I’m a self-proclaimed spoonie. It’s not a club I readily joined, it’s not something I would hope that anyone I love would join. It is however proving to be somewhat of a lifeline, this community that I have found. If you look on social media networks like Twitter and Instagram, the “#spoonie” can be seen all over the place, but it doesn’t really lend itself to an explanation. So what exactly is a spoonie, how do I fit in, and why are we so obsessed with all the spoons?
There’s a song in the movie Mamma Mia which might have drawn a tear or two since becoming a parent. In the middle of the movie, Meryl Streep is watching her fully-grown daughter prepare for her wedding, and singing this song as the scene plays out. The song itself, “Slipping Through My Fingers” was written about ABBA members’ Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog’s 7 year old daughter. It sums up the feelings of watching our kids grow up so fast and not being able to grab them back in for a cuddle on your lap, or a snuggle to sleep to keep the baby days going. It’s gorgeous, and right now, it feels very apt for the stage I’m at with Eliott.
We’re in the market for a mortgage. We’ve made the decision that renting is no longer what we want to do. The decision is slightly being sped up by news that our apartment complex is being sold, although we have no idea when or how far away that is. It’s a decision I’m happy with – apartment life with a three year old who owns half of Smyths is not ideal. However, neither is the Cork housing market (or the rental market for that matter – it is BANANAS out there at the moment). We’ve become a lot more aware of the campaigns different banks are offering when it comes to mortgages.
Sometimes, you just need a day of vegging with a movie that was part of growing up to get by. Last weekend, I had a rather unpleasant pain management procedure done, so have been trying to take it easy as much as possible. In chats with other friends, we got to talking about the essential “tween/teen” movies which stuck with us, many of which are on the same comfort-watch list. I had a look through Netflix to see what they had to offer and was pleasantly surprised by the selection available. Here’s a look at a few of the Coming Of Age Movies which everyone needs to see at least once.
I’ve been driving my little silver Hyundai for a year now. I love it, driving has opened up my world to so much more freedom. It makes getting from A to B with a toddler much easier, especially for spur of the moment jaunts. However, it being a year since I bought the car, it means it’s a year since I insured it. And so, the great saga of car insurance renewal began. It’s a tale of the ages, of mysterious numbers being pulled from the deep, legends of people turning mythical purple colours from blood pressure spikes upon hearing the price they’re being quoted. And so, I’ve got a tale to add to the bunch, but mine is a tale of victory, of slaying the dragon. In as much as a learner driver with only a years experience can slay.
Cork City is my home. I’ve lived here for 8 years now, and I’ve developed a love for the place, rain and all. It’s a beautiful city – yes, it has it’s faults too, but for it’s small size, it’s filled with lots of history and beautiful buildings. A few times a year, it gets to show off all the wonderful cultural things this little city holds dear. On 19th August, the 12th annual Cork Heritage Open Day, is one such day of showing off. If you’re looking for something fun to do with the family this weekend, you’re sure to find something you’ll love here.
I’ve been a fan of Marian Keyes since I was about fourteen and picked up a copy of Watermelon. Her writing is funny, passionate and it draws you into her world with a warm hug. Eleven years on, I’ve read all the previous books and loved them in differing amounts. Her non fiction books (Under the Duvet and Further Under the Duvet) stuck out for me as particularly special, but I spent much time in the worlds of the Walsh family and their idiosyncracies. Much like the work of Emma Hannigan, with Keyes there is a habit of looking around your family and seeing them in the characters, it brings them to life. So, when I saw that there was a new book, The Break, to be read a little jump of joy was happening in me.
Last week, I was wandering around Cork City when I came across a sight which turned my stomach. An anti-abortion group, Youth Defence, were protesting outside Brown Thomas on Patrick Street. As well as their usual selection of banners with images of dead foetuses, they also had lots of volunteers handing out leaflets with the same. So far, so unfortunately familiar. There were lots of families around, children are off school and the weather was nice. For the most part, parents were trying to rush their children through the area, ignoring the stands and trying to distract their kids. This was a job made much harder by the volunteers, who were handing the leaflets to the children.
Much of the conversation about postpartum mental health revolves around the woman, the mother. Her body hasn’t been her own for the guts of a year, hormone levels are all over the place, and sleep levels are minimal. The conversation about postpartum depression centres around the mother’s mood and pressure applied to her. It’s a much needed conversation – 1 in 7 women are affected by PostPartum depression, and those are the reported figures. Many women suffer in silence from shame, from fear of the consequences for their family, from simply hoping it will go away. However, despite the conversation being all about the mothers, there is increasing evidence that it affects the fathers almost as much. We need to start talking about Paternal PostPartum Depression.
I’ve been blonde for about six years now. After a bad breakup, I decided to change things up and have, for the most part, stuck with it ever since. It is a lot of maintenance though. Despite the prominence of the balayage trend, even keeping on top of that requires at least five colour treatments a year (four if I’m REALLY pushing it). At around 100 euro a pop, it’s a big ask.Bigger than the money issue is the back pain issue. Sitting for long periods of time kills my back, it is prone to seizing up, so spending close to three hours in a chair, staying still does not bode well for me. Such instances need to be rare and spaced out. So, perhaps it’s time to say goodbye to blonde.
In talking to others about chronic pain and chronic illness, there is one theme in particular that keeps coming up. The idea that being not believed is a huge part of the problem. Having dealt with both mental illness and chronic pain over the last few years, I’m all down with the invisible illness speak. I’m on my way to gaining a medical degree through experience hours alone. It can be lonely, at times, being in this bubble where everything seems alright when it isn’t. Not being believed, or being told that it’s in my head, has been a big part of that.
