Last month I got an email which excited me greatly – I was being asked to be part of Irish Country Magazine’s Women of Ireland 2016 series, in a piece about motherhood and parenting in modern Ireland. Never mind that, there was mention of hair and makeup and getting dolled up for a glam photoshoot – I was sold! It’s now hit the shelves and I’m really happy with how it turned out.
There’s been a lot in the media in the last few days about Jamie Oliver. Having struck a victory over the addictive substance infiltrating young people worldwide (sugar) with the incoming sugar tax in the UK, he wasn’t one to rest on his laurels. While announcing another new addition to the Oliver clan (this will be their fifth child), Jamie Oliver stated in a radio interview that he would look to campaign about the benefits of breastfeeding babies as to hopefully increase the numbers of breastfeeding mothers in the UK. His comments, in particular his description of the task as “easy”, have seen him slated around the various social media outlets and certain publications – he is being demonised for “mansplaining” breastfeeding to women who know better.
But you know, I think he has a point, and his use of the word “easy” isn’t what you should be getting angry about. Read More
The child will be two on Thursday, full on toddler mode, though on any given day he’s going on 15. He’s become a lot more vocal in the last few weeks, definitely a lot more assertive about what he does and doesn’t want, and knows how to communicate these needs to you. Loudly. Repeatedly. Alongside a chorus of “Mam. Mam. Mam”. Family have been asking for ideas for birthday gifts for him, to which I’ve really been drawing a blank (what do you give the toddler who has a tonne of toys he likely forgets he owns?), but then I started thinking about all the things he’s made sure I know he wants over the last week…
Are you familiar with Paw Patrol? Chances are, if you’ve got a child under the age of five who has been introduced to a television or Netflix account, you’ll at least be familiar with the theme tune. By familiar, I mean it’s stuck on a loop in a part of your brain that nothing else can quite reach to get it out of there (I’ve contemplated bleaching it out. Surely that will work?). For those of you who haven’t become familiar with the show that has taken over our lives as we know them, Paw Patrol is a Canadian animation broadcast in 126 countries, based on the premise of a pack of dogs who, under orders of the questionably aged boy with lots of technology at his disposal, go about saving the rather questionable townspeople from themselves. In our house, the combination of dogs plus fire engines (that would be the aptly named Marshall) was fated to be a winner.
I, like the rest of the Nation, was heartbroken to find out that the series of Room to Improve ended last Sunday night after just four new builds. I’d grown used to watching unsuspecting couples see their homes turn from ordinary, unsuitable for their needs houses to complete money pits with problems up to their ears, and then into magnificent mansions with ALL of the light. He loves a good window, does Dermot Bannon.
The show has gotten me inspired though, as to what kind of things I’d like to have in my dream house. Much as I love our apartment, as modern and insulated as it is, the dream is to have a house with more than two bedrooms, with space to fit everything we own into that doesn’t look like a mess of clutter. Not much to ask for, right? I may have resorted to Pinterest of late, inspired by the huge amounts of light, beautiful mezzanines and kitchens to die for (maybe not the concrete wall though. That’s a step too far). Here’s what I’ve had in mind. (This may have taken up a lot of hours of dreaming about the house that could be. Oh yes, that’s why it’s not exactly gone up on Friday…)
Women, they’re incredible, aren’t they? We live in an age where we strive for equality on every level, and work hard to make sure that any glass ceilings are shattered. Today is International Women’s Day, a celebration worldwide which has been ongoing for more than 100 years making the most of the powerful souls which make up half of the worlds population.
It’s easy to look and find incredible role models – there are some obvious choices in the worlds of sport, politics, celebrity, something for everyone. Women who are looked up to for using their talents and savvy to make a difference, to change the world around us. They’re not always the most obvious ones either – some are bold and out there with showing the world their “I am woman, hear me roar” stance, while others are quietly working in the background, letting the work say it all for them.
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these – lots has been going on, and without my MacBook handy and ready to go I’ve found it more difficult to get blogging stuff done – much as I love my iPad, it just isn’t the same to work from! Hopefully soon I’ll be able to get sorted out with a replacement but in the meantime, I’ll soldier on with this Bluetooth keyboard! February was a bit of a mad month – we had a very unwell toddler for a few weeks of it, which made life a little bit more difficult and also meant I wound up not doing a few things I’d planned to do. Thankfully he’s on the mend now, so we can get back to normal!
