Summer with the Boys

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Every year since Josh was born I’ve made a wish list of things I’d like to do or events I’d like to go to in the summer months. This year is no different… Some might be the same as before so Max can experience them for the first time or some we might be revisiting due to them being a big hit. We have new places on the list too and this years list looks like this. I don’t always get through the list but will make every effort to give it a good bash with the boys! We do try and keep an eye for smaller local events too and if of interest we try and do those too which I post up on my social media pages… 

You might fit one or two in from the list below before schools back which would be a fun way to spend the last days of the summer hols. 

The ‘beach bucket’ list: 

Phoenix Park Visitor Centre & Playground:

We loved it here, great parking, lovely little indoor and outdoor cafe/coffee spot and good playground nearby for a run around. Entry to this area is free. 

Kiora Farm:
I’d heard great things about this farm so was excited to visit on a sunny day in July. Entry is 7.50 per person which I thought was a little steep but I’d wanted to bring Josh since last summer so it felt worth it. Don’t get me wrong, it is really nice and Josh absolutely loved the fire truck, diggers and go karts. However it just felt a bit thrown together for me. Nice, worth a trip if you are in the area but not worth the trip down from Dublin if you know what I mean. Entry fees as above. 



War Memorial Gardens:

We went here on a random sunny Tuesday my husband happened to be off and it was blissful. A beautiful part of the Liffey, we pitched up a picnic and enjoyed the simplicity of the surrounds. There is a good ample to do and parking is great. There isn’t a lot to the ‘park’ but with a ball or a game of catch it’s a lovely way to pass an hour or so… Entry is free to this parkland. 



Bray Fair-Air Fair:

This year we didn’t actually go to Bray for the air fair so we missed out on the great funfair and never got to go back down for that alone however our view point for the airshow was great-we headed up Killiney Hill. It is a great viewing spot and the website had stated this year the start time of the actual airshow so we were up there for 3. It was busy but not mental, lots of people had laid out picnic blankets etc. It was good but it’s a little slow and for younger ones the inpatience sets in. Airshow viewing is free but if you go to the fair the rides range from 2 euro a go which can quickly rack up!



Russbourgh: 

We went here earlier in the summer and loved it. It’s got all the makings of a great afternoon. You do pay a small amount for some of the attractions but it’s very minimal. There is a brilliant playground, great walks and the highlight for us was the fairy trail… The coffee shop down there is ok but it would be a perfect place for a picnic too or Avoca isn’t too fair away so you could stop en route to pick up some goodies. As above there are small charges for some of the attractions but it is not heavily monitored. 



Kilmacuragh-Hunters Hotel:

We ventured off here one Sunday morning that the sun looked like it was sticking around. It’s about a 40 minute drive from the south side of Dublin and well sign posted too. It was a lovely little ramble and a perfect distance for a sometimes lazy 3 year old to race around… We decided then to skip the coffee shop there and en route home stop off in the quirky Hunters Hotel for a scone and tea in the sunshine. It was a perfect combo for a sunny Sunday in June. Entry to Kilmacuragh is free.



Greenan Maze:

We only visited Greenan earlier this week and really liked it. Unfortunately the rain kept us from seeing part of it but we had such fun in the maze, around the farm and looking at all the fairy doors that it didn’t really matter. The tea rooms were lovely and the whole place is well organised and laid out. They give you a map at entry and a treasure hunt to follow which brings you around the whole attraction, taking all the bits in-at the end kids are given a little bag of treasure/jellies which keeps them happy for the trip home. Entry is 7 euro per adult/8 per child with family deals available. 



Skerries-see previous post as we didn’t make it back this summer but hoping for an Indian summer for a visit!

Places we never made…

Some on the list we never made it to this year {the summer went so fast} so back on the list for next year is Wells House along with Fruit Picking & Japanese Gardens/National Stud!

Throughout the summer myself and Max also attended Claphandies classes every Friday, first in Ballsbridge and then in Terenure. It was such a lovely thing to do with him and he adored it. The structure of the class is introductions, playtime, signing and dancing with a finish of some sign language and a different discussion topic each week. It might not be for everyone-the happy/clappy/dancing element of it but any one on one time based around fun I get with my second little man is particularly precious so we were delighted to be asked along. Check out their website for the new autumn term starting in September. 

