New Year….. and no new me….because I am enough!!!

New Year New You???

It seems to be the sentiment of this day worldwide.

And it is the biggest pile of shite that I have been a part of for way too fucking long.

I’m a little bit tired with being manipulated into thinking that I’m not enough…..never enough.

So this year I am not giving up a single god damned thing. I am taking on a few things though…things that will make me happier and healthier and more content.


Things like BOUNDARIES!!!!

I want to not care what people think of me. I want to not feel responsible for fixing every single thing.

I want to wake up in the morning pain free and peaceful.

I want to get outside more, move my body more, explore its mobility, keep it hydrated, do more of what I love and less social media, I want to have an anti-anxiety lifestyle as opposed to a thin figure. Yes, I would love if, whilst doing all of these things, my body changed to a healthier version of itself, and if that means smaller or leaner than so be it but I absolutely do not want size or shape to be the end goal!!!

A new year does not need a new you!!! You are enough!


WE have been conditioned by social media and television and magazines and celebrities and bloggers affiliated with brands who receive free publicity or payment for making us miserable and making us believe that happiness lies within a dress size or a diet or a slimming world certificate or a PT session or a gym selfie or fuller lips or a flatter tummy.

Last year, on this day, I made a list of all the things I was going to change about myself and I failed miserably because I got side-tracked with my life and I let that take over….and guess what happened??

Bloody EVERYTHING!!!!!




And I’m still standing….I didn’t lose any weight. Actually, I put some on!!! Ooops about that! All the bad things still happened. All of the anxiety and the disappointment and the lessons learned the hard way, the fights with my family, the blood, sweat and tears, the hurt and the heartache….all still happened. But so did all the amazing moments. I celebrated new babies, new marriages, birthdays, anniversaries, I won a major award, I met people that I look up to, I spoke with people I admire, I went to places I was dying to go, I saw things I was longing to see…all the things that made my heart sing.

The same heart that is inside the same body that I said was all wrong last new years eve. I did all those things with this body, and these stretch marks and my unfilled lips and my one bald brow and my short nails that I hide from people because I am supposed to be the one that has the best nails and the glorious skin! Pffft!

And after all that, a full year later, all the people that hated the sight of me last year still hate the sight of me this year and all the people that loved me last year still love me this year. So fuck all changed really did it?

So far today I have seen 7 advertisements for weight loss programmes for the new year. SEVEN!!!!! They all told me in their own way, that I wasn’t good enough. I watched an advert that told me to “look after myself” and “eat clean” in the new year by purchasing some home delivered clean meals that cost over €100 per week and I would “be happy”.

But if I spent that one hundred euro a week and succeeded and lost the weight I wanted to lose, and fitted into the dress size that the magazine told me I should be, would I be happy? Would I be content? Or would this new “perfect” body still house the same sinking heart that didn’t address the stuff that have no shape or weight? The underlying things …. the call of your soul. The things you didn’t do because you were worrying about what people would think and what they would say about you, and you were too busy counting calories and crucifying yourself in the gym and waiting until you looked “perfect” to do them.

Instead of promising yourself a gruelling gym routine in 2019, instead of lining the pockets of all the people who get rich on your misery and depriving yourself of all the things you love from tomorrow morning because you have started to believe you don’t deserve them until your body looks a certain way….why not try a different approach.


Take that body and dress it in the good clothes that you are keeping at the back of the wardrobe for a day you “deserve” to wear them. Bring it somewhere it wants to go. Instead of waiting until your a certain size to do it. You don’t need an excuse….you are alive!!! GO! GO NOW!

Take those lips, the same lips that gave you your first kiss .. remember that? and instead of filling them with injectables and changing the way they look…go taste something new or buy yourself a new lipstick. you deserve it…just the way you are! And it will give you more pleasure than fuller looking lips ever will!

Take your body and treat it. What has it done for you lately? Has it breathed for you? Has it kept you warm? Has it fought infection? Has it given you orgasms? Has it made you laugh until you cried? Has it held a friend in grief? Has it offered comfort to a spouse? Has it cuddled a sleeping child? Has it given you your own children? Is it lined with the reminders of carrying new life? Those lines that you now dread and another woman is longing for. Don’t scold it afterwards. It has given you all of the things you have dreamed of since you were sixteen. Try to remember that when you look in the mirror today and say tomorrow you will change it. It has done more for you than anyone’s opinion ever will! Don’t take it into 2019 on a bad note.


