Simple Sunday’s

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Some recent posts have been focused on family life and sometimes the imbalance of the ‘trench’ years-we are all living it and loving it most of the time and over the almost 5 years of being a parent I have found in most aspects keeping it ‘simple’ is key. Not overcomplicating things makes it easier for all whether that is food, activities, games, crafting, baking, plans…

After one hell of a couple of weeks it was time to get a routine back, get back to basics and set this next month off on the right foot.

Weeks are so busy, set routines, shopping, working, cooking, cleaning, sleeping-sort of, baths, play, swimming, playball, jobs, more jobs, luas, bus, creche drop, creche collect-the week just flies by but the weekends are for catching up… sleep, family, friends and fun!

Saturdays usually have some plan attached, Josh normally has swimming, me the gym and then we might have one or two things to get done or people we’ve planned to meet… More often than not Sunday’s don’t and more so recently and this works well for us. It’s becoming our sacred family day. Sometimes later in the day Ian might go watch a game or I’ll nip to a perfectly pitched yin yoga class but the day is spent together, usually just the 4 of us. It might be a playground and coffee, it might be a road trip to one of our favourite spots or it might be a slightly more planned visit to something we’ve seen that’s on or somewhere we’ve wanted to visit… it’s usually the best day of the week.

By keeping it simple, not over complicating the day it tends to set the week out better and once the boys are in bed-a good meal, a dose of Netflix and a yummy treat with a cuppa usually sets up the week ahead on the right foot. It’s a formula that works so we just need to stick to it!

If only every Sunday was this sunny it would be an easy one to stick to!

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Worst side of me…

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How is it that the people you love the most see the worst side of you. Apologies for the tinge of ‘whiney’ posts on here lately but a bit of reality and reflection has been going on in my world and I have always used this blog as a diary in some regard and will continue to do so with honesty too.

It was just recently, one of those weekday evenings when it all started to unravel-picked the kids up from crèche-both in crappy/tired form, got home later than planned due to traffic, no apples when Josh wanted one-cue tantrum, Max’s teeth were at him…the water was cold for baths for some reason, dinner still needed to be made and I realised we hadn’t one of the main ingredients. Then Ian was later home than usual-the boys had snacks at this stage (whatever I could find), they had tepid baths and were in their jammies but I was still not out of my uniform and had made no in roads to dinner. The minute he walked in the door-I was grumpy and frazzled, a state my husband sees me way too frequently these days.

The days I am with the boys they mostly get the best of me, we have fun, laughs, cuddles & go on adventures together but they are 2 energetic boys so 11 hours later I am usually tired so make up is off, cosies are on and my mind is elsewhere-onto the jobs I didn’t manage to get done when Ian walks through the door and I usually just want 5 minutes down time before the bedtime routine begins. Having said that, the boys can see an awful frazzled side of me when I snap unnecessarily and they look at me with confused faces! #mummyfail Please tell me I’m not the only one, I’m fairly sure I’m not!

On the days I am working, I’m not sure anyone sees my best side but even that journey home with the boys is pleasant more often than not-we sing, we play eye spy and catch up on the day.

This is a cycle most people are in whether working full time in the home our out of the home-the only difference being in my world it is split in 2. It does show me however there is no perfect way, no perfect balance for all but you make the choices that are right for you and your family and ultimately our option is best for us right now.

What we do try and do to compensate is date night once a month-a few hours out of the house just the 2 of us can re do all the snappiness, cross words and lack of proper conversation and attention to our own relationship. It is essential and having a grandparent, albeit just the one there to give a bit of ‘time out’ when required is a super support. For the boys, especially the older one I always give some sort of explanation if I’ve been unjustifiably crabby-it makes him understand it’s not his fault or worry in any way and it seems to do the trick. Not to go too deep but keep it light and to the point.

And don’t get me wrong it works both ways-I aint seeing the best side of my husband either-its knowing this and working on it that matters-knowing that we are the foundations of our family and once in a while to actually put ‘us’ first! Its lucky for all the love I say, with a good dose of understanding too…

2018 where are you?