Breastfeeding

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I’m on my second breastfeeding journey both fairly similar but this one is going on a little longer than the last. Josh decided himself one day after me being away when he was 8.5 months that he was done with the boob. Max is a big boob man so seeing how that will play out. 
As it’s International Breastfeeding Week, I thought I’d put together a post about all things related. 
B-is for bye bye perky boobs. If pregnancy and one bout of feeding didn’t have them touching my toes this feeding spell definitely has. Having said that, perky pre babies might have been a stretch!
R-is for right breast, still 9.5 months later I can get a bit of pain on this side. Max is tongue tied so his latch probably has its part to play.
E-is for easy, or not as the case may be… breastfeeding at the beginning certainly is not easy but for me on a day to day basis it is which is why I continue to do it.
A-is for ask for help, this is so important, especially in the early days.
S-is for sore, yes it’s sore-cracked nipples and those first few days of latching on can be painful and are common ground but that will pass, promise.
T-is for timing, whether you do it for 1 week, 1 month or 1 year-that is up to you and your choices. 
F-is for friends, I made some great mama pals in my breastfeeding group with Josh and having a friendly ear can be just what you need on the days where exhaustion is kicking in.
E-is for eating, you are definitely hungrier when feeding baby so eat well but treat yourself too.
E-is for expressing, getting a good pump is a really handy tool if you want to get baby onto a bottle at some stage but want to continue with mamas milk. 
D-is for daddy, whether you decide to feed exclusively or combo feed make sure dads have their part to play.
I-is for information, ask for information pre baby, in the early days or even when you are established.
N-is for nipple, nipple care at the beginning is key to avoid cracking or infection so lots of lanolin and compresses while you adjust.
G-is for great, despite some of what might sound negative above, it is great for baby and mum too so with the right support and if you have decided this is the route for you then enjoy it, embrace it and encourage it too!

9 months In & Out

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It’s been a fast 9 months but it also feels like he was never not here. I always find this milestone a memorable one as they are out of your tummy as long as they were in there….

Here are 9 nuggets we’ve learnt about Master Max in the last 9 months

1. His smiles are wide but his cries are loud. 

He’s more of a smiler than I remember his brother being and gives them generously but can also ‘crack it’ fairly intensely when the mood takes him too.



2. He is a mamas boy hands down. 

Having said that he is happy to give anyone a snuggle and a smile for a bit of attention in return.

3. He’s an inquisitive little thing.

He’s always looking around observing and taking it all in and I’ve no doubt with the way things are going he will be on the move soon.

4. He looooovvees the ‘3 Bs’ bread, boobs & bath.

A slice of toast can not pass your lips without him digging in too.  My boobs are his primary food/drink source, his comfort and his general go to/pull out of when he fancies it! 🙄  At bathtimes, the squeals of delight when he is in the water and the squeals of horror when we take him out are memorable.

5. He’s a blondy now but started off very dark.

This meant people who haven’t seen him in a while can’t believe the transformation.



6. He doesn’t sleep great, never really has, despite a fairly good routine.

This is a quality he has taken from his bro. We thought we might luck out with a sleeper this time but it seems not.

7. His personality is emerging a little different to Josh.

I kinda thought they’d just be the same, naively, but Max is more impish, he’s more gentle but also has a determination we didn’t see emerge in Josh until a little later.

8. He still has no teeth.

9 months, ‘teething’ since 3 with lots of symptoms and tons of drool but not a tooth in his head yet.

9. We all love him more than we thought possible.

Yes of course I knew I’d love him, our second child but my goodness the love I, and our whole little family have for him is more than we could have imagined, it’s intense and lovely and he brings us little nuggets of joy every day, 9 whole months of them with lots more to come! 

Aer Lingus not very A List!

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We are back from holidays just over a week and for the first time since we had kids we flew with Aer Lingus. They were good times, we thought with 2 in tow that the service might be better for families {although we had never had issue with Ryanair} and I think when we booked it might have been slightly cheaper than Ryanair. We were wrong on the special service that’s for sure-very wrong! 
First off you can only check in within 30 hours of your flight that means you have to have access to a computer/printer close to your departure date which wouldn’t be great if you were flying over a weekend and your only choice was work facilities.

Then for us, we arrived at the airport under a ‘pooled’ bag system. Not knowing what that meant exactly we went to the Aer Lingus area. We had a buggy with baby, a toddler, 1 large case & 3 small cases. One of the assistants told us we had to check the large bag in separately to the other bags that we were allowed check on for free. This seemed a bit ridiculous as we had to check in the buggy anyway but we went over to do it. We were 1kg over and he stood over my husband demanding we pay 10 euro as I stood nearby with a crying baby and a tired toddler who we had woken at 4am-this was now 5.30. We started opening our cases trying to shift stuff which was ridiculous when you think about it as they were going to take 4 cases in total on for us but we did.. Eventually when I said the baby aka Max needed to be fed they ushered us to the check in desk to check all bags on with no further comment but not before the ‘helpful man’ said that they should note we were overweight!!! 
Anyway bags were on.. 

