday. Others will be more unsure, the points of some courses are known to be unpredictable, and even some of the more predictable have in the last few years gone their own way on the morning. Today has been that day, the day of the CAO results offers.

Life After The CAO Results

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Reading, Radio and Lots of Coffee – My Little Loves this week!

Loves of the Week

I’m having a rather unusual Saturday morning here at the Four Walls, Rainy Days house – there was sleep, lots of it, uninterrupted in fact. The joys of E being taken off to a sleepover at his Granny’s house on a Friday night – we got to have a lovely date night, a chance to celebrate some good news we got yesterday, and topped off by a lie in! Who knew this was possible in parenting? Apart from that, it’s been a pretty okay week, a couple of health bits gone bad (thank you athsma for showing up to join the party), it’s been nice having Himself home and getting to do things as our little family of three again. Here’s a bit of a round up of what’s been going on and what we’ve been loving this week – my contribution to the Little Loves linky (from the fab butwhymummywhy) which you can see more of here. Read More

Into an Internet Wormhole

down the internet wormhole youtube list four walls rainy days

There are certain websites which should definitely have taken on the Netflix tactic of asking you every couple of hours if you’re really sure that you’re still watching. Youtube is definitely one of them. While yes, this is basically a tactic to guilt you into going outside into the sunshine instead of watching yet another episode of House of Cards or The Good Wife, it may be worthwhile, if at the detriment of stopping you from discovering the joys of the underside of the internet. I fell in this evening. My findings are a mixture of joy, fun and general “how did that get online?”. Read More

Little Loves of the Week

Loves of the Week

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve gotten to do one of these – life has been rather hectic around here with himself away with work, and our going up and down to Waterford and Wexford. We’ve also had some rather not-summer-like weather which hasn’t inspired much in the way of happy thoughts – it’s as if August took a holiday of its own and left November in charge, rather unfairly! Despite all of that though, there have been some good points, so as a form of a round up of the last few weeks, here’s what my Little Loves looks like this week!

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The Battle of Augmentin; A Bad Taste In The Mouth

battle of augmentin parenting four walls rainy days

I was told when E started crèche that he would catch every bug going, those were the breaks when we were putting him in contact with snot covered children for multiple hours, where it wasn’t a million percent sanitised every ten minutes. In my head I put this down as a necessarily ill, bound to happen eventually when he hits school, and the benefits for him, me and our relationship were much higher than the pains of sniffles and coughs. The line “living in the doctors” was mentioned a few times. He’s certainly fulfilling that prophecy. We’re lucky my GP is close by and lovely, and that he’s not one of those children who screams the place down when in any proximity of the place. Sure, she has the cool fire truck toy in her surgery, he practically runs into the place excited (sick? Him? Never healthier than in the doctors waiting room!). Read More

The Waiting Game

the waiting game house rental cork four walls rainy days

It’s been a while since I’ve looked at the phone, willing it to ring, willing the person on the other side to say “Yes, you are the chosen one”. Trying to play it cool; not seeming overly awkward with how much I want to be that chosen one, not seeming too desperate. Trying to give off the image of a cool collected individual instead of a wretched desperate woman begging to be accepted. Ahem. That never happened.

In the past, it was jobs, it was boys, it was competitions I was never destined to win. There was a mixture of acceptance and rejection over the years; none as bad as the ones who never called at all. I tried to retain the illusion of sanity, of nonchalance, of being too busy to care. Then I became a Mammy, and my hormones went nuts and haven’t really allowed me to perform this illusion as perfectly. Perhaps I should have stuck with the drama degree. Read More

10 iOS Apps Every Blogger Should Have

I’ve been writing this blog for nearly two years, and what has started initially as a hobby has become one of the major parts of my life now. Because of this, I am constantly looking for new ways to make it easier to get more done, preferably while doing other things (the work of a Mammy is never ever done!). Generally when you see me I’ll have my iPhone on me, it’s a bit like an extra body part, so meshing the two together generally makes sense and does then make up a lot of my blogging work. For example, my phone serves as my main camera, my notepad on the go, my tracker of stats and my main source of contacting other bloggers and people I work with for writing purposes. It’s also where I play my sudoku, but that’s another story.