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Hello spring are you there? Sure we are almost at summer and I’ve heard a lot of people say it doesn’t even feel like the year has even gotten started. I for one feel the exact same.

2018 was always going to be a year of change for the Felton’s. Ian started a new job, Josh would be starting school and we would be changing up our childcare as a result. We planned to get savings underway to finally get a chance to clear some small debit and look to getting a mortgage maybe next year. The world had other plans…and I’m not even talking about the snow that set everyone back a little.

In January we got news of Josh’s teeth, this had a knock on affect on a lot of things. I also found a lump on my breast that after several weeks of monitoring/doctors visits it turned out fine, thank god. I had also been struggling with my anxiety since later last year and these 2 events along with a number of small things going on in the background made it become unmanageable. I cant put my finger on the exact trigger but it also started to affect my mood/outlook and as much as I hate to admit it I think Josh picked up on a couple of things too and that was what spurred me to head back to my GP. I have been taking a low med for a few years now but decided to up my dose, my concern was Max is still feeding once or twice a day and I didn’t want to contend with stopping that too so the GP assured me that the % was so low that the benefit outweighed the ‘risk’. The cliché is a cliché for a reason-happy mama, happy babas so I went this advice and I’m slowly seeing the benefit. If something is not working try and change it for the better..

I am a real believer in if you have a positive mind, positive things will happen. In this crazy world we live in it can be hard to not let a bit of negativity drip in. However I have found more often than not that if you wake in the morning, you have a bright outlook suddenly even small things start going your way-‘you catch the bus, there is a place for you to sit in the coffee shop, the thing you hoped would be left in the shop is…there is a parking space’-you know the drill. With kids the predictability of life is challenging, the lack of sleep, the tantrums, the sickness that you can contend with on a daily basis, but this is stuff that all parents deal with on some level so moaning and groaning about it doesn’t help anyone it only puts you into that negative mind-set….and on the flip side you have kids that bring you daily joy and love and that is hard to beat. I have had to adapt my ways as most parents do, go with the flow a lot more-let go of the little stuff, focus on what is really important at any given time and that has been good for me-that’s what kids do-they ground you.

I wish for security for our family, I work part time but even looking at returning full time would not pay the dividend required to secure a home. We would love to grow our family at some stage in the future but right now that seems like a big mountain to climb. I think hope has to return, I read a quote recently-dreaming is a form of planning and as a natural planner this quote sticks well with me..but right now over planning ain’t for me!

So here’s to dreaming, here’s to positivity and here’s to the rest of 2018 kick starting the way so many of us thought it should!

Alternative Easter Treats

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Well Easter hols have begun, Josh won’t be in pre school on Mondays and Tuesdays like he normally is so we will be finding things to do over the few days and I’ve some nice things planned for over Easter weekend too.

However this year we’ve had to be a bit more mindful about what is predominantly the main focus… Chocolate!!

So we have plans for a hunt in the garden, albeit a less chocolate filled one, some easter crafts and a few non chocolate treats from the Easter bunny too. Of course there will be a little chocolate-the poor child loves the stuff so he will get some, I’m not that cruel but it’ll just be more limited and I’ve had to become a little more inventive.

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Luckily I’m working with Dealz this easter and picked up some amazing bits in store for crafting and small little easter themed gifts for the boys. There are colouring books, bonnet making kits, egg cup painting, partyware and also plenty of chocolate treats too in store.. At €1.50 it makes it easy to buy some bits to keep the boys entertained without breaking the bank.

So if your stuck for things to do or want to pick up treats, Dealz is the place for you!

The Dreaded Dentist 😬

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I kept meaning to book Josh into the dentist and had brought him for a very quick consultation when he was about 2 but then over Christmas I spotted what I thought looked like a hole in his tooth so made one ASAP.

