Posted in Blogs, Family, irish bloggers, life, LifeStyle, parent bloggers, Toddler

Teething Sucks

The funny thing about parenting is…that we (thankfully) forget the pain of teething, but that also means we can’t remember how the little ones feel.

I feel that we have been in a constant world of teething. It feels like it will be never ending.

Paige started teething at around 4-5 weeks old, well that’s when we really notice it. So off we went to the Health Nurse who promptly dismissed our claims in a tone of ‘Sure, what would you know?’ and ‘I’m 100% certain she’s not teething, you’re just being over-dramatic as first time parents’. Sure enough, we definitely were not being overly dramatic as she cut her first tooth at 4 months old, which would put everything into perspective.

Being first time parents had nothing to do with asking her if there was anything she would recommend for such a young baby to help with teething pains. We just wanted to help our little one through the pain that she was obviously in. The chemist on the other hand was a lot more helpful and offered great advice and products to try at her age.

When the first tooth reared it’s little head, the excitement in the house was amazing-‘It’s here’! Role on 2 years and 2 weeks since we found that tooth and we are still going through it. This time however, Paige has the ability to tell us where hurts and if it’s bad.

We’ve literally gone through every single symptom for teething-

  • Teething poo (although we actually had a doctor tell us there’s no such thing and we were bad parents for thinking that teething poo’s exist-but my god they do!)
  • Nappy rash (This used to get so, so bad I actually nearly cried as he bum was so sore)
  • Drooling
  • Chin rashes
  • Chesty cough (this has been a consistent one for our house)
  • Cheek rash
  • Pink cheeks
  • Biting
  • Grinding of gums
  • Puking
  • High fever
  • Blocked nose
  • Crankiness
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Wanting an Actimel at midnight(yeap, all week this week and every single night)

I’m pretty sure that we’ve experienced a few more symptoms but these are what stick out for me!

I’m hoping with all hope that this is in fact the last molar to come through as boy do they suck. They appear to take forever (Paige’s molars have been coming through since last year!).

A big consistent element throughout this whole teething experience has been to trust your own instinct. Doctor’s and nurses can offer advice but when it comes to teething, each and every child has a different reaction to it. Each and every child and parent has their own way of dealing with it. But as parents, we are there to soothe their pain and help them cope by using what we feel is right-whether it be amber bracelets, teething gel, or Sophie the Giraffe and other teething rings/rubbers etc.

Go with your gut is effectively what I’m trying to say, and nobody should put you down. Mother’s instinct is a great thing and something that we all possess. It just clicks in. Father’s have it too 🙂 So lets call it ‘parents instinct’ going forward!

We are all trying to do the same thing, raise our kids to be the best that they can be. We’re in this together.

The funny thing about parenting is…that we’re all not experts, We’re all in the same boat. We all have our own ways of getting through the challenges, the ups and downs and we’re all here for each other.

Posted in Blogs, Family, irish bloggers, life, LifeStyle, parent bloggers, Toddler

Our kids are smarter than us

The funny thing about parenting is…that our kids are actually way smarter than us.

On Sunday, I asked Paige “What’s this?” and her reply, “A letter mummy.” I go on to ask her “What letter?”, and her reply once again “That letter mummy” and queue her falling around in hysterics.

Yeap, I was outsmarted by a two year old as she was by no means incorrect. It’s not the first time she’s done something like this, and boy did I feel a fool. I even turned to her and said “fair play, you are absolutely right” and what I can take from it is that I need to be clearer in my instructions.

It still makes me smile thinking back and seeing her little face light up as she knew exactly what she had said. She knew the letter was a ‘p’ but damned if she was going to tell me again.

So in essence, our kids will always be one step ahead of us, but it’s a good thing, we just got to keep up with them, and hopefully, by the time they’re teenagers, we will have copped on to their smarts and be able to outwit them-it’s cute for now, but not at 13!

Posted in Family, irish bloggers, life, LifeStyle, parent bloggers, Toddler

Wakey Wakey!

The funny thing about parenting is …that kids love to wake up bright and early at the weekend and you literally have to drag them kicking and screaming mid-week.

‘No more monkey’s jumping on the bed’

Yeap, Paige’s internal alarm clock is set for super early at the weekends, and she likes a good snooze during the week. I think she likes to wake up, snuggle in bed, eat her breakfast there too as it’s way too early to get up, and binge watch Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly. All while ‘entertaining’ us with a beautiful song and jumping on our heads/pillows/stomach or going looking for her crayons.