Next challenge was terminal 2 which is no where near as family friendly as terminal one. No fast track and up and down lifts. I know this is not essentially an Aer Lingus problem but anything that makes your life easier travelling with kids is a winner in my eyes. They didn’t even have a lift directly at the boarding gate so we needed to be escorted. We were then 45 minutes delayed on the tarmac-I know this can happen but another little grievance to add to the growing list. 
When we arrived at Faro all our bags and buggy arrived fine but there was a huge backlog at passport control. We would have been there hours but luckily the Portuguese authorities had the sense to bring families through first as it moved relatively quickly after that. 
The check in issue rose again on our return journey but luckily our resort office printed the boarding passes for us but this might not always be the case for people and at Faro airport I only saw bag drop. A bag drop to me is a fast experience but each person going up to the desk was taking over 10 minutes to process and then we noted our return flight was going to be delayed again. Once our bags were put through we didn’t mind too much being in holiday mode and headed for a coffee and cake. 
Faro airport is undergoing a refurb and it’s going to be great when it’s finished and they are always pretty mindful of travelling families from what we have experienced.
We thought this was the case when we got to the gate and were brought through as a priority with other families but the final nail in the coffin was being put on a packed hot bus and then being made wait for over 20 minutes to be brought to the plane with hot and restless children. 
The staff on the flight were pleasant and the plane relatively clean but this is the same with Ryanair we have always found so Ryanair might get bad press but they are a winner for us. 
And it didn’t end there.. when we arrived in Dublin our buggies were available to us up several flights of stairs. This is where the most ridiculous part happens-they were brought up in a small lift which was the only lift available so you then had to wait wit 20 other sets of parents for all the buggies then wait again to try get into the tiny lift to head up to baggage reclaim. On a side note the top of our buggy was also broken off but was fixable thankfully. 
I don’t complain often and maybe my expectations of Aer Lingus was too high but it’s Ryanair for me Iin future. They have quick turnarounds, travel via family friendly terminal 1 and also accept hand luggage when travelling with families and allow check in altogether so it’s unlikely we will be choosing Aer Lingus again to be honest and even the price would not sway me in the future! I have sent them a note on the above points so will see what they come back with… One week later and I’m still waiting! 
*needed after an un family friendly flying experience!

Bored of Blogging 

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Not quite what is seems… I’m not bored of blogging albeit my time is more limited to write content these days. 

However it would seem the world is… From what I can see there is a huge social media focus at the moment and while my likes go up, my readership is going down. 

I’m certainly not going to stop blogging, I enjoy it and have always done it partially as a diary too for the boys but my posts will be more sporadic, or even more so than they are now! 

I work with several brands now and the content is stronger on social media platforms too so for now this is where my focus will lie. Showing a little of our lives, sharing some tips and observations too. 

Now is as good as time as ever to step away for a bit as we are heading away on Friday for almost two weeks so happy hols for the Felton’s and for Mummy Moments too! 


Keep following us on Instagram with our stories too, Facebook & Twitter

Feeding Tops & Tips

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I feed Max myself and at 6 months there are no signs of him stopping. Breastfeeding has worked for me and I am thankful for that. However your choice of attire changes somewhat when you have to have quick access to the boob 24/7.

It’s not so bad at the beginning, when losing the baby weight and tops are big but as the months roll on and you want to get your style back it can be tricky to find nice pieces to fit into your wardrobe and not make you look to ‘mumsy’. 

3 bits of essential kit I’d suggest before hunting for tops that work are:

1. Really good feeding bras-get measured and buy well!

2. Clip down vests-really handy for going under things, I get mine in H&M

3. Breast pads-if needed, those tops won’t be as lovely if you have leaked all over them! 
So here is some of what I picked up in recent weeks… It is to give you some ideas.

 I did the bulk of my purchases in Zara but find H&M, Pull & Bear and of course Penny’s good too. It means you don’t spend too much but get to freshen up your wardrobe too for this feeing period in your life. 
I have also included some other pics of bits I’ve seen in the shops and some current stock for handy tops that are in store now so if you are at the start of your journey or in the middle I hope some of these ideas inspire and happy shopping! * all tops below were under 20 euro. 

My Style:


Spotted Out & About…


Some current stock-in Zara!