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.
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!
The season is upon us and the day itself rapidly approaching, yet I’ve been struggling to get into the festive spirit for some reason this year – despite having a tiny tot who I’m sure will be thrilled by the concept of Santa and MORE TOYS, my former retail employee soul is still rallying against the music and not getting into the spirit of things. This however, was to be combatted by immersing myself into a festival of all things Christmas – Waterford’s Winterval – during a much needed break away from normal life and home to see family.
That time of year again, when someone in the office/friend group/extended family decides the best thing to do is pick random names out of a hat and allocate someone you barely know to be the one you’ve to pick a perfect present for. Oh yeah, and ridiculously small budget to do it in. Sometimes this can be brilliant – if you know the person well, if theres a running joke or you know they have a particular interest. Other times, this spells one thing and one thing only: absolute hell. In that vein, here are some ideas for epic Secret Santa gifts within a fifteen euro budget (the average from what I’ve seen) – these could also be good for those gifts for people you don’t really know but have to have something small for anyway. Read More
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.
Hands up who has at least one jar or tin hanging around the house filled with coppers that you vow will make it into those little bags and into the bank to be put towards something useful? Hands up how many of you have been saying that for the last few years and have yet to actually act on it? Yeah, me too. As of this month you won’t even be able to use them to buy anything in shops as they’re headed out of circulation – meaning they’re slowly but surely becoming useless. Yes, it is the end of the 1c and 2c coins meaning my purse is likely to become less of a mess, and many poor retail workers are going to be dealing with people who just aren’t happy with not getting their correct change… not a world I miss.
However, a fantastic initiative to put these coins to good use is available. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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.
I didn’t learn to drive when everyone else I knew did – most of the girls in my year by sixth year had their car/the car they shared with a sister or other family member, some even so skilled they’d gotten rid of their L plates and were happily scooting around at weekends, heading off gallivanting to nowhere in particular. I spent many an evening the summer after my Leaving Cert driving around Waterford and south Kilkenny, for no reason rather than just something to do, somewhere to be, blasting out Rascal Flatts “Life is a Highway”. Soon after, I moved to Cork city, and the need to drive vanished. It became something other friends who didn’t live in the city did, sure it was small enough to walk everywhere and I was now blessed with the presence of regular public transport. It is amazing how grateful for crappy public transport a rural upbringing can make you.
Six years, three house moves, numerous job changes and a toddler later, I am a defeated woman. It is time, nay, TIME for me to get my ass into gear (not literally) and get behind the wheel. Read More
I’m sitting writing this in my new apartment, praying that my data package from my iPhone holds out (how much data could a blog post take up?) since we’ve been informed that our broadband provider won’t be sending someone around until at least next Monday. I’m surrounded by most of our belongings, some unpacked, some still in boxes – the remains in the other place which we still have the keys to until Thursday. The joys of moving house.
It’s been a long journey here, and the settling in period isn’t proving any less stressful. It’s like a pregnancy in a way, now we’re into the fourth trimester of the house move, we’ve the shiny new baby apartment, and we have to figure out the best way to do things from here. I’m about as good at house hunting stress as I am at pregnancy (i.e.: crap) so I am very, very glad it’s over and done with. I didn’t realise just how much of an issue our toddler, loud and lively as he is, would be with certain landlords. One even refused to outright say it, but did attempt (very blatantly) to talk me out of living in her house – and berated me for my lack of driving skill in the process. We didn’t get the house we intended to get, we are in apartment land again, but we’re now on the ground floor in a lovely professionally run place so I’m happy. Read More
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. Read More
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
When I write different posts for this blog, there are a couple of different motivations. Some posts are ones which I know I will cherish when my baby is no longer anything resembling a baby anymore, memories of a time with innocent eyes, cheeky smiles and chubby toddler legs. There are some which I write as informational pieces, bits I would have wanted to know, things I frantically googled while pregnant/in the early days, hoping that someone tired and in need of answers will find it and feel some relief. There are definite pieces which serve as contraceptives if nothing else; tales of screaming sleepless nights, poo explosions and the messy side of parenting where you start to wonder how you got to this place. I started this blog for me and it has become something bigger than that, a platform where my words are read by others, even considered good by some! Read More
Despite only being back in Cork three days, last Thursday we made the trek back to my parents’ home in Co. Wexford because we simply couldn’t get enough. Or, rather, we realised we were bored of Cork for a bit, and the grandparents wanted to do a bit more spoiling. They promised me extra sleep. I was sold. Read More
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
As part of my trip back to the not-so-sunny South East, a couple of visits to Waterford were in order. Iâ€™ve got a lot of extended family who live in the city, and it is one of my favourite places in Ireland, having spent ,most of my teenage years spending any free time hanging out in the city, living in The Book Centre and having a lot of lunch breaks from work in the same cafe every single time with the same friends. Said cafe no longer exists sadly (RIP four euro chicken goujons and mashed potato), but it has been replaced by a wonderful cafe which is both adult and child friendly, No. 9 Barronstrand St, in Georges Court Shopping Centre. Iâ€™ve been in here once or twice but never with my own child until today, when myself and the Mammy decided weâ€™d treat ourselves to brunch. We were not disappointed.
My gorgeous bundle is no longer a bundle. He started out as one; all 5lb 5 ounces, newborn head scented, long haired, scrunchy faced and perfect, as all newborns are. He’s now big and bold, full of attitude, able to run, chase, crawl and cause a tornado of chaos and fun everywhere he goes. 16 months ago, he was completely dependent, needed me for every little thing bar breathing – today he’s pulling away and wanting to do everything himself but coming back for kisses and Mammy snuggles when he needs them. He’s growing up. No longer a baby; getting to be a big boy, one wobbly step at a time.
So, what exactly is this boy like, all 16 months of him? Read More
When I was in hospital just about to give birth to Eliott (a day or two before the induction); my oldest friend Siobhán, who had seen me through every big and small life event since we were six, came to visit me. With her were two washing baskets, decorated and filled to the brim with goodies, baby necessities and gorgeous baby clothes – the perfect new baby basket. She had literally thought of everything. It was definitely one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received, and something I would love to replicate. As it happens, a rather awesome blogger friend of mine, the lovely Suzy from The Airing Cupboard, is expecting a little boy in the next few weeks, and as I understand that having a baby isn’t just a time to focus on the baby but also the new Mama, I’ve decided to throw together something similar; a little baby basket, a hamper of joy, love and Mammy treats.
When you’re at home with a toddler, days can get pretty repetitive. Unless you set up different things to do during the week, it can feel like Groundhog Day. Every day involves chasing a football around the living room. My life soundtrack is currently the songs from Baby Genius. It’s worse when it rains – yes, I’ve still not learned to love the rain – because as I don’t drive, there is little to do in the city centre with a toddler and outside of that isn’t much of an option. There are only so many visits to the kiddie library we can do in one week, so I decided one morning that we’d change tack and head to Chuckies Play Zone, the closest soft play centre to us.
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