Weekly Activities Take 2

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We started Josh with football, rugby and swimming just after he was 2. He enjoyed them but his concentration was a bit erratic and he needed to warm up a bit for some of the activities. He found them fun them for sure and we liked getting out at the weekends with him to start off the day with an activity but looking back now I’m not sure he was fully ready for them. 

We signed back up recently to both football and swimming and I noticed a considerable increase in interest and engagement with both activities as well as ability.

Football is something for fun, it does teach them structure etc but he learns that in school and again he enjoyed it, was much more able for the tasks given but I think a 6 week stretch is probably enough for this before you change it up. I’d definitely go back at some point but it’s also nice to try other things.


Swimming on the other hand I feel is one of life’s skills. This time he was a lot more into it and followed instruction much better. Subtly this class teaches them safety in the water which is why we signed him up pre holiday the first time. This course however gave him more skill in the water and you can now see him taking steps towards solo swimming. At the moment Ian gets in with him but on the next course, which we hope to do Josh will be getting in wort arm bands and we will be his sideline cheerleaders! 

I’d like to go back to Rugby Tots now and give that a try, maybe look at music or even drama when he’s a little older. If the opportunity is there I think it’s great to try it all and see what emerges as their favourite. My only bit of advise is probably wait until closer to 3 to start as both you and they will get more out of it! 

Swimming Lessons 

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We started Josh in swimming lessons a few weeks ago at Swim Stars

When we were away in Sligo over Christmas we noticed Josh has got very ‘brave’ in the baby pool. We are both not very good swimmers so decided that it was probably best to get him some lessons for safety. 

We are off to Portugal in a couple of weeks and they have great kids pools but he doesn’t have much fear so will be keeping a vigilant eye on him making a leap for the adult pool, hence why we have also bought one of these..

Puddle Jumper
Back to the lesson , so the first week Ian got in with him and me the next. Both weeks Josh was happy to get in but not too happy on initial instruction. He liked some exercises but not others. Unfortunately the one that he usually likes to do, (hopping up on the side and jumping in) he refused to do. This is the one area that teaches them if they fall in to return to the side. 

I really enjoy doing a set activity with Josh at the weekends and whilst this one is taking a little longer for him to get the hang of, we will persevere and enjoy it for what it is if nothing else!

Josh’s First Holiday

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We all went on holiday to Portugal in late May, granny in tow. First holiday with josh meant there was huge excitement and unprecedented planning and packing! He took the large case, we took carry on. 😉. Here is a quick run through of what I brought and found handy, I must say there wasn’t much that I brought that I wouldn’t have!
•Sleeveless vests were great and not too warm
•Baby float for pool gave him a bit of independence
•Dressing gown for morning walks and after pool
•Footless jammies so he wasn’t too warm at night
•His blanket from his cot at home
•Ball pool without the balls & toys for playing in
•Neurofen
•Pre made baby formula & powder was handy for our short trip rather than buying it there as he only takes a night bottle
•Ella’s food pouches which I was glad I did cause our resort is small
•Sarong and blanket used for feeding by the pool
•Lots of swimwear and the wetsuit top was great as it was a little cooler than we planned
•Bath time bits as all the suncream, sand and chlorine needs to be washed away
•Plenty of hats, even if they do pull them off
•Steriliser bags for night bottles
•Ziplock bags to bring his lunch out and about
•Your own travel cot sheet that he has used before if possible
•Snooze/Uv shade for buggy was a lifesaver

Obviously his clothes etc came too but these were the bits I’d make sure are packed!

Josh adapted well to the plane, change of scenery/routine and the weather wasn’t that hot so the pool was a little chilly but he splashed away.

Ryanair’s new changes were very child friendly and I really thought the overall experience was great and stress free. He didn’t sleep the whole flight but I fed him and we played with him in between until the 2.5 hours passed.

We have stayed many times in our chosen location in the Eastern Algarve so it’s like home from home. We unpacked, got organised and headed out to the pool to settle Josh in to his new surrounds.

Unfortunately the next day was very dull and Josh had picked up a little cold so we lay low and made the best of a grey day by heading into a beautiful local town for some dinner on the local bus. All very easy-popped the pram on the bus and off we went.

As for his routine, that kind of went by the by but he had some semblance of it. Morning feed, early & mid morning nap in the shade, then when the sun returned another lunchtime nap, some extra naps were definitely had. For the night routine, I soon realised, it was best just to go with the flow. We always headed out about 7 and I would feed him and rock/walk him to sleep as then he would pop back in the buggy or stay in my arms while we chomped and drank vino, this was a definite change from the norm but he was happy, we were happy and it worked. We would then stroll home, have a glass of wine on the balcony and he would usually wake, about 10. We would cuddle and play and then he would get his usual ‘dream feed’ about 10.30/11. Then it was down into his travel cot where he would slumber until about 5-6 and come into bed then till 7 when granny took him off down the town for brekkie and mama & dada got a lovely lie in!