Listen to your body instead of all the other external things….. they all profit from your misery. Your body does not. It will tell you what it needs. Don’t get me wrong…..take care of it and never take it for granted. Food is medicine. Eat the good greens and the fresh leaves and enjoy them. Don’t eat them because they will make you smaller. And don’t force them into you mindlessly. Eat them because they are what your body is crying out for. The colourful vegetables and the juicy fruits that we so often see as punishment for our size or our weight. Spend time in your kitchen discovering new tastes and try to find a new satisfaction in good food regardless of what the scales say. Do as much research into what nutrients you get from eating real fresh food, as you would into what you get from a protein shake!

Have a positive body image…..try not to believe your body just looks good but believe it IS good. Having struggled with body ailments for the duration of 2018…this is a big one for me! Focus on how it feels rather than how it looks.

It will still be suggested to you a million times a week that your body is a project you need to work on…..instead see if for what it is….your vessel. The only one that will see you through this life. Stop messing with it!!! Look after it like you do your car. Don’t punish it.

And don’t punish yourself.

Last year I let somebody stop me from doing something I loved. Writing. That person’s opinion mattered more to me than my own and I shut up.

In 2019 I will not be letting the opinion of others, map my way.

So…those extra pounds I carry wholeheartedly into 2019, the ones the internet keeps telling me I need to shed, those pounds that sit in that place where my body naturally wants to be….if you notice it, please know that this space, these extra pounds, it is my life. It is my late night wine with my husband, it is ice cream with my kids, it is all of my treasured memories, it is unforgettable trips and celebrations of life. It is my love, it is all the times I have celebrated love, it is my spontaneity and my freedom and I refuse to apologise for any of it. THIS IS ME.

If you see me in 2019 make up free or tan free or hair askew…I wont be offering an explanation. Please know I am alright with how I look.

Because “pretty” or “slim” is not the rent I pay in this world for being a woman!!!

So on the last day of 2018, after spending a whole year not saying a word………….


30 things I’ve learned at 30…

1. Nothing is permanent.

“This too shall pass”. Everything is fleeting. Everything changes. Grief subsides. Contractions ease off. Night feeds end. Recessions cease. Baby blues diminish. Careers end. New ones begin. Babies grow into toddlers. Everything is temporary.

2. Never forget where you started, where you came from, who you belong to, and what you believe in.
3. Stand up for yourself! But know the difference in being assertive and aggressive.

4. Blowing out someone elses candle will NEVER make yours shine any brighter…….you never look good making someone else look bad.
5. If we all threw our problems into a big pile and we got a good look at what everybody else is dealing with…we would probably snatch our own ones back.
6. For every stretch mark I dislike, somebody out there is yearning for them.
7. After marriage and children, every couple goes back to the barter system using orgasms and lie-ins as currency.

8. Listen to your gut….its rarely wrong. And trust the Universe…she knows what she is doing!
9. Forget what some mediocre gobshite thought was an imperfection in you….its your husband’s favourite part!
10. Good karma comes back 3 fold. You get what you deserve..remember that when you have the opportunity to be kind to someone.
11. Rethink your dissapointment. In three years time you will be thanking the universe for unanswered prayers. Sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones we need most.
12. Somebody may have more money, power, social influence than you but you may have more morals and gumption in your big toe than they will ever have. Don’t let that shit intimidate you.
13. If you are going to work hard, remember to play hard. … even the first lady knows all the words to “get your freak on”….

14. Treat your staff like they matter….and they will!

15. The grass is rarely greener on the other side….its green where you water it.
16. Put yourself in another persons shoes every now and again. Its not all about you.
17. Gratitude is a powerful thing. Be grateful and pay it forward.
18. Stop comparing yourself to others….there will never be another you. And stop watering yourself down just because somebody cant handle you at 100 proof. Dont hide parts of yourself or your story for anybody. If they can’t handle you it’s their loss. You wont be everybody’s cup of tea and that’s perfectly fine. But, Be you! Always!
19. Treat yourself. Know what makes you happy and do more if it. Especially when you are also responsible for the happiness of others. You cannot fill from an empty cup!
20. Take your defeats and roll with them. Take what others throw at you and use it to make a solid foundation from which you can grow, learn and prosper. You can do ANYTHING as long as you are willing to work hard.
21. Keep fit. Your body is the only vessel that will see you through this life…mind it! But also make sure to show it a good time…eat the good food and drink the good drink! Balance is key! And give it an NCT every now and again. Don’t listen to the doctors all of the time. They are human too. And they are not always right. If you feel you need a once over…go get one! If you need a new doctor…go get one!
22. Your parents will not always be here…tell them how much they mean to you. Thank them. Pick up the phone right now and share a random memory with them. Listen to them laugh. Bottle that sound and keep it tight. You never know when the laughter will stop.
23. With a death, everything changes forever.
24. Work. Even when your not getting paid for it. The late night hustle will be the decider in your success or your failure. Do it for free first… and then charge for it. There is no better way to build on your experience. Always be hustling.

