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

The sunshine and children

  
The funny thing about parenting is…that it’s your job to protect your child, from anything that is harmful.

It’s coming in to the summer time now…okay so we’ve had about 1 proper day of sunshine, but you still need to be prepared. And to be prepared, that means you need items that will protect your child from the sun’s rays.

Paige, like her mummy and daddy, is very pale skinned and as such, she needs to be protected. Most of us as adults will use a moisturiser, and more often than not, these moisturisers offer us some protection-whether it be spf 15 (as mine is) or even less. But at least it’s something. And it’s not like I’m playing outside. I’m generally sat in my office.

Most children’s moisturisers don’t come with an spf, so they need protecting. At the minute, we are using Aldi’s own brand ‘kid’s’ suncream with a protection level of 50. I will only ever use 50 on her. Her skin is far too delicate and unblemished. I don’t want to ruin that. I’m lucky in the sense that Paige has always loved applying any sort of cream to her skin and so she gets involved and she usually ends up with a pile of cream still on her nose as that’s where she wants to put it-but hey-ho! She’s protected.

The one thing that does actually annoy me though is people laughing (in a good or bad way) when I put sunglasses on Paige. Seriously. My eyes are extremely blue. Paige’s are too. As an adult, do you wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and to shield them from the rays? Then why shouldn’t a baby or a toddler! Yes she may look cute and adorable. I get that. I also let her pick whichever ones she wants to wear for the day, but she sees mummy and daddy wearing them and I want to shield her eyes. I always have and I always will. I always carry a pair of sunglasses for each of us in my bag, as well as sunhats. It’s a necessity with bright blue eyes. Our eyes needs some level of protection as well, so don’t forget that!

We have as of yet, still to book our sun-holiday, but it hasn’t stopped me from stocking up on swimsuits with a level of protection in them and I find shopping around at all different times of the year means you get different bargains and different styles.

As I started this post the other day, we still had a semi-chance of Summer returning, but right now it doesn’t feel like it. It’s raining and dull again. But it’s slightly warmer…so that still gives me hope!

Shops that we find useful for summer stuff:

TK Maxx

Penneys/Primark

H&M

Zara

Aldi

Mothercare

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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 Family, irish bloggers, life, LifeStyle, parent bloggers

Buying that house

The funny thing about parenting is…that buying your dream home is never easy.

We finally, after a few months of waiting, got the contracts to our new ‘home’ this week, but alas, as always, an issue has arisen and that issue is the fact that there’s a slight extension on the front of the house and there’s no planning permission for it. So now, ultimately, the decision is with the Bank and if they’ll lend us the money we need. Slight stumbling block that we don’t need. On the upside, the extension is over 10 years old and as such, no permission is needed for it, but the Bank have the final say.

It will all turn out okay. It will be fine. It’s nothing major. That’s what I keep telling myself as I’m sure it will be fine. The surveyor will have a say as well, so once it’s deemed structurally safe, I’m sure we’ll get that money and be paying it off for the next 33 years and forget all about it.

That figure scares me. 33 years. In debt. To the bank. I’ll be over 60. He’ll be over 60. Paige will be 35. Scary, scary, scary. Can I just win the lotto.

Paige is super dee duper excited about moving house though. She keeps telling everyone she has a new room, a new house and new everything. She is also telling everyone she wants to paint her room pink. PINK. Not exactly what I had in mind, but who am I to turn an independent child’s idea on it’s head. I’m sure I’ll be able to compromise with her with such great ease that she won’t have a meltdown in the middle of the DIY shop. Or I could just suck it up and paint it whatever colour I want? I highly doubt I’ll be able to do that to herself. Not when she’s upped and moved so many times in the last year alone.

I’ve got so many ideas in mind for everything. Paige is getting a double bed. She can’t sleep in a cotbed or her amazing sleigh bed that I had such high hopes for. She’s a wiggler. She doesn’t like anything like sides on the bed. She thrashes around from side to side. She sleeps on the pillows. She likes her big bed.

I’ve also got all the animal heads that I brought back over from London, I plan to create some chalkboard picture frames. I want to create a little haven for her. We will also be creating a little play area under the stairs where it’s completely open. We want to buy her a slide for the back garden(not swings-she doesn’t like them at the minute!) and a sandpit.

As you can see, and from the outset, this whole move and purchasing of a home, where we can be our own little family, has always been about Paige.

I’ll be updating as we go on, with pictures of everything. I’m just so excited and had been trying to hold off until we got to this stage. But alas, as we can see, not everything is straightforward but it will all work out. And we will have a house to call home where Paige can run riot and be the ruler. As who am I kidding, she already is.

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 Children's Party, Family, irish bloggers, life, parent bloggers, Party, Toddler

Toddler Party-Animal Style

imageThe funny thing about parenting is…that sometimes as a fully fledged adult who is looking after that little toddler, you’ll forget to give out the party invites and time of said party.

Hands up who else has done this?! Can’t just be us surely? To be honest, it potentially turned out to be a good thing, as Paige really just prefers hanging around with a small number of toddlers/babies at a time. She likes to take stock of those around her and takes her time. My little mistake of forgetting the invites for the kids at nursery did mean she had a load of food and chocolate to eat-as you’ll see from the pictures.