I did manage to snag a little lie on yesterday though and got an extra hour in bed, no thanks to the little angel though, as she kept rubbing my face and eyes in an attempt to make me get out of bed. Daddy had the lie on last week, my turn this week.

I did kind of regret it however, as that extra hour made me even more groggy and I kept thinking of all the things I could’ve done. Gone are the days when we used to vegetate on the couch and order in pizza whilst binge watching rubbish on the TV. Now we actually like to get out ‘while the weather’s good’ and have a coffee and a play in the park. I don’t actually think I could go back to those days of lazing and not caring about wasting one day of the weekend. Mind you, I don’t think I could stay awake as late as I used to. No more partying until 7am for us!

Paige’s internal clock is pretty amazing though and to watch the changes that she’s going through is pretty interesting. Once upon a time she could party with the best of us, and stay up until 11pm. Back in those days she was having an infinite number of naps though. Paige has decided since she is now 2, she wants to stop napping. Yes, she’s only 2 and has cut the habit. (Except for when she’s in the car or it just get’s the better of her and then it’s like WHAM! Where did that nap come from!). It does mean we lose on an extra hour in the evening with her as she is so sleepy and grouchy that it would be mean keeping her awake past 7, and the same goes for the weekends especially as we are generally a lot more active and out and about and on the go all day. But the whole waking up at 6am on a Saturday and Sunday thing means that mummy and daddy are exhausted. We find that trying to get to bed early at the weekend is key. But sometimes, being adults, we like to binge watch TV shows. Yes, we’ve not given up on the binge watching of TV and I highly doubt we ever will.

I think, my whole reasoning behind this post is that I feel bad not getting up when the hubby does. It’s something that I find hard to explain, but I think it comes from not seeing her so much during the week and the long hours we put in, that I feel guilty and I believe as parents we should share everything. It is something I need to get over, as I don’t even get my hair done on a Saturday as it’s generally family day.

I know from talking with other parents that this is the stage that probably gets worse and the kids start to get up earlier. So I might just have to get used to have one morning of a month. And same goes for the hubby. That’s sharing isn’t it. To be a good parent, you must be rested. Those bags under your eyes and all that coffee will only cloud your judgement and block you from seeing the beauty in everything. Sharing is caring after all and if someone is offering you a lie-on, don’t feel guilty. Grab it with your two hands. Now, if he made me breakfast in bed, he would’ve got a 5 star review, but that was all up to me!

This morning, however, it being a Monday, she was as bright as a button before 6:30am, and I did ask her to wake her daddy up at 7:10am so in usual Paige style, she got her juice bottle, raised it above her head and I grabbed it quickly. She thought it would be hilarious to whack him over the head with it (mind you, so did I but I can’t be encouraging or condoning that behaviour)! Off she went to nursery, happy as larry and tomorrow I guarantee, she’ll still be asleep at 7am. I shall update:)

Enjoy the first few months to all the first time parents, as they really are blissful, and although you may think that you’re not rested, you probably are. I look back on those days and think, crap, I should’ve slept more. It’s when they cut the naps that the real fun begins…

 

Posted in Bodies, Body Confidence, Family, irish bloggers, life, LifeStyle, parent bloggers, Uncategorized

The Perfect Body

photo 2
On my due date

 

The funny thing about being a parent is… that for women, our bodies may never be the same after giving birth – again – ever!

The other night I watched ‘The Portland Hospital’ and was so disappointed with the young, 24 year old Fashion Designer and how she said how men may go looking for another woman if their wives bodies didn’t return back to normal -no stretchmarks, fat belly (not her exact words but this is the gist of it) and she was clearly afraid that this might happen to her. For me, the first thing that sprang to mind was ‘Seriously, your husband loves you for who you are, not your body’ especially not after bringing a child into the world. I was disappointed that that is what she believed. I was disappointed that, that actual thought was in her head and she was mulling it over and put it out there for everyone to hear. No woman should think like that! We are all beautiful. End of. If he doesn’t like you for a stretch mark, then so long and you shouldn’t cry over it!

