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

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

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

Technology…

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The funny thing about parenting is….that I found myself saying ‘When I was your age, I didn’t even know what an iPad was, let alone when I was 20.’

I said this to my 2 year old who was demanding the iPad so she could watch Youtube. Yes, I let my child watch Youtube. To be fair, she could teach me a thing or two as she really has the patience to go through it and find something she likes. She doesn’t have any screen time during the day-she’s at nursery, so she uses the nursery rhymes online as her wind down time. It’s a break from Peppa. But it really got me thinking.

I was always one of those parents who said ‘My child will never use an iPad or an iPhone’. I distinctly remember saying this when I was 3 months pregnant. I wanted my child to read, and flick through books and use their imagination.

Fast-forward 2 years and 6 months.

Sometimes I actually want to eat out without a tantrum. Sometimes Peppa needs to come to the rescue. Sometimes Little Baby Bum and their constant stream of nursery rhymes needs to be played to cheer a little lady up(and many other kiddies I’m told too!).

We can’t really expect our children not to be so caught up in the devices we use all the time. From the day Paige was born she was on FaceTime. We lived in London and all the family lived in Ireland. It was a quick and easy alternative to turning on a computer and kept everyone in the loop daily and they got to witness her every smile/kiss/laugh and even hug. It meant that Paige could hear/see all her grandparents/uncles/aunts/cousin etc.

And as time goes on, how can we really not expect our children to know how to use these devices. It’s kind of what they’re reared on nowadays. So many families are all over the world, and this just makes it easier to keep in contact. Youtube allows children to listen to other languages, visualise bright colours and potentially animals they may never see or even food (as per some of the random shows with random toy veggies). Another favourite of ours is SnapChat. Yes, we are slightly addicted, but it’s amazing. We post some of the random stuff we do and Paige usually shows off her vocal abilities by singing all of her favourite nursery rhymes. And I get to record this with just a click of a button and it pocks back into my pocket when she’s done. I get to share these with friends/family and followers. I get to have these little snippets stashed away online for her to see when she’s older and she will be able to chart her growth with a picture for every day.

Paige also has a tonne of books and I’m not kidding. She has the complete Mr.Men collection. She has pretty much all the Winnie the Pooh books. She has poetry. She has picture books. She has fairy tales. She has everything. The Hungry Caterpillar is in there, along with Paddington Bear. We’re not picky. We try to cover off all bases. And we love reading them. We don’t read stories online. We love a feel of a good book in our house. I don’t even have a Kindle. I like Paper/HardBack. So Paige has a good strong balance of screen and book time-so I don’t need to worry-just yet(watch this space-it all gets worse as teenagers doesn’t it!).

But have we lost a little bit of a sense of the old school? How many people just pop these pictures on the ‘cloud’ or a ‘hard-drive’? I know I do. And it’s such a pity. I should just print out my favourite and pop it in a frame. But most of the time I don’t. When I do want to pick out my pics to get them printed, out comes the hard-drive again and I need to trawl through thousands, upon thousands of emails(I’m actually not kidding). I approximate our collection of Paige to be around 50,000 photos – APPROXIMATE!!!

How times have changed.

One of my friends from school snapchatted me some old pictures-you know the one’s from the days when we actually had to print them out and before the whole thing of having a digital camera, let alone a phone with a half decent camera-yeah those types of pictures. Pretty old-school. But in hindsight, it was only 13 odd years ago that these pictures were taken. That’s not a long time. Technology has just grown so quickly and it’s become cheaper and more accessible-which is fricking amazing.

The fact that she did this on a day when I was looking back through old pictures of Paige just made me realise that I need to print more. I am doing my photo a day challenge, which I had to remove from Instagram as I was getting too concerned with making them pretty and perfect as opposed to really ‘real’ Paige. It’s working out well, but these are just small pictures. When I move, I can’t wait to go through all my old photos. I have heaps too of times from school and early college. Times when we didn’t really take selfies and posed stupidly for the camera, as we didn’t care. They either got printed or they didn’t. But one thing was for certain-they would only ever live on in the home of the person who printed them-either to be seen or not.

It’s absolutely amazing that I can capture every single moment that I need to, it’s amazing that I’ve got such a collection of photos/videos-all thanks to technology. But I just need to actually print them out.

 

 

On our way to mass one morning

 

Paige the rage and her fly swatter-this actually made me laugh so much the day I took it

 

I turned this one into a canvas in 2014 as it was too good not to

 

Baby Paige rocking it at the Yahoo offices for her first meeting of daddy’s team and our first tube trip alone-I should print this for the meaning behind it!

 

Paige’s first handbag

 

Paige being match ready

 

Ciara and I-circa 2002-3

 

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

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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.

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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.