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.
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…)
Mother’s Day is coming up soon – are you prepared to show the Mammy in your life how much you love her? Whether that’s your own Mammy, the mother of your child, step-mother, grandmother or expectant partner, here are a few ideas for gifts she will truly appreciate. (And if all else fails, someone else making dinner AND cleaning up after always goes down a treat).
The word “Pacing” has come to mean something different to me since being introduced to the Chronic Pain community. Prior to that, I had linked it very much so with parenting – pacing up and down corridors waiting for news, pacing up and down the house with a crying infant. In the chronic pain/illness world however, pacing is a coping strategy, basically “to pace yourself”. It’s a skill that can be quite difficult to get the hang of. In essence, you find out what your limit is, and then figure out your schedule to what you can do.
And then parenting comes along. Boom. My toddler DOES NOT CARE for pacing. Parenting and pacing are not the easiest of combinations to master.
I’ve lived in Cork City since 2009, meaning that this year is my 7th year here. In 2014 I gave birth to my son, which meant that I started to view the city in a whole new light – accessibility was a very real issue and I started to see just how accessible and inaccessible certain places were with regards to wielding my buggy around. I looked in envy at Mama’s whose babies were happy in a sling or structured carrier, as I wasn’t able to do the same thanks to a back injury and a disagreeable kiddo. I began to structure my almost daily wanders around where was best to have the buggy with me. It’s changed the way I look at the city, and am constantly on a search for different places to go, so in the nature of sharing the wealth, here is my guide to Baby Friendly places in Cork City in 2017.
What are your plans this weekend? Time with the family? Wrestling a toddler, or getting a newborn to sleep? Or will you take some time (five minutes even) for some me-time? It’s something that can definitely be neglected as a mama – we have a million and one jobs to do, and self care is put bottom of the list. There’s always another nappy, or another toy explosion, or the dishes, the school run…. We need to take a few minutes for us. As mums of small kids, it can be hard to be like the person you were before. There isn’t time for the full face of makeup, the well styled hair, before dashing out the door with a tantrumming child. Boots has apparently heard our plight, and is launching a special event for Mums this weekend.
It’s Friday. This week hasn’t been like a normal week. I’ve been off work again with my back since the start of the month. It’s meant mid-day naps and discovering that folding clothes is a task that causes pain. To add to the fun, we’ve all got that super fun cough-cold thing going on. I’m praying it doesn’t turn full chest infection. However, I’ve got a coffee, it’s Friday, and it’s time to look at the positives of the week. Linking up again with Coffee Work Sleep Repeat‘s linky “LittleLoves”, so here goes. Here is what this Bad Mammy has been loving this week.
The boy child is nearly three. He’s at that brilliant age where he’s a proper little human who you can actually have a conversation with. Okay, so his topics are limited and almost always come back to Fireman Sam or Paw Patrol, but we’re getting somewhere. He’s managing this whole new grown-up-toddler thing alongside his Tyrant-In-Training gig, so it’s a fine balance we have to work with. He tells me he’s a big boy (or a big girl, dependent on the day, we’re leaving him to figure it out), we’re half way to toilet training and I’m given a spark of joy each time he makes me a “cuppa-coffeee” from his toy kitchen. These are the good days.
The world is filled with commentary about the recent inauguration of Donald J Trump as US President Trump. The executive orders, the tweets, the Muslim Ban – all of it is filling up our news feeds and media. When we’re not hearing about that, we’re hearing about Brexit. Or Putin. Or Syria. Our own politics here in Ireland is not making many waves (aside from the Health Service) in comparison. We’re fascinated. It’s like Car Crash Watching – just so awful but we can’t turn away. So, in the spirit of not quite looking away but finding a distraction from the doom, I’ve found alternatives. Here are 9 Political Dramas on Netflix to satisfy curiosity but protect from the doom.