For any mother that’s carried a baby, we all know that the child inside, the little life that is relying on you to survive, has done turns, somersaults, swung out of your ribs, kicked you in the lungs and stomach. That little life made your tummy grow into a protective little (or big in my case) shell. One which you put your hand on daily. One which people looked at so lovingly. One where you could actually see them moving on a daily basis. That original flutter of feeling those first teeny kicks. I could always feel these flutters when she heard the tube pulling into the station as the noise disturbed her! Or when you were sitting at the desk and had to move back as the baby was being slightly squished. Feeling the baby squirm and move around is amazing, but it’s also doing something to your body!

As a mother, your boobs grew and grew and grew. Gone were the nice bras and knickers. Gone were the underwired bras as they hurt too much. In with the maternity bras that were there just as a teeny tiny support, as let’s face it, they were still uncomfortable as hell and our boobs just rested on the bump! I already have naturally big boobs, and so being pregnant, made them grow and grow and grow! I did try and find nice underwear, but come on-sometimes you just want comfort! And that’s allowed. It’s not easy carrying all that extra weight around is it? But, when you’re pregnant, you can wear those skin tight dresses and show off that bump without feeling like you’ve slightly over indulged in some dinner and have a food baby, as you’ve got a real baby in there! A real living baby who you are proud to show off!

There’s been so much in the media focusing on what’s right for a woman’s body to look like after birth, but it really is completely down to the woman herself. Some women bounce back to their pre-pregnancy body pretty sharpish, some don’t, and no one has any right to judge.

If you’ve had a C-Section, you really can’t do much until the scar heals completely. If you’ve had a natural birth, you’re going to be sore. If you had an episiotomy, you’ll be sore down there for a few weeks/months. Stretchmarks take time to fade. The belly takes time to get back to its normal size. Your boobs may never be the same again. But each person is different. In London, I didn’t have the time to get to the gym, the hubby worked long hours and would sometimes leave the house at 6am and not arrive home until 9pm and all the while, I had a baby who fed all the time and was on the go constantly. Then I went back to work-I probably could have gone to the gym on my lunchbreak, but most days I’d have stuff to do and would generally work through lunch or just get out for a walk.

I think, we as society need to change our children’s perception on what is beautiful. I’ve always had stetchmarks. I’ve had them on my legs, butt, hips and boobs. It’s completely down to our skin not being elastic enough and growth spurts. I used to be able to wear those skintight dresses with ease, even after a huge meal (and I still had stretchmarks underneath that no-one saw). I rubbed my bump all the time with oils, skin creams and still got stretchmarks. They are fading, but now I just dress appropriately for how I feel on the day. I have days where I dread trying on clothes as some shops are shrinking the size of their clothes, so in some shops I’ll be 14, in others a 16-18 and if I’m lucky, a 12 in some! I’ve still not bounced back to my pre-baby body. I’m not sure I ever will.

Once you practice a healthy lifestyle, and bring your kids up the right way, who are others to judge you. The media has no right to influence what the perfect woman should look like, they have no right whatsoever judge women on what they look like during pregnancy or after. All that matters is that they’re healthy. Creating this idealistic view will only serve us to influence our offspring negatively.

Whether you’re in the media spotlight or not, it shouldn’t matter because we don’t know the story behind every single pregnancy do we? These women are bringing the future of the world to life, and to do that, their bodies are under immense strain. The childbirth alone puts some amount of pressure on the body. When pregnant, everything inside you shifts. And with this, comes a shift to how your body was before. For me, I have a constant ache in my lower back. It’s one of the side affects of the epidural. I didn’t actually plan on having the epidural but after 20 hours in labour, I needed to be induced in a way as I was not progressing in labour. But it was a rick I had to take as they were planning an emergency C-Section. So my body has never been the same. My boobs have gone up a couple of sizes (and everytime I get them measured, people tell me I had it well?!).

My husband still loves me for me. Stretchmarks, pot-belly and big boobs all included. I believe that when you love someone enough and see them go through that much pain(no matter what type of birth) and trauma to bring a life into the world, they’ll love you forever for being that brave and beautiful.

No one has the right to judge anyone’s body shape or size. But unfortunately we live in a world where people think they do.If anyone takes anything from this post, it’s to think twice before saying anything to people about their weight at all, as you just don’t know what demons they may be battling on the inside. We are all human. We all have feelings. To create a positive body image for you and your family, you need to feel confident and if you feel you need to shed a few pounds, do it the right way, by eating healthily and getting regular exercise -even a quick walk. I get off the train a stop early which means I walk an extra 15 minutes, not much but it’s a start!