25. People will talk….give them something worth talking about and always remember that today’s headlines are tomorrow’s fish and chip wrappers.
26. Memories and photographs are priceless. Social media and the technology era has threatened that. Print the damn photos!
27. Children listen to everything!
28. Your marriage is more important than your wedding.
29. The mess can wait…the kids will never be this young and eager again.
30. Home is not necessarily four walls and a roof….home is where people know the worst of you and love you anyway. Home is unconditional. Home is wherever you go for help, guidance, love, support, a glass of wine and a good laugh. Home is where your name is always on the pot and the door is always open. Home may not be blood. Home is where people choose to love you even though they dont have to.

I know we are at 30 but there’s one more…..and its uber important…

Your friends are paramount to your survival. I would have quit at life by now if it wasnt for my friendships. Friends will share the best days of your life and the same ones will be by your side when grief and tragedy visit. They will pick you up, dust you off and remind you what path you were on when you are just about ready to throw in the towel. Keep them close. Remember their important things…their birthdays, their kids birthdays, anniversaries, job interviews, holidays, kids first days at school…too many friendships fall through the cracks because all this stuff seems like hard work on top of a jam packed life. Stay in touch. Laugh. Often. Meet up. Often. Share their lives too. Phone them just to say hi! It is more important than all the other stuff combined. Dont just concentrate on having friends… a good friend and there will always be a kettle on somewhere!

Because who else is going to talk you out of strangling your spouse????

Sometimes (just sometimes!), “The Most Patient Man” is right…


I did something slightly unorthodox. You could even say sneaky. Sneaky is probably more truthful. And now I’m a little bit sorry. But I’m also a little bit not. The kids are happy, which is always the main thing. But I have my sneaky suspicions that “The Most Patient Man” is pricing Divorce proceedings when I’m not looking.


For twelve months straight our eldest has been asking for a pet. We tried the goldfish route but when he couldn’t take him out of his bowl and cuddle him, it didn’t really interest him. All he wanted was a cat. Every day without fail;

“When can I get my cat?”

“Am I old enough yet to have a cat?”

“I know he will be my responsibility, if mommy just helps me with the poop I will do everything else”.

And every day for twelve months I have looked to “The Most Patient Man” who refused point blank, over every dead body he could think of….”too much hassle”, “shitting all over the place”, “cost a fortune in vet bills and food and litter”, “It will only end one way…something will happen the fucker and I’ll be consoling you all. I already had to have a funeral for the cuntin’ fish. NO!”.

So me being…..well, me, spotted a genuine opportunity last weekend. “The Most Patient Man” doesn’t go away very often and last weekend he went on a stag. A two day bender which left me to my own devices with 3 unruly boys and nobody to supervise any of us.

They asked once again;

“When can we get our cat?”

And as I usually do, I turned to look for “The Most Patient Man” and he wasn’t there. And I should never EVER be left in charge of this kind of decision making. But unfortunately for him he handed me the reigns for the weekend.

So I packed them all up and away we went to Heathlawn, the GSPCA rescue centre for cats and dogs, located in Killimor.


I had spoken with them on the phone before we left and a lovely lady, Trish explained to me they were open 365 days a year so we could come and visit even though it was Sunday and she thought she may have one little guy that might suit a noisy, busy house. When we arrived we got to meet all the lovely kitties these people have rescued and we were introduced to one guy in particular, Casper. A three and half month old black kitten who loved to run, jump, chase and play. I let the kids hang around for a bit and see what they thought and after about a half hour of “Big Bro” and “Baby O” quizzing Trish on food, cat toys, sleeping arrangements and pooping habits, the general consensus was that Casper was coming home with us.