My suspicions were right but far far worse than we could have ever thought. Before I delve in anyone who has read my blog will no my children eat sugar, at Halloween/Christmas a little more than they should. We don’t have juice in the house so water and milk are their regular drinks of choice. Josh does eat sweets and honestly probably has something with sugar in it daily over the last 18 months or so..

Now bad parent altet, I was concious of his sweet tooth like every parent is. He certainly doesn’t have refresher bars hanging out his mouth and from observing wouldn’t have eaten much more than most of my friends kids BUT and there is a big but.

5 cavities needed, 1 root canal, specialist treatment required and all under general anaesthetic-I was floored.

As the news and the approx 4K bill sunk in, I just felt like a dreadful parent. We had assisted in this happening to our child. Both the intake of sugar and the delay in bringing him back for a proper consultation. My dentist had assured me that due to my weak teeth, Josh has probably picked up this genetically as it’s pretty unusual at his age which is why he would not have pushed for us to bring him in. However here we are, he needs surgery and we are just coming out of recovering from unpaid mat leave with a now 4K bill ahead of us!

We luckily got a cancellation as the next appointment wasn’t available until March. We explored a few avenues but went ahead with this consultant and her findings were similar but she laid out all options and suspected the cause was more to do with regular snacking on fruit alongside a weaker than normal tooth enamel.

We have another appointment at the end of February to determine the next steps and how he handles a fisher seal and take it from there..

He has been great about it, gone are the Friday treats and he has a full understanding that we need to be extra careful of sugar consumed. His resilience and maturity to it all he made us so proud.

So some tips, you probably know a lot already but based on what we have just learnt a quick refresh is no harm!

  1. Obviously the quantity of sugar needs to be monitored but it is the frequency that causes the real problems. Anything that takes longer to consume-lollies, jellies etc
  2. Washing teeth day and night from an early stage creates the habit so when it becomes more important it is just part of the routine.
  3. Use a child friendly toothpaste with fluoride in it.
  4. Regular snacking on fruit, especially-apples, bananas and high sugar content can be so bad for little teeth. We live in a snacking culture but fruit if possible should be given with main meals.

Josh showing his bro how it’s done… 💙

Parenting through Food

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I read a recent quote from a nutritionist I much admire, Orla Walsh about how we tend to reward children with food these days and I have to say I winced, I am completely guilty of that at time or using it as a keeping them entertained too. Hashtag-bad mama Hashtag-tell me a person who doesn’t from time to time. BUT based on my last post and small goals-the boys eating better is on the longer list but very important for many a reason. Max eats pretty ok but I am convinced since his first taste of sugar on his first birthday his palate has altered and I am no sugar nazi but his reach for the bold things and his refusal for items he would have eaten with glee has wained. Josh is a really poor eater, oh how I would love for him to dip some houmous, eat parma ham, veggie based muffins but nope fish fingers are his gig. I really try to stick to 3 good meals a day and breakfast usually starts well but depending on the day lunch can be affected and dinner is usually something they will eat and I feel I can pass as nutritious. More time dedicated to meal times I think is important. We don’t eat with the boys but focusing on the time they do making it an event as opposed to a passing activity is something I really want to focus on.

You will see recent and upcoming posts about snacks and a new range of chilled food in Aldi and to me to highlight this was a no brainer and I already almost always have a pack of rice cakes, their biscotti and a fruit pouch or two in my bag as a quick go to for snacks on the run. I am a big fan of their Mamia range of chilled food produced by Pip & Pear so I am looking forward to trying the new Goodness range. I try and get the boys eating what we eat but it is handy to have good prepared dishes in the fridge for a busy weekend day and when Josh is insisting that pasta or fish fingers are the only thing he will eat and I don’t have the battle quite in me! Some days it’s about the easy left eh and knowing they are not eating rubbish helps too…

An update since I wrote this post later last week is Josh’s visit to the dentist, we’ve had some very unfortunate and worrying news about his teeth but that’s a whole other post and a whole new outlook and learning…