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Mamma Musings

Mamma Musings

Survival Tips for New Parents

Being a parent is wonderful. But it’s also incredibly hard work. Nothing can prepare you for the first few days of parenthood, but hopefully, these handy hints will help to make life easier, im the first to admit im no expert, but thought id share some tips I have picked up having had 2 babies!

Be prepared

When you’re pregnant, you count down the days until your due date, but really, your baby could arrive at any time during the final stages. This is why it’s beneficial to be prepared. Have the nursery ready and stock up on nappies, wipes and babygrows. You don’t need to buy everything before your baby is born, but make sure you have the essentials. It’s also a good idea to have your hospital bag prepped and ready, just in case you go into labour earlier than expected or like me end up in hospital from 30 weeks. Most certainly not what i expected but it meant i didnt get home before the baby arrived.

Get some sleep

People warn you about sleepless nights. But it’s impossible to appreciate the changes in sleep patterns you experience with a newborn until the baby comes along. It’s likely that you will wake several times during the night for the first while, and you may not get into a settled routine for weeks. This is why it’s essential to get sleep when you can. Nap when your baby naps, and take it in turns to get up during the night. Try and iron out any sleeping problems you have before our baby comes, that either you or your older kids. We spent considering time getting the big man into his own bed full time and off nightime feeds.

Invest in a new mattress and make sure your bedroom is calming, dark and peaceful. If you’re planning to try co-sleeping or you’re planning for the future, it may be worth swapping your current mattress for a larger one. Try out some mattresses  or look for a review on bestmattress-brand.org.

newborn-220142_960_720

 

Ask for help

As a new parent, you may want to spend every precious second with your baby, but it’s ok to take a break from time to time if you can at all. If you’ve got parents, siblings and friends offering to help out, don’t turn them away. Even an hour’s respite can give you a chance to enjoy a nice hot bath or pop out for a bit of fresh air. There’s absolutely no shame in asking others for a bit of support. They’ll probably be overjoyed to have the chance to spend some time with the new arrival.

Look after yourself

When you’re a new parent, all your energy goes into looking after your baby. But it’s also important to look after yourself. Try and eat healthily, have some time out and rest when you can. When your baby is a little older, try and get out and about. A walk to the park or a trip around the block can do your body and mind the power of good.

man-holding-newborn

Welcoming a new baby to the world is one of the most special and exciting experiences. But looking after a newborn can also be draining. Sleepless nights and busy days can make for exhausted parents. If you’re preparing for a new addition, take these helpful tips on board. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and try and get your head down when you can.

Savour every minute, they are only little for a very short space of time.

Mamma Musings

Unique birthday gift ideas

With the big mans 4th birthday fast approaching it has lead  me to think about some unique gift ideas for him.  birthdaygirlIt can be a hard decision when choosing something to buy your child for their birthday.  The boys are so lucky they receive so many toys and clothes so I like to purchase something for them which is unique. Searching the internet the last few nights has turned up some fab unique birthday gifts for kids, which has prompted me to devote an entire post to it!

 

A teddy

The boys receive lots of “plastic” toys as gifts and from us to be fair so I like to give them something traditional that I know they will love. You cant go wrong with a teddy, a teddy is something they can keep and treasure forever. They are unlikely to throw it out like they will do with their other toys when they grow out of them. teddycuddleI stumbled across this article which reveals, a lot of people still sleep with their teddies as an adult! I still have mine, Lulu has pride of place in the boys bedroom.  My own dad is almost 60 and he still has his.  My own boys are fascinated by the “really really old” teddy!! I have seen lots of places where you can customise the teddy, with the childs name or  you could add a voice clip to the inside the teddy. It’s a great gift idea from babies to toddlers and right up to older kids. There really is something lovely about a teddy that you can treasure for life.

A set of books

You cant go wrong wit books, our love of books is well known.  A set of books is also  a wonderful gift idea for your kids. They are something they can keep forever too. I love our time reading together in the evenings before bed, in time im sure he will be reading to himself and I know ill miss that lovely time together.  Some classic timeless book sets such as the Narnia books, or even the Harry Potter set are great options. 

 

Something customised

Who doesnt love something customised.  For something unique, you cant go wrong with a customised gift It could be a picture of them with a favourite doll/car/toy or perhaps a toy box with their name on. For something fun, I found these custom bobbleheads probably for a littler older kids, but great idea. You can even get the bobblehead dressed in their favorite football team or character costume to make it more fun.

