Thursday, 28 February 2013

Is there anything more beautiful than reading to your baby?

I've been reading the World Book day posts on the Netmums blog this week and my Inbetweener arrived home with his book-club catalogue yesterday evening so it's got me thinking.

I love reading and always had my head stuck in a book ever since I can remember. Every time I got money as a child I would buy a book from the toy shop in our town

There is something fascinating about transporting yourself into a world of make believe. I always wanted to find a Magic Faraway Tree of my own, sadly in real life I never did but when I read those stories I was there with the characters in my own make believe land.

Last year when I was pregnant with the Little Fellow I was so sick I couldn't muster the strength to pick up a book.

So,with World Book Day coming up on March 7th I figure now is as good a time as any to start back doing something that I love.

Since the Little Fellow was born I have recited loads of nursery rhymes and I sing all the songs that my parents sang to me. It's comforting to him and I love the way he looks at me with a huge smile when I start rhyming or singing-  like he's really enjoying it - or maybe that's my very bad singing! 

Anyway, I started to read to my Little Fellow last night. He's 5 months now and I'm sure he's getting fed up with the same reel of rhymes and songs. Besides, what is more beautiful than sitting down and reading with your baby cuddled up beside you?

I took out one of his older brother's well loved books ''I love you, Sleepyhead'' by Claire Freedman. 
This is a beautiful short rhyming story about mother animals putting their babies to sleep. 

Even though my Little Fellow didn't understand what I was reading, he just sat happily on my knee smiling up at me and we cuddled up on the armchair. 

When he looks up into my eyes like I'm the only person in the world, what does it matter if he can't understand or follow the story? It is a real privilege for me to be able to sit down and spend time with him away from the hustle and bustle to read a story - it's peaceful and last night I wanted the moment to last forever.

Books are to be cherished and enjoyed time and time again. I hope to pass on my love of reading to my Little Fellow and introduce him to a world of make believe where he can let his imagination run wild and discover worlds far beyond the one in which we live. 

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

I love my hot watter bottle!

Last night I went out walking with my sister. It is one of the rare occasions these days when I get an hour to myself away from the madness. Although the weather here has been fab for the past week and the sun has been shining it was bitterly cold up here in the sticks.

My sister joked that she would be taking her hot water bottle to bed with her as her husband is away working and we suddenly started talking about hot water bottles.

What is there to talk about I hear you say - big deal! I'm so sad I know and should definitely get out more often but I must get this off my chest.

I think that the hot water bottle is possibly one of the best inventions ever and I didn't know who invented the modern day hot water bottle.

How can I know so little about something so great? We have about 6 hot water bottles in our house, all shapes and sizes and a few with lovely covers and then there is mine - an old blue one that's about 10 years old.

It's used for all sorts - pains and aches of all descriptions, heating the bed, heating the baby's cot before he gets put down, you can cosy up to it watching TV, it's great when you have to go to bed on your own ( or even with your other half) -  it has offered heat and comfort to the whole house down the years.

So, here's the facts courtesy of Wikipedia;

The earliest forms of hot water bottles dates back to the 16th century. They contained hot coals from the dying embers of the fire and were used to warm the bed before getting in.

The modern day hot water bottle was invented in 1903 by a Croatian inventor named Eduard Penkala (Budapest, Patent No 29276).

The hot water bottle to me is the most simple, timeless invention used by the masses, it's cheap and reliable and I love it. What nicer way to cosy up on a cold frosty night with your hot water bottle and a nice cup of tea?

Monday, 25 February 2013

When I grow up I want to be a .........

What do you want to be when you grow up? We all ask our children this question when they are small.

Often we hear back  "I want to be a nurse, a doctor, a teacher, a fireman, a shopkeeper, a farmer, a model, an astronaut". The list goes on, at the minute my 7 year old Inbetweener wants to be a WWE Wrestler. Of course, I tell him he can be anything he wants to be and would make an excellent wrestler.

My daughter has just finished her Junior Cert mocks and is now faced with this question for real. It's make your mind up time as she prepares to enter the Leaving Cert cycle later this year and has to decide on her subject choices.

The truth is very few young people of 15 years of age are sure of what they want to do after school and they will change their mind no doubt a number of times before they actually sit their Leaving Cert.

As a parent I want to help my daughter make the right decision for her, yes I have my opinions and can offer advice but ultimately she will have to decide this one herself and there are so many factors to consider.

The first thing we talked about was the subjects that she was most interested in and the ones that she was best at, these naturally tie together I suppose because we normally excel at things we like to do.

The next thing we looked at was career paths and how would these subjects relate. With certain subjects you can limit your options when it comes to deciding on a career and also getting into different universities. It's good to have a mix if possible and I think a language is always useful.  After that we looked at some colleges and the entry requirements for those.