Essential iOS Apps for Bloggers-3 Read More

Dressing Up and Boogying on Down, my Little Loves of the Week

Loves of the Week


Another week gone by, another whole lot of nothing done. This week has been a bit up and down; after last weeks creche-plague infestation, I was unimpressed to discover over the weekend that the boy wonder had passed it on, giving me tonsillitis and an ear infection. Aside from a diet of strepsils and antibiotics, it’s not been too bad though. Time to join in again to the fabulous #LittleLoves linky from butwhymummywhy. This is what my Little Loves have been this week! Read More

Let’s Get Physical; a morning at the Arena Clinic, Mardyke Arena

mardyke arena clinic cork four walls rainy days

As I’ve mentioned here a few times before, I’ve suffered from issues with my back for about the last year and a half, due to an injury sustained during pregnancy. It’s left me unable to live as freely as I would like to live, unable to work at various points, and somewhat sponsoring a new wing at my doctors surgery. Recovery is taking a lot longer than I thought it would, and I’m trying new things in order to find something, anything, that works.My pain management consultant, who is a very lovely man when he’s not wielding a needle towards my back, suggested I try hydrotherapy, as physiotherapy was proving difficult due to the tenderness in my back (it’s as if I have no pain threshold at all). It’s taken a while to organise, between childcare, illness and waiting lists, but finally yesterday  morning I got to go to my induction session with the physiotherapists in the Arena Clinic, Mardyke Arena, which is near UCC, my alma mater. Read More

Parenting, it’s all a load of poo.

When you’re younger and playing with dolls and pretending they are your baby, there are a certain few actions which are considered normal doll play. Generally baby will cry, baby gets fed, baby gets nappy changed, baby sleeps. Of late, some dolls are built to encourage breastfeeding, grand so. Baby might be sick and need to see doctor so off Dolly trots with Mammy to another child with a plastic stethoscope to be told baby has a cold/chickenpox/the plague, to give it Calpol and it’s grand (see, realism about our health system from the age of four).

While baby doll does indeed get nappy change, that is where the focus on the contents finish. Oh, how I wish the same was true of real parenting.

Parenting A Load Of poo

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Rants, Rain and Reading – My Little Loves of the Week!

rants reading rain four walls rainy days little loves

There has finally been some form of a break to the heat – okay, so I would have rathered a gentle breeze rather than the monsoon that descended over the weekend, but thankfully the most of the sticky humidity has left us for the moment. It’s been an active week here; lots going on, some of it even nice things. Continuing on with the fab Little Loves linky from butwhymummywhy, this is what I have been loving this week! Read More

House-hunting; changing as life changes


I don’t think anyone honestly likes house hunting in practice. In theory, of course, looking for the perfect place to live, to build a home, to make your own. Visions of scenes from Location, Location, Location and finding the perfect house first go fill your head as you log onto or the numerous other websites advertising places to live in your area. Unfortunately, thats about as far as those scenes go; visions in your head. Unfortunately in modern Ireland, this is not the reality for house hunting. Read More

How did You Get Here? Crazy Search Terms

how did you get here crazy search terms four walls rainy days

I like dealing with stats and seeing how people reach my blog to read what I’ve got to say. For the most part, people seem to follow links I share on social media accounts, which shows me that where I’m marketing it does seem to be working a bit. Some of the people who reach here find me through search engines; only some of the terms they use to get here are available but the ones that are never fail to amuse and surprise me. Taking a note out of the very lovely The Airing Cupboard‘s book, I’ve decided to share the joy and take a look at the more unorthodox of searches which led people to this part of the internet… Read More