Traditional board game

family-game-588908_960_720The big man loves, and I mean really loves board games.  Current favourite is Operation, which Santa brought last year.  In a world of electronics i love to see him interested in some “old school” board games.  They don’t get old (my son doesnt believe I had Operation game as a child!!) and the biggest thing i think is they encourage all the family to get invloved, not really a feature of the electornic side of things. There are so many you could get that your child will love; here is a good selction for kids!

A present from your past

Another unique present idea your child will love is a present from your past. Perhaps you have something you had when you were little that you want to pass on to your kid.  For example a teddy or a piece of jewellery.  I received a bracelet from my nannie for my 16th birthday that was hers. She has passed away since and that bracelet has become priceless to me.

 

Once I finally have the present sorted its time to think about organising a little party. He loves the idea of blowing out canldles on a cake! And sure who doesnt love a party!! 

party
Note: This is a collaberative post 

Mamma Musings

3 Fun Activities To Help Encourage A Sibling Bond

I have written about the bond between my boys before, I love watching them interact, I love watching the bond grow and develop over the months.  A strong sibling bond can last a lifetime. But the same reasons that siblings bond can be the reasons that they fight too! They are constantly by each other’s side and often know exactly what makes the other one tick. This means that they can help, reassure and support each other. But it can also mean they know what buttons to push. At any age, a sibling bond can be encouraged to develop and improve. A strong sibling bond doesn’t necessarily mean that all arguments and disagreements will become a thing of the past. But it does mean that at the heart of it all they are good friends and will always try to be there for each other. If you’re trying to encourage the sibling bond in subtle but effective ways, try a few of these fun activities.child-childrens-baby-children-s-large

A Joint Project

Encouraging siblings to start a project together can be a great way to help them become close. It might be a building task such as a new toy or even a sandcastle. Perhaps it could be a creative project like a painting or a jigsaw. Baking something together under supervision can also be fun. Presenting cookies or a cake to a loved one will be the result of their teamwork. This can create a sense of pride and accomplishment, meaning they will have good associations with working with their sibling. Many siblings can struggle to share toys or activities and can quickly become territorial. If they learn that working and playing together can be more fun and rewarding, sharing will start to come naturally to them. If one sibling has more experience than the other, they can become the “teacher” in the pair. This also helps to generate a bond of trust and collaboration between them.

A Sleepover

siblingbondA home sleepover can be a fun activity that is often overlooked. But building a cosy fort with snacks and story books, a night light and some games can be a great way to bond. One sibling could invite the other to their room, or perhaps both siblings could camp in the garden for part of the evening. With blankets and outdoor lights this can feel like a real adventure and bond the two together. Indoors, even if siblings share a room, a sleepover can be made exciting. Extra cushions, blankets and bunk beds are all fun for children.  My oldest is obsessed with bunk beds, he doesnt have them yet but we are hoping to get some this summer for them both.  There is tonnes of choice on line but probably the coolest triple bunk beds ever are top of the list at the moment so his best pal and little cousin can stay over with them. Stacked bunk beds are not only fun to climb but they also save on space in a bedroom because they are high rather than broad. That leaves far more floor space and a larger area for play!

A Team Game

Board games or quizzes can be made into a fun team activity and siblings can be paired up. Even if they are only playing against parents or a few friends, this can encourage them to stick together. A fun sense of rivalry against others for the game will stay playful. But it will also help encourage them to support each other. This can stay with them long into later life.

I’m sure I have said this a thousand times but it warms my heart everyday when I see my boys interact with each other. I truly do hope they will be life long friends.

 

 

Note: This is a collaborative post

Features, Mamma Musings

Preparing for a return to the corporate world!

 

annoyin

This one is a little light hearted, a little tongue in cheek, its my last post while on maternity leave!

The corporate world beckons from Monday morning. Its bitter sweet, I am looking forward to going back – child free toilet breaks, hot coffee, adult conversation but I will undoubtedly miss my wee men. I have been home with the pair of them for best part of a year and I will really miss them.  On the bright side they are in very safe hands with the legend that is The Nanna Fairy.

I was sent this info graphic and did laugh at how spot on it actually is! The info graphic (see opposite) was produced by www.gotomeeting.co.uk and depicts the  50 “most annoying” or most used corporate phrases used. Having a look through it a lot of these are creeping into everyday parlance also.

There are a couple from that list that drive me to the brink!!

My personal pet hates –

  • “ducks in a row” aaarrrggghhhhh – ducks where are the ducks??! Seriously no ducks, no more mentions of ducks, whats wrong with – “get organised”??

 

  • “bite the bullet – ok, nobody here is biting bullets! You are perhaps making a tough decision, your in business, its an important decision, its expected. Lets talk “tough decisions” instead.