Thankfully, the school guidance teacher had given out information on different careers and subjects required for each one as well as grades for certain universities which saved some research.

Even at this stage we are talking points required for getting into third level and she hasn't sat her Junior Cert!

But at the end of the day, you need the points to get the course you want and to get this you have to do the best exam that you can. That's why, to me it makes more sense to choose subjects you like in order to maximise your points and that's what I have advised my daughter to do.

Then there is always a bone of contention in our house with regards to higher level maths. So many students drop higher level maths for Leaving Cert and my daughter wants to do the same. I won't push her on it but it's worth it if you have the genuine ability because of the extra points.

I remember doing higher level maths and yes it was difficult, but as with all things I say don't knock it till you've tried it. Too many people rule out higher level maths before they even give it a chance - if I managed to pass it I think anybody can.

So, after a good few evenings of talking and researching she has decided on her subjects and more importantly she is happy with her choice.

What more can I say - this time next week she may be thinking on a different career path, at the moment she would love to study Home Economics and Biology with the hope of becoming a secondary school teacher. This course also opens other doors for her apart from teaching because at the minute there are not too many opportunities for teachers here. But as a back up she wants to complete a Hair and Beauty course because everybody needs their hair and make-up done - sounds to me like she knows what she wants!

It's strange and a little bit scary to think that not so long ago we were having these conversations as a 4 year old when she wanted to own a clothes shop and more importantly telling me her socks didn't match her dress so we would have to change before going out!

Whatever path she chooses in life she knows that I will always be here for her and she will always be my little girl - even when she's my age!


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Tots100 Printerpix Competition Entry

This month Tots100 and Printerpix are running a family photo competition, with a top prize of a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 camera plus £100 to spend with Printerpix.
There are also four runners up prizes of a large framed photo or canvas print - it is open to all Tots100 registered bloggers and ends on 22 February 2013.

Here is my entry for the 'family portraits' category and it was the Little Man's first Christmas. We took loads of lovely photos on Christmas Day at different angles and positions and everyone was getting a bit fed up in the end.

Then my daughter decided that along with all the serious and lovely photos we take we should also have a ''Gammy'' photo shoot as well - a theme that has continued into the New Year.

With children it's so hard to get everyone looking in the same direction and keep your eyes OPEN! Somehow the silly photos can be captured much more easily.

You can see the result. I think this is a great picture of my lot confirming just how ''gammy'' we really are!

I especially love the smile on the Little Man's face as he wonders what kind of family he has been born into!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

First Tooth!

I am so excited today because The Little Fellow has just got his first tooth at just 5 months old!

He has been teething for a while now and the last 2 weeks have been especially hard for him. We have been slapping on the Bonjela and thanking God above for the people who invented Calpol, but it has all paid off in the end.

I could see yesterday that his gum was raised and he was very cranky so I knew we would have a tooth cut through very soon but not next day soon!

At first I thought he was too young to get a tooth because my other 2 didn't get their first teeth until they were older but every child is different and you simply can't compare.

When I checked his mouth this morning after his feed I was ecstatic to feel the little sharpness, it's extremely hard to get a good look at it but it's there alright! 

I'm so happy and proud that he has reached this milestone nice and early, let's hope the rest come up as quick!!


Monday, 18 February 2013

Day Trip to Donegal Town

Some time ago my husband's cousin and fiance were on holiday here from the US, during which time they spent a few days with us. I have to say that I found it hard to think of places that would interest them here in Donegal.

I thought of loads of places outside of the county like the Giant's Causeway and the Glencar Waterfall which are family favourites with ourselves and I felt ashamed that I couldn't really come up with places to go here apart from the beaches!

More often than not we take things for granted and don't appreciate the things we have on our own doorstep. Whilst it's great to travel and see the world it's also important to experience the best of what home has to offer.

So, this year I decided that once a month we would take a day trip and make sure we did something as a family. It's all too easy with work and hobbies/sporting activities to not spend proper time together as a family. I also wanted to focus on our own local area primarily and play the tourist. The next time we have visitors staying I will not be stuck for ideas of what to do or where to go and better still it will not cost a fortune.

On Saturday after getting my hair done, we started our day trip to Donegal Town. I have lived in Donegal all my life and have been to the town many times but have never visited the castle. So off to the castle we headed not knowing very much about it at all.

The castle is located just off The Diamond and behind the Courthouse. With an entry fee for the family of  €10 it wasn't going to break the bank. We were greeted by a very pleasant guide, who gave us our information leaflets and directed us towards the castle. My Inbetweener got his own leaflet which gave little tasks to complete along the way and he really enjoyed that. You can complete the tour at your own pace which is always a plus with children, but in the summer there are guided tours available.

We spent about an hour and a half inside, taking lots of photos and we had a great time, I would say that it is well worth a visit.