I must admit, I can’t believe I created a pretty table like this. And it was super easy and quite cheap.

I picked the plates,bowls and napkins up in the euro store. And the table cloth and cups where from mr.price. So nice and cheap and did the job perfect. The other decorations were from Tiger, including the grass which suited the theme perfectly and meant easy grabbing for kids!

I made chocolate covered grapes, chocolate rice krispie buns, jelly (with fish decorations) and a lions head out of carrots and hummus. I also bought animal themed marshmallows and dipped one side in chocolate, and they were a hit with adults and children. Paige certainly liked munching on the last few in the bowl and ran away with said bowl.

We picked the cake up from Super Valu on the morning of the party as it’s what Paige picked out! She was super happy and it was super dee duper tasty and only cost €8! They even wrote her name on it and her age.

Dotted around the house, I had a load of balloons filled using a helium tank we purchased. Such a hit with every child. The goodie boxes made up of loads of little bits and pieces were such a since little treat, and Paige is still munching through the leftovers. We bought the boxes-animal themed obviously- on eBay and filled them using animal tattoos and stickers, with Kinder chocolates, Easter themed chocos and bubbles!

Seeing as this was the first party I’ve put together myself, I can’t wait for the next one. (I think I did an okay job!)

Moral of the story though, don’t forget to send out the invites 😁 and always shop around. You don’t need a big, fancy decorated cake. All they want to do is blow out the candles.

If you’d like more info on anything I created/used just leave a note in the comments and I’ll respond. As she gets older, I plan on expanding on the theme a bit more and potentially stock piling decorations to save money in the long run.

Posted in Family, Toddler

The Funny Thing About Parenting Is…

It may be a New Year, but the toddlers don’t realise that.

So on that note, Happy New Year everyone.

It’s been awhile since I last posted as in the run-up to the Christmas period, we had a sick toddler (bronchitis) and a million and twenty things to do-what between working full time, caring for the toddler, finishing the shopping, house viewings and seeing friends.

Since my last post, a lot has actually happened. Paige has come on in leaps and bounds, she can string whole sentences together with ease and you can have a pretty functional chat with her. She now tells us off. She is very strong willed and has turned into a teeny bit of a girly-girl who loves, LOVES, loves her dolls.

We are also house hunting at the minute which means plenty of evenings spent looking at houses that need a lot of work and time spent on them. Probably too much time if we’re completely honest.

I have been spending a lot more time on my twitter and Instagram accounts and updating them on a daily basis, with my -Instaxaday- shots for Paige which I plan to create a feature wall in our soon to be purchased house. I can dream! It’s actually a great idea as I’m forever taking pictures but never printing them. Now I’ll have a picture for every single day of 2016. I’ll just pat myself on the back for that one!

Paige is really getting into her ‘I’m gonna try your patience’ phase at the minute with the terrible two’s having been in full swing for some time! She even bit her dad the other night (to be fair he wasn’t paying her the attention she was commanding and had promised to put Peppa Pig on, and hadn’t!) but I believe she’s just testing us. As we’re still living with the grandparents, boundaries and rules get very skewed as all she has to do is walk into nana and grandad and say ‘Mama won’t give me chocolate’ and boom, she’ll have all the chocolate she desires – before dinner, or just before bedtime. So yeah, buying a house is kinda our top priority now.

To catch you all up, here’s run down of the #project365 pictures – if you want to join us, use the #instaxtoddler – but check out my instagram for more: @toddling_along.

Posted in Family, Toddler

Nights out – sorry WHAT?!

The funny thing about parenting is…

That since we moved home from London, we’ve actually had less nights out than over in the big smoke! Believe it or not, even with grandparents around, I think we’ve gone out 3 times together alone in about 6 months.

In London, we went out at least once a month, if not twice(sometimes 3).

I blame not having restaurants on our doorstep at the minute and Paige being at that difficult stage where she only wants ‘daddy’. Even if we leave the room for 2 minutes, the screaming starts, so I just don’t have the heart to leave her at the minute. There’s also the issue of routine, and at the minute, our routine is essential otherwise we have a cranky, demon inspired toddler who is not afraid to bite, slap and run amok. Sometimes we are the only ones who can put her to sleep. And then we’re wayyyy too tired to head out – especially after the mammoth screaming and jumping on the bed sessions which just generally result in frustrated parents screaming at each other.

BUT, parents do need some time out together alone. They need some time to sit down and actually enjoy a meal and have a private conversation, without the little toddler screaming beside them.

It still baffles me that we get out less over here, considering we have the grandparents, and aunts and uncles (in London, we only had her uncle). I miss eating nice food out(all-you-can-eat sushi, pizza from a proper Italian, and the chicken from another Italian!), I miss popping for a quick, quiet glass of wine. I miss that even if all we did was talk about the little one and how we should’ve brought her with us.

We have both agreed that we do need to get out for dinner soon, together, alone. But as of yet, we have no concrete plans. I’ll let you know if we do. But don’t count on it.