For those who don’t follow me on Social Media, you may have missed the weird yet wonderful last seven days I’ve had. It started off last Tuesday by being on 96fm’s Opinion Line talking about the mental hardship of parenting after suffering postnatal anxiety and ended up with little old me on Virgin Media’s Ireland: Am, discussing the challenges of motherhood. It’s made me fully understand and appreciate one very important thing. We have to own our Motherhood.
Our first family holiday has just ended. We had a fantastic jam packed week full of brilliant memories. We travelled all the way to Ireland’s Ancient East and settled ourselves down for a week in Kilmore, County Wexford. The thoughts of travelling on a plane, train or boat with Little Bean was stressful enough so we decided a Staycation in the sunny South East would do. And boy did it do! And boy was it sunny! What a week! Here’s our itinerary and tips and tricks to make it through some of the icredible things Wexford has to offer with a four and a one year old.
Today I enrolled Little Miss in primary school for next September. Big school. And my heart skipped a beat. If I thought it was bad her starting Montessori, then I’m going to be a mess when she joins the líne with her little friends. Her school uniform perfectly straight and ironed in those first few weeks, socks pulled up to the knee, shoes polished and oversized bag on her back. A right of passage. Growing up.
Don’t hate me but yes I’m already thinking about Summer Holidays. For the first time in my life, I have already booked a family holiday for the Summer. No, we’re not going to Spain or Disneyland, although they were options that soared out of our price range even with the sales. Instead we’re taking the kids on their very first family holiday to a self catering house on a rural organic farm in Wexford. The beach, the quiet, the sunsets, the reminder of the magic of family holidays when I was a kid. I genuinely can’t wait for this staycation.
Since A was three months old, we’ve read to her. We’ve always been a family of book lovers and when we moved house in 2015, we had more books in boxes than kitchen supplies. A is no different and she hasbooks to choose from every night to read before bed. And every single night, we read at least five books without fail. It’s a tradition I never see us stopping, even when Little Bean comes along who I’m sure will get in on the act quick enough. In fact, she already has a little library of books started of her own. Personally, I believe that reading books from a young age is so important for so many reasons.
Unfortunately, it’s very easy for us to forget hardship, hurt, pain and suffering when we are surrounded by our Christmas decorations, our lists of food for the Christmas shop stuck to the fridge door, and the abundance of toys added weekly to our children’s Santa lists. But the reality is that Ireland is embedded in a housing crisis that is affecting our most vulnerable. Children. There are 6,709 people that Focus Ireland are aware of, who are homeless in Ireland. 2,426 of those are Children. Homeless. We can’t live like this anymore. Which is why I wanted to bring to your attention a campaign recently launched by Focus Ireland. Please read on and support our most vulnerable in society.
This week we have an award winning blogger joining us for In Conversation With. I was very pleased to meet Lisa at the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards in September after having chatted with her on email and twitter over the last couple of months. And even more over the moon when she won Silver and Bronze for her amazing blog The Irish Baby Fairy. As a midwife, Lisa has an inherent and natural inside knowledge of the world of pregnancy and birth. I was delighted when Lisa wanted to feature on In Conversation With because not only is she a lovely person, and everyone should meet her, but she also has some brilliant advise.
I am absolutely delighted to announce that I am now Brand Ambassador for the amazing Wooly Ward’s Farm in the beautiful countryside of Oldtown, Co. Dublin. You will probably remember, we fell in love with Wooly Ward’s Farm in July when we went to the Teddy Bear’s Picnic. A and her cousin F helped find the Lost Teddy Bear and met Scary Mary in her house at the end of the Scary Walk, complete with 1D posters on her bedroom wall. We ended our Frugal Family Holiday in August with the Wooly Ward’s Fairytale Event when an excited A and F brought Papa Bear around the farm showing him exactly where to go because they didn’t forget a single thing about Wooly Ward’s. Representing Wooly Ward’s Farm is incredibly exciting for me and I am over the moon to be able to bring you more news and updates on a place I genuinely feel has created a sense of wonder and excitement for kids (and adults because let’s face it, I was just as excited as the little ones). To celebrate the beginning of this partnership, I have a family pass to this month’s incredibly popular Halloween Experience. Read on to find out how to enter and just what to expect if you win!
Quite a surprising thing happened to me on Tuesday in the early afternoon. An email zipped into my inbox from the organisers of the Realex Web Awards, dropping the bombshell that I was a finalist in the awards. I have to say, I wasn’t expecting this in the slightest and thought that my days of attending award ceremonies were over and done with for this year. But nope, not just yet. The Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards, two weeks ago, was great fun. I anticipated it with excitement and, I’ll admit, slight anxiety since it was my first Blogger event and as a finalist no less. Papa Bear came along with me and we made a night of it, booking a hotel, revelling in the incredible acrobatics of the Circus and picking little miss up at 11am the next morning. This time, I wasn’t following the announcements for the Realex Web Awards and missed that I was a finalist. The Awards were thrown on me a day before the Ceremony. Yep, a day before! The event was last night, in Dublin’s Liberty Hall Theatre. Since it was all very last minute, juggling work, babysitters and life in general, I pretty much figured it was out of the question for me to attend. I had almost resigned myself to missing the night until Papa Bear encouraged me to go if I could get a date. A date? But of course, there was only one person to ask. I was absolutely delighted that my Mum was happy to be my arm candy for the night.
You may remember that B and I have a certain style when it comes to our bits and bobs that are mingled around our house. We’re collectors and over our twelve years of living together we’ve managed to gather some cute and quirky bits that simply say “us”. Annnnndd then along comes the offspring and I don’t mean the band. A is probably the best thing we’ve picked up over the years and is the best addition to our house! She’s also the most expensive item we own (I know we don’t own her. Don’t worry about pointing out how completely politically incorrect it is to say that). In the last few years, with a beautiful new mouth to feed, moving house and paying bill after bill, we’ve had little chance to add to our collection. I miss shopping for quirks and oddities. I miss picking up an awesome find in a random shop in some back street of Dublin. I lost the shopping gene when A came along and resorted to spending my time and money in Boots on soothers and beaker after beaker after beaker. Until last week. Oh last week I was a happy giddy Momma Bear. Enter Kopper Kreation!