Enjoy your kids and don’t let other people’s perception of beauty cloud your judgement.

photo 1
9 Days before my due date
Posted in Family, irish bloggers, life, parent bloggers, Toddler

Toddler turns 2

The funny thing about parenting is that….we will always be busy, but sometimes we just need to switch off from the online world and enjoy each other.

We’ve been doing that a lot lately. House is on track. Toddler is now 2, and officially a toddler….none of this in between age stuff where she’s a wobbler. She’s even moved rooms in nursery.

We’ve been trying to get out and about and enjoy the outdoors, taking walks, going to festivals and making the move to life without the pram in tow. It works for some occasions, but not all.

I’ve been busy with work, and organising a toddler birthday that most other things have taken a back seat in our lives. We want to see Paige grow up, we want to encourage her to use her vocabulary, although, at the minute, it’s quite difficult as the terrible two’s are well and truly under way. The tantrums, the slapping, the biting. All of it. And it’s difficult when you live with family. As everyone has an opinion. Everyone thinks it’s funny but then it’s gets to a point when it’s not funny anymore. And then they chime in with ‘that’s bold’ or ‘say something to her’. I can completely and whole-heartedly understand why the child is getting frustrated. Sometimes all a toddler wants to do is relax, like so many of us. She has spent the whole day at nursery-longer than most people’s working day, from 7:30am until after 5pm. She’s all played out. Just let her be. I don’t like to talk to people after a long day, and neither do a lot of adults. So why should a 2 year old who can’t put everything she wants to say into one big long sentence.

I also had a quick read of an opening line on an article about ‘sharing’ and how can children be expected to share when another child wants a toy/book that said child is playing with. We as adults, don’t hand over our phones when someone says can I look at ‘blah blah blah’. And why shouldn’t the child who’s playing with said toy/book/spoon just hand something over because another child wants it. Aren’t we giving in to that child a little too easily and shouldn’t we be teaching them to wait patiently(as well as teaching our children to share, once they’ve finished playing with said object and let their little imaginations run wild). This was something that actually made me think, as I’m so fed up with people telling my child to share when she’s in the middle of playing with something. Why should she? Why should she just give up her toy because someone else wants it? As a mother, I am also there to protect her. To tell her it’s okay, finish playing with the toy as there are a dozen other things for the other kids to play with. Don’t get me wrong, she tries to take other kids toys too, and I swiftly step in and tell her gently that isn’t how it’s done and I hand her something else. (I’m not saying she’s an angel because she isn’t!).

I know once we move out, into our own space again, things will be easier! We will be able to parent a little more structured in a way. The toddler will love her new bedroom. She will love having the freedom to have her own play area. She will love sharing her new room and toys with whoever chooses to visit. She will love all of this, as she knows that it’s all hers. Mummy and daddy will love their own space too. Our own kitchen. Bathroom. Garden. And yes, we will sharing (if people want to visit, but they can bring whatever they want as we’ll be flat broke-so champers, wine, food are all welcome! Oh and the necessities, like chairs and stuff too!)

Posted in Family, irish bloggers, life, parent bloggers, Toddler

Weekend

The funny thing about parenting is…. we all love the weekends! That is of course, if you have the weekend off as not all parents do. My hubby has to work the odd weekend-always has! But we all love our days off – even if the kids are so set in a routine that sometimes they drive us crazy. (I’m not going to lie!)

Paige has a habit of not eating at the weekend unless it’s just yogurts, chocolate, crisps and juice. She likes to graze. She likes to pick at things. If kids are around, she’ll wolf down her food.

But the weekend for us is family time. We get out and about, and yes, most of that time is spent shopping, going for a coffee and maybe going for the odd dinner out. The odd dinner out, used to be every weekend we’d eat out in London in the fabulous restaurants that were all 5 minutes from the house. Since we moved home, we’ve been saving so cut down on the non-necessities.

This weekend however, mummy and daddy are going away for the night on Sunday. It will be the second time we’ve left her alone. We went to Monart Spa in Wexford when she was 5 months old for the night as it was where we got engaged, many years previously. Thinking about it now, it was easier to leave her with the grandparents back then, compared to now. Obviously nearing two means she is used to her surroundings, she’s used to having us with her and putting her to sleep. She is used to sleeping in our bed – her cot-bed has become redundant.