What would I do differently-not a lot to be honest but first things first..
We would definitely stay longer and not because that’s always how you feel when on holiday but we quickly realised that really a short trip for all the preparation and settling into your new kind of holiday is not ideal but it was still very enjoyable..
I wouldn’t spend 25 euro on baby glasses-he wore them for all of half a second and he’s a pretty patient/compliant baby!
Bring more meds-I didn’t really foresee him getting a cold!

Our return journey was fairly plane sailing too but Faro airport is nowhere near as baby /customer friendly as Dublin and it really showed how great Dublin airport is in my opinion. However a quick purchase of a new Longchamp bag to replace the nappy bag was a bonus before hopping on the plane and returning to the Emerald Isle refreshed and raring for the summer ahead!

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Josh’s First Swim

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In one of my previous posts I mentioned we were taking Josh for his first swim. In short, all went well so we will be returning soon but this is how the first visit went.

I had ordered his swim nappy from water babies and it arrived promptly and we picked up huggies swimmers in a Supervalu for only 5 euro so we were all set! See nappy below..

We chose Meadowbrook as I had heard good reports on the baby pool. My husband works from home on a Friday so took his lunch a little early and off we set on a windy day. Meadowbrook has clearly had a great refurb in comparison to other local pools. It has great parking too which is always a bonus. Josh was free so we just paid for myself and Ian. There is also a nice viewing area if you wanted to avoid a double charge each time.

The changing rooms are unisex which makes family changing very easy and they have some really large cubicles and family friendly rooms/areas within the space. I must admit that without Ian there I think I would have found the whole changing procedure a little more tricky but I am sure I’d get the hang of it, maybe with a little more preparation.

So off to the pool we went.. The baby pool is only slightly warmer than the main pool but Josh took to it well. He was a little shivery but once we started moving him about that seemed to subside. We put him in a baby ring and whilst he wasn’t squealing with delight, he certainly wasn’t screaming in horror. There is also a lifeguard on duty who quickly told us to stop taking pics!
We didn’t spend long in the pool for our first visit so it was back to get dried off in turns after.

We attended a parent and toddler hour but on Sundays they also have family friendly slots throughout the day which we will be attending next time. I think once he has gotten used to the water it would be well worth doing proper classes with him as I am not a confident swimmer so wouldn’t have the repertoire to advance his swimming skills.

All in all another enjoyable activity and one that we will continue a couple of times a month! http://www.dlrleisureservices.ie/meadowbrook/timetable.php

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3 months-Where’s my baby gone?

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I think 3 months is a very significant milestone. It is why I said in a previous post that I chose this time to launch my blog. Well I am now writing in real time about all that lies ahead. This may sound strange but it was at this stage I really started to feel like a mama and not just like I was playing mummy & daddies and that was both overwhelming but very lovely at the same time.

We had our 3 month check the very day he turned 3 months. You know as an instinct that your baby is happy, healthy and progressing but you have this niggling feeling of worry so the check up gives your baby the once over and your public health nurse is there to answer any questions. It actually wasn’t as extensive as I thought and felt a little rushed but she seemed happy except for a slightly flat head-{-1 to mama} but his growth and reactions were all good as I willed him on.

However I got another bout of this flu thing and was completely floored this time with weepiness, self doubt and mama guilt off the richter scale and I felt I’d reached the end of the road so back to the doctor it was and I was told to ‘rest’ and was put on breastfeeding friendly antibiotics. My wonderful mum took Josh for several hours for 2 of the days with bottles in tow and with the help of hubby too I finally kicked it, 6 weeks later!

As for Josh, he is just going from strength to strength. His ‘routine’ seems to be forming and the night sleep is dragging out, we get from about 12-5/6 so we are thankful for that. He took the transition of moses to crib well and he also now sleeps in a growbag which he loves! His drooling is like the iguazu falls so we are thinking toothies might follow soon. Eek! I really feel his little personality is starting to form too, while he is still predominantly a placid little boy, he is also determined and tells you now when he is not happy about something but generally cries are kept for hunger, nappy and more recently boredom! One thing was his poos slowed down a bit at this stage, going from 4/5 to 2, 1 or none a day! It’s amazing how you can now wish for things like poos and are as pleased as punch once one comes along.

At this stage we took the big leap of a night away without baba to Carton House. Off he went to Granny’s with lists, blankets, bottles and a little trepidation from mum & dad! However despite me failing to bring my pump and my boobs heavy and the size of Jordan’s it was a much needed r&r time. It was very important for myself and my husband to get some time together too as it can feel like you just go through the motions daily and really don’t get proper time to touch base and check in with how each of you are so a night of one on one was fab! Baby naturally becomes priority but it is so important to be mindful of your relationship too.

We went on his first swim this month and also started baby massage as well as attending a super baby festival called Baby Talk which are all discussed at length in other posts on the blog.

Heading towards 4 months it seems what they say is true, time flies by so every day I just take a moment to breathe in the little miracle that he is.