 

  • “Going forward” – no just no, I have never and I will never use this phrase.

 

There are a couple from the list I haven’t heard of. Perhaps I should go back to the office to start “opening the kimono” or “looking across the piece”!

Anybody else have pet hates from this list??

Would love to hear them.

For now im about to take this off line while I get my ducks in row, to ensure I hit the ground running while thinking outside the box!!!

Take care

~Mamma F

 

Note: This is a collaborative post, thanks to www.gotomeeting.co.uk for the graphic
Mamma Musings

A busy maternity leave! Extension – conversation – garden upgrade

As my extended maternity leave draws to a close, been thinking back over the last few days of how manic the last 11 months have been.  Two boys under 3, a husband and a dog! Busy, busy, busy!!

Add to the mix the mad cap idea we had to begin our house renovations while on leave! As if I didn’t have enough to do! We bought a house in need of total renovation so this was always on the cards however the scale of which grew as our family grew.  We are currently in the midst of a roof conversion, this will be a playroom/ study.  Outside we are doing a single story 32m2 extension and a revamped garden which will be both practical and fun for the boys as they grow up.

The biggest issue we are facing is natural light, it is quite dark and sheltered where we are so getting as much light as possible into our house was always going to be a challenging issues.  We debated at length and considered the cost trade off and in the end went with Velux, 4 in the roof conversion and 6 in the back extension.  We had considered a long narrow roof light for the back extension however when we discussed with our architect his expert opinion was the Velux would give a deeper light and penetrate more in the older part which as a result of the extension was going to get even less light.    See here for some further information and some inspiration. We are probably about 40% through our project so check back over the coming months for updates and pictures of the finished project.

extensionmammafairy

 (Source: http://www.buildinginspiration.co.uk/)

My three year old has really taken an interest in the building particularly his new play space.  He asked the Dada Fairy to build him a tree house, not sure about this myself!!

We have trawled the internet many times over the last few weeks and finally agreed on this.  I actually think the addition of a firemans pole sealed the deal for my Fireman Sam fanatic! On a serious note an all weather playhouse will be a great addition to the revamped garden so hopefully the by the time we get to finalising the garden the budget will have some left for this.

 

Note: this is a collaborative post however all views and opinions are my own as always.

Mamma Musings

4 ways I know im a boys mother!

As you already know I am a mother to two beautiful (but very busy) boys ages 3 and 11 months. My close friend has two girls aged 5 and almost 3 so we are forever comparing note (in a very light hearted way!!) . I have absolutely nothing else to base this on but the time we spend with her lovely girls, which incidentally is quite a lot, that leads to me rationalise how I know im a mother of all boys!

momofboys21 – Shoes

I am FOREVER buying new shoes for my pair, they run, jump, hop, skip, fall, fall again and their shoes get destroyed. On the other hand my friends older girl has passed most of her shoes down to her little sister.  My oldest barely gets to the end of a month let alone keep them in good enough condition for his little brother to use them.

2 – Toys

I let them pick whatever toys they want, im totally in favour of gender neutral play and toys.  At the moment my oldest is totally drawn to all things Avengers related. I can talk superheroes with the best of them.  What I do notice most about the toys, is my pair have them destroyed in no time! Between wanting to take them apart to see how they work – to rough play with them.  However my lovely friends girls, their toys generally remain intact for far longer than they do in our house and get passed around cousins etc.  No such luck here.

3 Food

My boys eat A LOT. I am not exaggerating, the catch phrase in our house is “what can I eat now” I hear this relentlessly from morning to night. Boys, or maybe just my boys eat soooooooo much.momofboys

4 Clothes

No different to shoes, they boys go through a serious amount of trousers! They love being outdoors so this means a lot trousers end up torn or so mucky that is pointless to even contemplate washing! I don’t mind this one bit, its good for them being outdoors but my laundry basket is forever full.  I’m also like a demon when I see sales on boys tracksuits! I do stock up on cheap ones in sales especially for the summer months where they spend vast amounts of the day outside.

Any other mothers with boys feel the same? Please tell me its not just my pair of always hungry, outdoor loving, toy destroying, loveable rouges.

Take care

~Mamma F

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Mamma Musings

That sibling bond….