Last night I was watching Dr Eva Orsmond’s documentary on RTE 1, Medication Nation. I sat on my sofa with a heat wrap around my neck, debating whether or not I’ll get one for my lower back. I’m in pain. I’m moving around as needed, as I can’t sit still for too long or my back starts to seize. It’s on the back of my mind to remember my tablets before bed, as I have to do every night. I’m listening to medication being called “the easier way out” and I can feel my (currently low, thankfully) blood pressure rising. I live with chronic pain and depression, and medication makes my life easier, yes. That doesn’t mean I’m taking the easy way out.
The boy will be three in March. He’s long gone from being a baby, and is even losing his toddler ways. More and more, I’m seeing a little boy when I look at him. We’re enduring the TERRIBLE twos at the moment. Defiant. Tantrums. Enough attitude for his own punk band and then some to spare. He has his own little group of friends from creche, whom he loves. And now he wants a baby brother.
Yesterday, 20 January 2017, Donald J Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States. He sits in the most powerful seat of the Western world, elected to there by the electoral college system, not the electorate. The last two years have been filled with moments where the world has wondered how anyone could put someone like him into that seat, but here we are. Four years to go until potentially someone else gains ownership of the seat. Four years is a long time to be anxious, but I fear that it all we have ahead of us.
I’m a scatterbrain. My mother used to describe me saying that I’d lose my head if it wasn’t attached, and she’s right. Over the years I’ve lost rings bought by teenage boyfriends, numerous locker keys, various money notes (thankfully most showed up again), and various other things. I’ve not ever been one to lose things on a drunken night out though. No, I manage to do it stone cold sober. At the age of 25, it’s probably time to do something about it. The real impetus to get my act together happened just before Christmas, and has brought the Tile Mate into my life. So, inspired by Bumbles Of Rice posting about the things that make her life easier, here’s a look at something which makes mine infinitely easier.
Oh New Year, how predictable you are. We enter into the freezing cold January mornings telling ourselves that THIS is the year we will stop being fat, lazy, unmotivated and engaging in dangerous hobbies. We start crash diets to be derailed by the horrible people in Tesco’s merchandising department who start selling Easter eggs alongside the unsold Christmas chocolate stash. Every year, we tell ourselves that by December, we are going to be different people. Oh yes, this is the year. I am completely sold on the idea of “New Year, New Me”, but putting it into practice is proving a little harder. There is, however, an industry that takes care of that – the Self Help Book industry.
This industry takes care of everything. If you have a problem (real or imagined), there’s a book (and possibly an audio cd) to help you fix it. Some are preachy. Some are full of it. However, here are five which I have found to actually be of substance AND aren’t condescending – a difficult balance. So, for the New Year, this Friday’s Five is “5 Books for the New Year, New You That are Actually Worthwhile”.
Every year I try to get “Read More” on my New Years Resolutions list. Now, I’ve lost a lot of faith in New Years Resolutions, but this is probably the one I’ve got the best chance of completing. For one, since E now somewhat sleeps (I don’t want to jinx it), I’m now getting more sleep AND more time to read before bed. So when I spotted the Goodreads reading challenge for 2017, I decided to join in.
Here we are again, the start of another year. Bit of a dramatic one on a global scale, 2016, between Brexit, Trump and the size of Toblerones decreasing. The situation in Syria and across Europe is ever terrifying and anxiety creating. The attack in Istanbul has shown us that 2017 isn’t set to automatically be more peaceful. Life has been full of ups and downs, and it’s been great to watch the idiosyncrasies of E growing up into a proper little boy over the last year. As with other years, the lovely Sadhbh of Where Wishes Come From has hosted the 16 from 16 linky – here is my contribution. A look back on the year that was, while looking forward to the year to come.
As the crazy days of Christmas come to a close, it’s got me feeling nostalgic of the year thats gone by. It’s a year that certainly won’t be considered boring to look at, that’s for sure. Politically, the world seems to have fallen on it’s head and decided that right wing is the right way to go. In the world of celebrity, the heroes of many have fallen to the will of death – David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and most recently George Michael and Carrie Fisher, with many more in between.