Now it’s time for some mummy and daddy time. I am entering my final year in my twenties. We have also just had an offer accepted on a house. We are both pretty shattered. We need a night away to relax and to enjoy each others company and as selfish as that seems, sometimes parents need to have that alone time and it’s fine. I do feel bad that we’ll be leaving early on Sunday, but she’ll be spending quality time with her grandparents who are just returning from holiday.

It’s time for us to put on our fancy clothes that we can’t wear around little grubby hands and to enjoy the surroundings of a hotel. Originally we were toying with the idea of taking Paige away for a couple of nights, but sometimes, as adults, you just need a break. You need that full night’s sleep. You need to eat a meal without it ending up all over you. And that’s OKAY!

I think I was and still am quite apprehensive about leaving her, as when she wakes in the night, she cries for mummy and daddy. Even if my parents went in to her, it was mummy and daddy she wanted. So that’s part of the reason we booked a hotel in Dublin. It won’t take us long to get to her if all hell breaks lose.

Looking back on that first night away as a couple and leaving Paige for the first time, it was easier than it is now. Yes, she was still small, but she was still small enough to fall asleep with the aid of a bottle. That all stopped as soon as she hit 12 months. But we just have to suck it up. My parents reared 3 kids and we’re all still around. They’ll be well able to handle my ‘angel’ (good thing they really know what she’s like!).

So this weekend, we as parents shall be enjoying family time for one day, and then getting dressed up, like little miss Paige above, and we shall be taking one night off duty. It won’t scar her for life. It will make her miss us even more! As she keeps telling us ‘I’m not a baby’.

And I shall celebrate turning 29 with a good night’s sleep, a Jacuzzi bath as well as a sauna in the room. All with a glass of bubbly in hand! And bonus, I’ve a day off work on Monday.

So here’s to all you hard-working parents, who work, don’t work – whatever it may be! As being a parent is a full-time, hard, and loving job!

Happy Weekend everyone!

Can you tell I’m excited?

P.S. Crown is from the amazing Fable Heart (Claire is amazing at what she does-so I might have to steal missy’s crown for Monday!) and the amazing dress is from Dunnes Stores (last year’s collection however and it only cost €14!).

Posted in Family, life, Toddler

Sometimes Being An Adult Takes Over

As parents, you want to enjoy every single moment that your child presents you with. Sometimes, we get enveloped in the adult things, that you take the smallest little milestone for granted.

Paige can now count to 10, and higher if needs be. But she so confidently counts out 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. She so confidently says the A,B,C. She so confidently has started to identify colours. She so confidently chatters away, and has a full blown conversation with anyone who is so willing to listen. And to be fair, most people are. She’s not yet 2.

I think I take these things for granted. I think that as a parent, I have gotten so caught in finding us somewhere to live, somewhere we can call home, somewhere where Paige can have her own space, somewhere where we can take out all of her toys without hesitation as it’s our space. Our Family Home.

Hopefully, fingers and toes and everything else crossed, we have found our Family Home.

The next chapter in our little lives is about to change. I am fully aware that the upheaval, once again, will have to be done gradually. In the last 7 months, Paige has had some drastic changes to her life. Moving from London to Dublin was a shock for all of us again. I’m not going to lie. We as a family unit were used to our own space, just like my parents were. So we thank them for allowing us to move in and save for a house, something which we could never have done in London.

We are fully aware that Paige has decided she doesn’t want to sleep in her cot-bed. She rather sleeps in our bed – she even had a meltdown last night when I said it was Mammy and Daddy’s bed. So when we move, I think we’ll be turning her cot-bed into her big bed.  We know she will love your new room, and all of this upheaval will be worth it.

These little things, counting and speaking, are forming my little lady. The person who will grow to become someone amazing in everything she does, no matter what she chooses to do. I love to see her counting to 10. I love to see her feeding her dollies and changing their nappies. I love showing her pictures of what will hopefully be our new Family Home.

And once we get settled, those moments can become the centre of my world again – but I think, just for a few months, I can forgive myself for acknowledging that these things are happening, but I’m not walking around with trumpets. That my dear, we can do in our new Family Home. So I suppose, this little post is my noting that yes my little darling, you are truly amazing in our eyes, even if at times, we don’t always have the time to say it.