That sibling bond

As regular readers will know I have 2 boys, the oldest is 3 and half and the youngest will turn 11 months tomorrow. What I have noticed of late it’s the incredible bond that is forming between the two boys. It melts my heart every time. It has happened without any prompting from us, the 11 month old has started to come into himself, he is interested in toys, interested in play, he is nosey, he is determined and inquisitive. This has made the 3 year old stand up and take notice….actually I have a play mate. Slowly mammy isn’t being asked to be the Robin to his Batman, the Jessie to his Woody, the Milly to his Gio ( Team Umizoomi!).

That touch

The gentle reassuring touch that the 3 year old has towards his little brother, I first noticed this when we picked him up from playschool. Each day without fail, he gently rubs his hand straight away when he comes out the door, it’s a gentle reassuring touch as if to say “its ok im back”.

That kiss

First thing in the morning when the little man wakes up, he calls out, not for Mamma or Dada, he wants his big brother who duly obliges and jumps in the cot beside him. Straight away little man gives him a kiss. He isn’t generous with those kisses, it takes a lot of asking and coaxing for him to give them away!

That sharing

I fully anticipated when the little man came along big man would feel a little put out and there will be constant arguments over toys and not sharing. However this didn’t happen, not yet anyway. I am amazed at his willingness to share his toys. If the little man decides there is a particular toy he wants and big man is playing with it there isn’t a drama, he lets him touch it or even use it. He seems to know the fascination will be short lived and he will get it back quickly. I know it wont be like this forever but im enjoying it while it lasts.

The bond between them warms my heart every time, I know over the years there will be many ups and down but I truly hope this is the foundation for a lifetime bond.

 

siblings

 

Take Care

~Mamma F

Mamma Musings

Waxing while pregnant – Advice from the experts

This article was originally written for  Mummy an Little Me – See original here

This is a subject which has generated a lot of discussion amongst my own friends, with lots of different viewpoints on whether or not we should or shouldn’t wax while pregnant with the phrase “it would be too sore!” gaining the most air time.

I had the opportunity to speak to Ellen Kavanagh from Waxpert’s on this very topic so I jumped at the chance. Waxperts is a multi award winning waxing salon run by Ellen and her team. Their own products – the Waxperts Wonder pads and the Waxperts Beautiful Body Oil have become firm favourites in the beauty world. For more information see here

wax

On the subject of waxing and pregnancy, there is normally no reason to avoid waxing while pregnant, however if you do have concerns for peace of mind it’s no harm to chat to your consultant or midwife. I asked Ellen what were her top tips for getting as pain-free a wax as possible while pregnant, as our skin can be extra sensitive during those months.

Her expert advice was:

  • Book all your appointments in together and work back from your due date. Even if you have to change them you’ll stick to the overall plan better this way;
  • Keep your skin hydrated. This helps prevent ingrown hairs from occurring but also helps your skin maintain elasticity while it grows and stretches through your pregnancy;
  • And it’s not just your bump that grows, so don’t forget to apply creams or oils to your bum and thighs too!
  • Exfoliating gently with a mitt will help prevent ingrown hairs; and
  • Avoid caffeine before you get waxed too, it only makes you more sensitive.

Honestly didn’t know that about coffee and im a coffee addict myself!!

Another thing about waxing that I really wasn’t sure about was how soon after having a baby can you get waxed although let’s be honest the thought of it can be scary after all we have just gone through!!

According to Ellen, depending on the labour you had, you can get waxed anytime from 6 week post partum. However, that all depends on each individuals healing rate and if there were stitches etc. Again if in doubt no harm in seeking the advice of your midwife. I had 2 C sections and waited quite a while before contemplating a wax as I was firstly, petrified of anybody seeing the scar and secondly, conscious of how sore it might be. Ellen’s expert advice is following a C section its best to wait for around 6 months before you could wax over the scar area. What they do in Waxperts is they work around the scar area. So you can get your brazilian 6 weeks post partum but instead of a landing strip they leave a neat triangle and the scar is hidden there! Genius!

Ellen herself is a busy working mum and I wanted to hear her top tips for combining a successful business and her home life with her young son. According to Ellen the key is when in work to give 100% but when at home she devotes her time to her son. I love this advice and try subscribe to the same moto myself.
Massive thanks to Ellen for taking the time to answer my questions – hopefully this is of some help to those debating whether to wax or not while pregnant.

 

Take Care

~ Mamma F

Mamma Musings

A Mamma Fairy Christmas – Gift Guide part 1

It’s hard to believe its the time of year again, planning for Christmas and getting the presents sorted. I love this time of year and its only become more magical since having the kids.

Below I have set out part 1 of my Mamma Fairy Christmas gift guide where I give you a sneak peak into my purchases so far for Christmas.

christmas

Going from left to right above, ill set out some details of the products.