So, what have we been up to and loving lately? Here are my February Little Loves! Read More
Every day is the same around here, we’ve gotten into somewhat of a routine, dependent on whether or not it’s a crÃ¨che day. This is the kind of thing all the parenting books tell you to do from the second the child’s umbilical cord is cut, and I acknowledge we’re a little late to the game since his second birthday is next month, but I digress. Routine is one word for it, Groundhog Day is another. Every single day I get to bedtime and am relieved when I’m allowed to collapse for it all to start again at the crack of dawn the following morning. You know, if the crack of dawn time is set on the 21st of June like it is in my toddler’s head, and not the darkened sky version of Dawn we’ve had in recent months.
What’s that they say about making plans and the gods laughing at you? I’ve definitely had a few tastes of that over the last few years, and this last week was no exception. See, my blog turned 2 last week and I had been thinking of different things I could do to mark the birthday. Then my toddler decided otherwise, and mid tantrum knocked over a glass of water, onto the table where my MacBook Air, my first baby, was sitting.
You’re likely not coming to my door, given the big gate and the secure apartment block, but sure, I’d like you to know my needs anyway. It seems everyone else is getting a fair whack at letting you know exactly what is on their minds. An election has been called and in less than three weeks, we’ll be standing in primary schools and community centres around the country, scribbling our votes in tiny booths and choosing the fate of our country for up to the next five years. I say up to, because I’m not sure how long it will last given the current composition of what is ahead. So, here we go.
Here we go again, February 14th, Valentines Day, the day where we make the effort we should be making the other 364 days of the year to make sure that the other half knows how much we love and appreciate them (and their bin taking out abilities). Windows are full of gift ideas which range from dodgy looking mens underwear, to chocolate covered treats and everything in between. If you’re planning on burying your head in the sand instead of joining the queue for overbooked restaurants and cinema showings this year, but have someone special to snuggle up to (or a comfy pillow, works either way), then you should be sorted with Netflix. You can even get into the spirit of things. Put away Making A Murderer for one night and get feeling a little more soft and gooey and warm inside.
Why go for one cheesy romcom when you can go for all of them? Date Movie is what it says on the tin, a send up of all those cliches, all those motifs you see in every single romantic boy meets girl comedy – and it’s got Alyson Hannigan (American Pie, How I Met Your Mother) in it, who I love, so it was definitely on my to-watch list. It’s not exactly Spielberg but it’s got a few good belly laughs and is good for the date that isn’t taking itself too seriously – or for simply laughing at the whole conceptÂ of romantic movies in general as it sends up most of the big ones! Perfect for those not quite behind the whole mushy side of Valentines Day.
What do you do when your boyfriend dumps you to go find someone smarter? Forget about your fashion qualifications and apply to Harvard Law of course in an effort to win him back. You can’t but love Reese Witherspoon in this, and between a rewatch of this and How To Get Away With Murder I’m dreaming of a law degree myself in the future! A love story with lots of law, learning, feminism and beauty tips to boot – if you haven’t seen it already (where were you?), you need to. While I’d class it as a girly movie, there is a lot of good laughs to keep the boys entertained too this Valentines weekend.
Romeo and Juliet
The most famous love story of all time meets a young Leonardo Di Caprio and a super young looking Claire Danes (This film is 20 years old this year). Using the words of the Bard in a much more modern setting, Baz Luhrmann works his magic. If you’re looking for classic romance this Valentines Day, you can’t ask for much better. A pair of star crossed lovers, and their tale of tragic romance caused by their warring families – we all know how it ends, but it doesn’t take from it at all.
Adapted from one of my favourite books, Where Rainbows End (Cecilia Ahern), Love, Rosie is a rather recent film with a lot of lovely moments. What happens when you meet your soulmate in primary school but never quite get the timing right? A ton of life gets in the way, that’s what. They may have made them English instead of Irish, and you will spend half the film shouting at them to cop onto themselves, but it’s a really sweet love story, perfect for Valentines Day!
What happens when you mix the creator of Love Actually and Notting Hill, with the star of The Notebook? One hell of an emotional ride, that’s what. It’s sincere, it’s beautiful, it’s very high on my list of favourite films. At the age of 21, Tim (played by our own Domhnall Gleeson), finds out that a family trait is time travel (better than the dodgy eyesight that happens in our family anyway) and thus begins a quest to not only find a girlfriend but to make every moment perfect. As the movie goes on though, we learn it isn’t quite that simple… If this doesn’t get you in the feels, Â you’re not watching it right. Perfect for a date night in with the one you love.