Next stop, something to eat just across the road at The Olde Castle Bar Restaurant. A great place to eat and also child friendly.

Then we walked to the Abbey of the Four Masters - this was built by Hugh O'Donnell for the Friars and it's at the bottom of the quay. There isn't much left of the old Abbey, but the views around the bay are lovely and there are plenty of photo opportunities. I was surprised at how good the Little Fellow was, not so much as a peep out of him all day.

On our way home we decided to look for the Famine Pot which is located on the shore of Lough Eske. It wasn't too hard to find as it turned out and it is the perfect spot for a picnic, although maybe on a warmer day! Great for photos, although the Little Fellow is fast asleep at this stage, best I can get is a shot through the car window - must be all that Donegal air!

The 'Famine Pot' was used during the great famine and it is a testament to all people who lost their lives in the mid-1840s and 1850s. There is something poignant about the big black pot because it is a reminder of a grim period of starvation and emigration. Some might say we are experiencing a grim period in Ireland currently albeit different circumstances and it does make you think.

A day trip through Barnesmore Gap wouldn't be complete without a stop at Biddy's Bar. I haven't been in for ages and it was nice to stop and relax before we headed home.

Hope you enjoy some of our pictures. Has this inspired you to take some time out with your family?
My 3 Lovlies :)

Friday, 15 February 2013

Baby Weaning Update

Baby weaning commenced this week and is going really well. My Little Fellow is enjoying trying out something new and got really excited when he saw his food coming this morning - can't believe that he is almost 5 months old and starting to loose his baby looks already.

He is such a happy baby and loves to smile even when he's not very happy there's always a glimpse of a smile in there - let's hope that is a trait he can carry on into his adult life!!

Last night I got 6 whole hours of uninterupted sleep, I nearly jumped out of bed with excitement, maybe we have turned a corner and this is a sign of good things to come. It feels like such a long time since I had a proper nights sleep and I will not complain about 6 straight hours.

Looking forward to a nice family day out now before we get everybody ready to get back to school on Monday morning. Got my hair done this morning and I feel great.

You look like sh*t, is that the style now?

I had the shock of my life this morning when I looked into the bathroom mirror, I mean really looked in the mirror and I didn't recognise the person looking back.

It was probably the first time since my Little Fellow arrived 21 weeks ago that I had a good look at myself.

I was extremely sick during my pregnancy and towards the end I was hardly able to walk. I wasn't able to bend down to put on my shoes and I couldn't have cared less about how I looked. Gone were the days when I would not leave the house without heels and mascara.

Baby Brain has definitely been to town, I've got bags under my eyes that are so big they could hold the contents of the house, I have a huge spot on my cheek, a dry patch of skin on my face, my hair is standing on me and I have formed an unhealthy attachment to leggings and baggy t-shirts  - I look like a bloody mess and that is definitely not the style now!!


Trouble is, that since my Little Fellow arrived I have been devoting all my time and energy on him as well as running after my other 2 children and making sure that things in the house run smoothly and I have forgotten about me.

So, reality check and time to say hello to me again - hair appointment made for tomorrow morning, make - up is on as we speak (well, tinted moisturiser and mascara at least), I have ditched the leggings and replaced with jeans and top that I bought last year when I was pregnant - labels just removed this morning and I'm going to book myself a facial for next week.

Being a mother is fabulous and I wouldn't change it but on the other hand I must try harder to look after me too - starting from today!!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

My Little Bag of Love...

With Valentines Day fast approaching, the shops are overloaded with all things red, heart shaped and chocolate. I couldn't help myself as I browsed through the beautiful display in my local M&S, I was completely sucked in as I treated myself to a little bag of love.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Let the weaning begin.......

As my little fellow is fast approaching the 5 month mark and you may have seen from my previous post ''Breastfeeding, an unexpected journey'', we have been having some problems for the past week.

Thankfully he has started to latch back on to the other breast again today after 8 days of not feeding on it at all and seems quite happy for now but I am certain that he is ready to start weaning, so I spent some time this morning getting ready for the big event.

It's Pancake Tuesday - how do you have yours?

I can't believe it's Pancake Tuesday, time flies when your having fun they say! As I find myself at home today with lots of company as all 3 children are here, we are going to have a fun afternoon at the cooker.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Breastfeeding - An unexpected journey

When I was having baby no 3 the decision to breastfeed or not was easy for me, as I did so with my last and I wanted to at least try and feed this one for as long as I could.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Save some money and treat yourself today...

I've been using the @vouchercloud app since before Christmas and it's great for when your out and about. My favourite this week is from @TheBodyShop £20 off when you spend £40 at participating stores and also The Wine Buff are offering 30% off selected wines.
So check it out today and you never know what treats you might find - because you are worth it after all!

Friday, 8 February 2013


Welcome to my blog and my first post! Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read it.