Lately I’ve been looking a lot at the different ways people get traffic towards their blogs. I’ve been doing this for three years, and feel like I pour a lot of myself into it. I write because I love to write, I love to share things I’ve found. I have opinions and I get to put them out into the world. However, sometimes I put my heart and soul into posts and tumbleweed happens. So, in an attempt to lessen the tumbleweed, I’ve looked into different methods of gaining attention for this little blog. Pinterest has been a big one that I saw mentioned elsewhere, so I’ve been working on it a lot lately.
Paw Patrol has been shoved to the back burner. These days we’re all about PJ Masks. Or CD Mac, dependent on how much he feels like working on his pronunciation. It’s not on Netflix, so we work from recordings on the Sky Box from the POP channel. He sees a lot of ads this way, but thankfully doesn’t seem to realise they’re for ACTUAL toys. I hope.
Much like Paw Patrol and other kids shows that have filled our heads over the last three years, PJ Masks leaves me with so many unanswered questions.
As a child, I was a complete bookworm. So much so, that when I got lost in shops, the first place to look was the book section. There I’d be, whiling the time away stuck into another story blissfully unaware, while the world went on around me. As an adult, this has lessened due to circumstance – I don’t make the time as much as I used to. The vast majority of my reading is digital, through the Kindle app on my phone, and even that means time focused on just that. The big change came with my introduction to audiobooks through Audible. I’ve found that I’m able to multitask, listening to these books in the background and getting on with what I need to do.
I’ve found books I probably wouldn’t have picked up the hard copy of, and felt like a friend was talking to me listening to them. In particular, I like my audiobooks non-fiction – I don’t know why, it feels like they’re meant for things factual and conversational. I like them to pique my interest in a topic and pull it out slowly. I’ve found lots that have me inspired to be and do more with my life. So, here’s a few that I think every woman should listen to – for both that joy feeling, and self development all wrapped into one.
Disney movies were a key part of my childhood, like that of many children. I spent hours watching, singing along and playing pretend with friends and family about the worlds of the movies. As a parent, I’m now watching them with different eyes than my five/six year old self. More knowing, more judgemental – and definitely a whole lot less dismissive of some of the issues they bring up. So, here goes, an analysis of the Disney Movies I once loved, but now through my adult eyes.
I made the move, I took the plunge. I trusted that my blog wouldn’t break, and thankfully *touch wood* it’s still in one piece. I’ve managed to survive migrating from one host to another and have lived to tell the tale. For someone who doesn’t do the whole coding thing and found the backend part of moving to self hosting painful (at best), nobody is more shocked than me. So, why did I move? And why did I move to GoDaddy?
Childcare is often declared to be the second mortgage of many homes. Personally, it makes up almost as much as our rent per month, and we only have one child. It’s a major outlay and can really have some families in a bind as to whether both parents working is actually financially worth it. The price of childcare differs dependent on your needs and what form parents use – au pairs, creche, montessori, in house childminders, childminders in their own homes, grandparents and family members. So, how do we ensure we have affordable childcare?
I’m quite a fan of the True Crime genre. Himself is a little bit paranoid about my obsession, as if it’s research. I’ve always found the psychology behind the cases and the investigations into them fascinating. In another life, I might have gone into law enforcement, but as it stands I wouldn’t pass the medical! So, instead, like any good armchair detective, I look into the cases that have already been sorted out (or have a story behind them). I’ve written before about the true crime podcasts that I’ve been listening to, and it seemed to really appeal to readers, so now I’m sharing the documentary list. Or rather, the 17 True Crime Documentaries that I’ve loved over on Netflix.
Getting to see Ireland’s gems of historical sites is definitely something I want to do more of. Being able to drive now has opened up so much more of the country to me and I plan to embrace it. I studied Celtic Civilisation as part of my degree, and so discovered a lot of interesting history of these amazing sites. They’re a great resource to bring kids to as well – they make a fantastic day out and they’ll be learning to boot. Many of these sites are now owned by the Office Of Public Works (OPW).
On a normal basis, these sites are mostly paid entry. However, on the first Wednesday of the month, they are free entry to the public which makes them a great free day out. AND from July 1st, they’re all free entry EVERYDAY for kids! Here’s a list of the sites waiting for you to discover them – great for days out when the kids are off and you’re needing something to do!
Ah, the school holidays are upon us. There’s a whole lot less traffic in the mornings, the skies are (mostly) blue and there are kids country wide exclaiming that they are bored. Standard stuff, really. There are loads of summer camps around to keep them busy, but the cost of those can really pile up too. So, what’s a parent to do? If your kids are in Cork, Cork City Library have a full Summer programme ready to start next week. Hopefully there’ll be something there that will catch their imaginations and get them out of the house (and out of your hair!).
“Love Many, Trust Few, Always Paddle Your Own Canoe”. That’s a phrase my dad repeated through my childhood. It makes sense, keeping your own sense of independence. I was brought up to work hard for the money I got, that there was a pride in working for an honest wage. Work was important, as was being able to support yourself. So, when being out of work for extended time due to my back injury has reduced my income to the level where I’m not independent any more, it probably shouldn’t surprise me that I’m not thrilled with it.
What have you been watching lately? Are you stuck into a marathon, or looking for something new? This is a tag post I took part in a few years ago, which I thought definitely could do with freshening up. So, here’s my 2017 Netflix Tag. I’d love to see others taking part too, so there’s a linky at the end!
Childhood and teen years are somewhat through a different lens these days. The impact of introducing technology into their hands at a young age has been to change their technical ability, but also opened a whole world up to them that previous generations could only dream about. At our fingertips, we are literally able to find the answers to life’s big questions (Thank you, Google), speak to others around the world and discover things we never would have known about before. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube – they’ve opened our eyes to a much wider world. It’s an amazing powerful thing – but, with great power comes great responsibility!