The film with one of the most iconic scenes in rom com history. John Cusack’s 1989 classic is a gorgeous love story which should make you smile, but not quite want to get sick from an overly sickly love story – definitely worth a watch.
Those are my picks this Valentines weekend – what are yours? If you’re looking for some more, I also did something similar last year so there may be some more ideas for you there.
What is your favourite date movie? Let me know in the comments below!
Disclosure:I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and received a Netflix subscription and an iPad Mini in return for posting Netflix updates and reviews, however, all opinions are my own, and I already had a personal subscription before joining the Stream Team.
The internet is full of lists of absolute essentials when it comes to new babies and baby products. From some of those lists, it seems that unless you’re in possession of every one of them, you’re next on a list for child services to be checking out your home. When I was pregnant and newly Mammied up, I read all of these lists. I allowed them to colour my purchasing choices. Jaysus, some of them were diabolical choices.
I did have common sense to avoid some of the “essentials” – take that, tummy tub (it’s a bucket, for crying out loud) – but a lot of them were definitely trial and error and trying to ignore the receipts for the things which just weren’t worth the money or the effort. However, there were some baby products which I absolutely couldn’t have done without, and would recommend to any new parent to make life a million times easier (or, you know, a little bit better) during the early days and up to the toddler years. Here are my top 5 baby products that I couldn’t have done without.
I like things which make as little mess as possible – living with a toddler tends to use up all love for mess makers in one fell swoop. Since having said toddler, quite a lot of time seems to be spent in the kitchen, making copious amounts of tea, preparing snacks for the eternal snacker (but sparrow eater) and trying to figure out different ways to try fit more healthy food into our diets (this one is a work in progress). All those snacks (fruit in particular) and teabags do add up and can make up quite a lot of mess. In fact, since we moved into our new apartment which has a dishwasher, it’s the only part of mealtimes which can really be complained about. Between messy liquids and smelly Â leftovers, if it took more than a day or two to fill the bin, we could be left with some really unpleasant hang-ons until bin day. This was even without having a designated caddy like I’ve had in other houses, which was generally dreaded if the weather got in any way warm. So when I got an email last week asking if I’d like to try out Obeo’s compost bags to see if they’d improve our kitchen fare, I was thrilled to try them out.
Moments that aren’t your proudest as a Mammy? I’ve had a few of those. My most recent being the realisation that the only possible solution to my screaming toddler, in pain, grabbing his ear at 9pm on Sunday night was to shake that bottle of Calpol (like it was a polaroid picture) to get the remaining almost 3ml out of it and praying to all and any gods out there that it would ease his pain and that it wasn’t another blasted ear infection. I wouldn’t mind, but the chemist below my doctors knows us by name and I’ve a strong feeling would nominate me as customer of the month. But, in times of need (and after closing time of any shops or chemists that would sell infant painkillers) it seems that the mountain of bottles of Calpol or Nurofen that we’ve purchased over the last two years has vanished into thin air, leaving only the dregs at the bottom of one bottle, and thankfully (mercy of all mercies) one purple syringe to get the stuff into him.
They say that to become a better writer, you need to read constantly. Right now, much of my reading is online, as I’ve less time for actual book-reading. The things I search out are generally to do with my own circumstances, so parenting blogs feature heavily. As I love a good list post, here goes – five parenting bloggers that I think you should watch out for. These are bloggers who I follow religiously, whose posts make me laugh and cry and have all of the feels, and who have definitely paved my way in parenting and blogging about it in learning from their experiences. If you’ve not checked them out already, you’re definitely missing out and you have a lot of reading to do.
It’s getting ever closer to the tiny man’s second birthday. The fact that I’ve an almost two year old is stranger to nobody than me. He’s a proper little person now; independent and wild (just a few steps back from feral, we’re doing okay). I’ve been looking back at the earlier update posts which documented my very tiny baby getting very slowly bigger, and it’s like it’s a different child – the time has absolutely flown. I didn’t believe it at the time, but the saying “The days are long but the years are short” is definitely a quote to live by for the infant years. That, and “This too shall pass”. At 22 months, we’re hitting head on into toddler-dom, tantrum first, but it does have a lot of rewarding moments too.