My Little Loves


It’s been a bit of a mad week here at the Four Walls, Rainy Days house. Lots of great stuff going on, E made his transition to full daycare (three days a week) at his wonderful creche, we appeared in The Irish Independent and my article was published in Maternity & Infant. On top of everything, at my first Weight Watchers Weigh In, I found out that despite not feeling any different, I’d lost 5 pounds – clearly doing something right. There’s a rather lovely linky going about, hosted by butwhymummywhy, that some of my favourite bloggers have been participating in, so I decided to join in the fun! These are my Little Loves of the week that was! Read More

Being a “Younger Mother”

Last week, I was asked to contribute to an article about becoming a mother at a younger than average age. It stemmed from a statement made by an obstetrician that encouraged women to start their families younger in an attempt to lower the amount of high risk pregnancies which occur more frequently after the age of 30. At 23 with a 14 month old, I definitely fitted into the “mother at a younger age” category, so I said my piece and went to get some photos done with said toddler for the paper.

Being a Younger Mother

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Pretending to be Famous, lets Vogue.

73 Things-2

I’ve seen on a few blogs that I follow the 73 questions, intially started by Vogue magazine and lots more famous people, being adopted by bloggers as a bit more of a getting-to-know-you thing. So, in the essence of fake-it-til-you-make-it, for the sake of this post I will assume my inner celebrity and hopefully you’ll learn something fabulous and interesting from all of this. If not, at least its 73 pieces of trivia to fill the parts of your brain old theme tunes used to fill. Read More

Writer with a capital W


When I was little, I wanted to be a writer, and my mother told me to get a day job first and pursue my dream on the side. Sensible woman, so she is. I kind of let that dream slide for a few years while I got on with trying to figure out the day job side of things; after running my way through a number of different retail jobs and vowing to never again do a job that required my HACCP cert, I finally found the day job that would fit for now – not forever, but for this stage of my life.

Then I got pregnant, and fat, and whiny and decided the internet should have to put up with me. Read More

Losing the Plot Again – The Kid’s Book Shelves

Ah, reading, my old friend. Before I had a baby, I was one of these people who liked to read for pleasure, a book before bed, as a method of relaxing. These days, its more like my head hits the pillow and I black out until inevitably the child wakes up and wants the bottle which is right next to his head handed to him. My book shelves have changed greatly; my library membership now more utilised in the children’s section than the adults – although this is something I’m working on. Here is a look at what books we’ve been reading lately.

A Look through the book shelves of my toddler; we're Losing The Plot.

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Dear Leaving Cert Me, A Letter from Your Future Self

It has been six years since I sat my Leaving Certificate in 2009. In those six years, I have changed as a person and my life has changed around me more than I could ever have dreamed back then. It seems to be a thing to write a letter to your 16 year old self, but I feel that Leaving Certificate me was far more in need of a kind word and a kick up the backside, so she’s getting my sentiments instead, it being that time of the year. 

Dear Leaving Cert Me

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Our New Housemate

Our New Housemate

In the last week, we’ve gained a new housemate. They weren’t very welcome to begin with, taking up space and making everyone miserable, completely inconsiderate. At this point they’ve overstayed their welcome and don’t even bother taking the bins down or doing the dishes. On top of everything, the rent isn’t being paid. Gastroenteritis, you’re a ridiculously bad lodger, but for whatever reason we can’t get rid of you.  Read More

10 More Things I’ve Learned As A Mammy


So, last year the very lovely Learner Mama held a linky on her blog; 10 things learned from Motherhood. Like many other parenting bloggers; I contributed my piece detailing all of the knowledge I’d learned in the first 8 weeks of motherhood. You can check that out here, and I definitely recommend checking out the other bloggers involved in the linky, far more experienced than I am.

Needless to say, a year on, there has been a lot more learning in the meantime. So I decided it was time for an update; sharing the knowledge of my learnings in the hopes that perhaps it will help some random google search to find an answer (because really, people do search for some really strange things).

10 more things I've learned as a Mammy

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