1 Baby Dapper onsies: These are fun little babygro’s which come in a range of styles from superheroes to rugby to seasonal santas and elves.  They are available on the website – here and retail at €20. Admittedly on the more expensive size but the quality feels great and they come presented in a lovely presentation box, no need for wrapping!

2 Kate Spade Dairy: I love stationary, I think you can’t beat a cool funky diary, especially for busy mums. I completely fell for this Kate Spade Diary.  Its a 17 month diary (from August 2015) and the quality is fantastic it comes with monthly and weekly pages, note pages and laminated dividers.  Its €46 and available from My Shining Armour – see here

katespade

3 WatchOver watch: This is a gift between a couple of my family members for the head of the Mamma Fairy family!!! He is almost 90 and the most amazing person you could meet. This watch we are hoping will assist him in continuing to lead an independent life as well as giving us the peace of mind for the times he is out and about or home alone.  In summary with this watch you can:

  • Check the live location (via an App)
  • Call/ makes calls from the watch
  • Receive alert notifications through the App
  • Set safe zones

I will do a full blog post on this after Christmas when he has tried and tested it. However I am hopeful this lives up to our expectations. For further information please see website – here

4 AYU Make up brushes: This is a travel brush set developed by Irish company AYU Makeup led by make up artist Suzanne O’Neill. It comes in a really soft leather pouch with five brushes in it.  It’s  hand bag friendly and reasonably priced at €35 for good quality brushes. Available from their website here

5 Agrikids books: I am a farmers wife!! And farm safety is something I feel incredibly passionate about. My kids love the farm and from a young age we instil the safety aspects of work and farm life in them. Agrikids was set up with this in mind, they sell a range of kids books and clothing all with the key message of promoting farm safety. I think books are a lovely present for young children and “Tales from Riverside Farm” is ideal for kids especially those who live or visit working farms.  There are 3 books in the series and they make the perfect Christmas present. See  here for more information and products. (ps – check out the fluorescent beanies!)

book

6 Sceál Handstamped Jewellery: You have to check out the amazing hand crafted personalised jewellery created by Sceál jewellery. The one pictured in the graphic above is my absolute favourite which can be personalised with family names or messages. The range includes pendants and bracelets and price wise is incredible value. The one pictured at the top of the post starts at €26. They are made to order, personlised and unique. They can also do totally custom made pieces. Check them out on Facebook here includes a link to their Etsy shop.

Part 2 next week featuring much more for the men in our lives!!

Take Care

~Mamma F

 

Mamma Musings

Sure you have to go again for the girl…..

This phrase bugs me, I mean really bugs me.

I have two amazing little men, a three year old and a five month old. The littlest man was barely born when I first heard this comment, in fact it was one of the mid wives who said it to me.

I had two difficult pregnancies, which included lots of medication and lengthy hospital stays, resulting in two c sections. I am so thrilled that my little men are fit and healthy boy, girl or otherwise pales in insignificant. Each nine month stretch was marred by worries, endless appointment, tests, scans – I look at those two men and think wow, how are you so perfect – my tough little cookies.

Each time that comment is said to me, I smile and nod politely however inside im screaming “do you not know how blessed I feel, to have such a tough time bringing them into the world that it really does not matter”. When my husband was telling people about the youngest man’s arrival into the world, somebody even said to him “congrats, but is your wife disappointed it’s not a girl?” The latest variant of the comment was said to me last Saturday night in out in our local restaurant – “you need a girl to look after you in old age”. Really?? Is that so – to be on the safe said ill put a bit by now for my own nursing home care.

I remember another incident when my first was born my friend had a girl a couple of weeks previous and the following sentence after the initial congrats was “I’m delighted I had a girl as a son is only yours until he gets a wife where as my girl is for life”. It might have been the hormones but I cried, real big tears when she said that to me, sure I’d only just brought him into the world, I have no intention of giving him up – not ever.

As a matter of interest I asked a close friend who has three girls and it was never ever said to her…sure you have to go again for the boy. Why do people give one gender precedence over another, why do I have to have a girl??

Yes, of course, if it happens I’ll be thrilled and she will be loved unconditionally like her brothers. However, if the Mamma Fairy house is destined to be made up of male fueled madness that’s ok with me too.

 

boys poem

Dont forget voting continues for the Maternity & Infant awards – The Mamma Fairy is nominated in Best Parenting Blog (See For the Family Section).  Link here to vote – just scroll down to the “For the Family” heading and there we are half way down. Many thanks

So excited to be a finalist for best parenting blog

So excited to be a finalist for best parenting blog