When I was pregnant, I saw a lot of my doctors thanks to my blood pressure and I not getting along. In the later stages of my pregnancy, the words “pre-eclampsia” were bandied about a bit. It was discussed at length as to whether or not specific results that day indicated if I did or didn’t have it, or if it seemed likely I would. Nobody sounded very happy about the possibility so I for sure knew it wasn’t a good thing. However, there was little enough information being sent my way about it which led me to googling what it could possibly mean.
For a pregnant lady whose blood pressure was already high, googling may not have been the best idea. There’s a lot of information out there online. In particular, information in well meaning forums where pregnant women and mothers discuss different symptoms and features of pregnancy, birth and beyond. A lot of this can be misleading, or more frightening than it should be.
So, for the sake of my past self who was terrified of what this diagnosis could mean for me and my baby (thank you Downton Abbey), here is a No Nonsense Intro to Pre-Eclampsia – hopefully if you’re reading this due to a similar Google search, it will allay some of your fears. While it is a very serious condition which can be very dangerous if not managed correctly, it is also key to keep in mind that when it is caught in time, which is the majority of cases in modern Ireland, mother and baby get through it healthily and happily.
Throughout my time writing this blog, I’ve tried to promote events which were on in Cork for parents (and parents to be), things that would make it easier for those of us with kids to get out of the house and meet other people who are in our shoes. I’ve written about Toddler and Parent Mornings in the Library, Cuidiu Coffee Mornings where sanity is regained over a cup of coffee, and random events in between. This time however, I’ve gotten a little bit more involved.
I was thrilled to be approached a little while ago by the organisers of this new Coffee Morning For Mums event, which is being held in a shopping centre not a million miles away from my regular stomping ground, Douglas Court Shopping Centre. From experience I know that being at home with baby/babies can be quite lonely and isolating, and it can be difficult to meet others who are in your shoes too – so when the idea of a coffee morning which will also have informative talks for Mums was mentioned, I thought it was a great idea.
Every year I vow that I will read more as one of my New Years Aspirations. Admittedly, this has become much easier since graduating from third level education; the land where I had so much mandatory reading that there was little time (or enthusiasm) for extra reading for the sheer love of it. Thankfully those days are gone so these days, my bookshelfÂ tends to be split into two categories: Books I read for me and Books I read to the Toddler. You can sense which ones I get more joy from (and no, itâ€™s not that bloody Love You Forever book).
Here is a look at what books we’ve been checking out to start off the New Year 2016.
You may be wondering what’s happened. The artist that was formerly known as Four Walls, Rainy Days has vanished, and like the phoenix coming from the (populated with lots of computer jargon I don’t understand) burning flames, BadMammy.com has arrived. While it’s not exactly life shattering news, to me it does signify a big shift in the blog – having found its focus, and the direction it wants to go in, with a new catchy title to draw you in.
(And if the title doesn’t do it, the promise of biscuits likely will, admit it)
The boy is not yet two, so in my mind, cannot officially enter the terrible twos. He doesn’t care for this lack of decorum and has jumped right in, two feet kicking and a roaring tantrum thrown in for good measure. We are not amused. Toddlerdom has officially kicked in, and we’re getting it in stereo: he’s learning everything new about the world around him, and while some of it is lovely and charming and fun, we’re learning very quickly that LIFE IS HARD WHEN YOU’RE ALMOST TWO.
It is tempting to look at the clock and wonder if realising that it is happy hour somewhere means it’s okay to open the wine at this hour. Damn you toddlerdom.
I can see your eye rolls already. How original, a post about going to the gym in January. If I didn’t know better, I’d roll those eyes too. (Especially after discovering discounted Terry’s Chocolate Oranges the other day). This isn’t exactly a resolution to myself though, not in the traditional “I am going to get fit/thin/much lighter” way. This year, it’s more like “I am going to be able and stronger by the end of the year”.
Oh, the weather outside is… well, it’s bloody awful for the last few weeks, isn’t it? While I consider myself extremely lucky to not have been affected by the horrific flooding around the country, it has been pretty miserable out, meaning that my big wandering walks have been lessened and more time trying to keep a toddler amused and myself sane has been had. It’s been a long holiday break, but there’s nothing like getting stuck into a series to make the time go faster. Enter Netflix, saviour of the rainy day blues.
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!
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.