Personally, it’s been a mixed bag. I’ve returned to the workplace after being out for 17 months. E has grown up into a toddler with crazy energy. I’ve had work published, and appeared in other publications. I’ve had medical procedures that hurt like a mofo, and struggled to keep on top of my mental health with my pain. I bought my first car and learned to drive, but failed my first driving test. 2016 for me is a “Work in Progress” year. Lots done, more to do, to quote a certain political party. Looking back on my Instagram, it’s a nice look at the year that was. Here’s my Instagram Best 9, and a bit of an explanation for each one.
Life is rather hectic when you add a small person into the mix. Suddenly the days race past, the bedtimes all seem to be like Groundhog day and there just never seems to be enough time in the day. It would probably help if I was a tad more organised. It’s on the to do list, to sort my life out, to rid myself of the stress of “oh crap, I was meant to do that TODAY”. Yes, that happens all the time. I apologise profusely to those I’ve missed coffees with, handed in stuff late to, and completely forgotten to text you back. Life gets distracting. The lovely folks in Busy B sent me a Busy Life Diary to check out upon hearing my disorganised plight. I’ve seen them the last few years and thought they were ingenious.
This is a hard post to write. I don’t particularly know why, as it’s not the first time I’ve addressed it. I’ve written extensively about my experience with depression, with being medicated, with chronic pain. However, I decided this week that I would write about anxiety. Anxiety which has been exacerbated at this time of year. I wanted to share my story in the hopes that others would feel less alone in their feelings. I planned to write it for my Mental Health Monday post. Â And then I became too anxious to write it. Oh, the irony.
I’m getting into the festive mood now with so few days to Christmas. Having spotted this tag online, I thought I’d take part – lots of bits about what makes a fab festive holiday time.Â It’sÂ certainly very different since having a child, there’s a lot more magic than it had for my jaded retail staffer self! I’d love to see other people’s answers to theseÂ questions. So, withoutÂ further ado, here is the Christmas 2016 Tag.
The internet is filled with gift guides. Nine days before the big day, you might still be stuck on what the lady in your life is REALLY wanting. If she’s a mother, the likely answer is “Sleep, please”, but since Santa can’t provide a sleeping child, retail may help. I am personally the worlds worst at telling exactly what I want – a source of frustration for himself and anyone else. For the last few years, we’ve used Amazon Wishlists for Christmas, which completely takes any surprise element out BUT does ensure that we get what we want. Chatting to some Mammy Blogger friends, we’ve come up with some suggestions if you’re still gift hunting!
When E was born, I was keeping an open mind when it came to breastfeeding. I’d told myself it wasn’t a big deal if I wasn’t able to do it. However, I Â found it incredible to be able to feed my baby myself. From the beginning, E was fed using a mixture of boob feeds and pumped feeds. I was advised by medical staff in hospital that supplementing his milk would be necessary to up his weight. As much as possible, I wanted to stick to breast milk as I knew it was best for baby. So I pumped. I found it incredible to be able to see the liquid gold in front of me, and ensure my baby got the goodness. It also meant that his Daddy or grandparents could do a feed, while I got some well needed rest.
Although I live in Cork City since 2009, a special part of my heart lies in Waterford. It’s where I was born, it’s where I spent the Summers and weekends of my teenage years. It’s where a whole lot of my family live. I may have been brought up in County Wexford, but Waterford was MY home. On our visits home I love to share this love with E, which I’m hoping will become more frequent when I’m fully road legal! I love coming to Waterford City for Winterval, the Winter Festival which has been a massive success in recent years. Although we were down to see the festival last year, this is the first year we’ve been down to visit the Winterval Santa Grotto in the Medieval Museum. I think I was looking forward to it more than the child! Here’s how we got on….