We took him home and settled him in, we had a few scrabs when the boys forgot themselves and put a hand or a foot in the way of his play toy thingy. And Casper and “small fry” are still going through, what I would call …”an adjustment period”….

Baby thinks cat is new cuddly toy. Cat thinks baby is out to kill it …



I’m sure they will learn to live together soon. As soon as “Small Fry” realises the cat is not a pony and will NOT take him for a trot no matter how many times he mounts him.

“Big Bro” has his reservations about the much wanted pet since he noticed just how big and sharp his claws are and since observing Casper sharpening them on any available household object. Shudda picked up the blooming scratching post I was looking at! Turns out the only one I had any concern about….”Baby O”…the one with middle child syndrome… the only one getting on like a house on fire with the cat. They see each other for a while then give each other some space. Its a mutual understanding which seems to work for them both. “Baby O” requests that the cat be put “Out the back kitchen” when his eating coz he “doesn’t share his food” and so far, they’re on good terms. Cat doesn’t touch “Baby O’s” food and “Baby O” doesn’t touch the whiskas. Sorted! If only I could keep “Small Fry” away from the dried cat food now I would be away with it.

I was unsure how to “introduce”?!? Casper when “The Most Patient Man” returned. Turns out I didn’t have to think too much about it. I had just put the lads to bed and he came stumbling in the door after two days on the piss with the lads, down the hall, into the kitchen, breathless, one eye trying to focus on me, the other eye still looking for me and a finger pointing towards the hall;

“Andy, there’s a fuckin Cat after getting into the house, there’s a cat in the hall, look at the little bastard! Look at him!”

My laughing didn’t exactly help his confusion.

“That’s a cat, isn’t it? Can ya see him?”

I actually don’t know how he even noticed him as drunk as a lord. Casper is black and the hall was dark.

“Oh, um, ya, that’s Casper, he kinda lives here now”.

They were pretty much the only words spoken until he arose some time around midday the next day and mentioned he had a flashback of a cat but it must have been a dream and I had to deliver the blow all over again.

screenshot_2016-03-28-09-30-54.png  screenshot_2016-03-28-09-34-21.png

I will say he has been pretty O.K. with everything considering I did it behind his back. Obviously, Casper is here to stay and there is nothing he can really do about it at this stage. I even caught him petting him the other day so he mustn’t think he is all that bad. But I will also say, there are legitimate reasons he refuses these sort of requests from us. Now, as you can imagine, it’s a bit hard for me to admit he can be right, so what I’ll say instead is, he is not always wrong.  I’m having to learn this the hard way.

At the request of the GSPCA, Casper cannot go outside AT ALL for the first two weeks he is with us. Which means he uses a litter box in the back kitchen. And we have put him on new food, which means he is now also a shitting machine. He was already trained to use a litter tray and he is brilliant with it but the boys have managed to lock him out of the back kitchen twice and when he could not get into the litter box he went elsewhere…



Needless to say, I did a lot of shouting and cursing and could probably be heard by the people in mass whilst “The Most Patient Man” had his moment watching me clean up alone.

Turns out the Cat costs more than a friggin’ child with all it requires so the hole in the purse isn’t helping the “keep the cat” campaign.

He is also stone hatchet mad and we had to get a bell and put it round his neck because he kept sprinting out of nowhere and frightening the bejesus out of everyone.


We had a MAJOR incident Saturday night which could have ended up in the eviction of the Cat but I have managed to talk them all around, they forgave him and they love him again. Kind of.

I don’t know about any of the rest of you but in this house, at Christmas, there is always a little trepidation when it comes to a big fat man basically breaking into our home through the chimney. The boys get awful nervous at the idea and as much as they want to grant him entry because they want their presents they also request that they be allowed sleep in our bed so Santa doesn’t come anywhere next to near them while he is visiting. It is the only night of the year this happens and with what I think is quite legitimate reason, so we allow it.

“Big Bro” took it in his head Saturday night (after watching Rise of the Guardians) that he always thought the Easter bunny was tiny but knowing now that he is “Grown Up Human Man size”….


he is now petrified of him coming into the house and he convinced “Baby O” to be scared too and they both wanted to sleep in our bed. I tried all the usual stunts and nothing was convincing them out of their terror so I agreed to the sleepover in mammy’s bed as long as they went straight to sleep and I would follow them up later. Agreed! Reign of Terrorisation stopped when”Big Bro” finally shut up about the scary Easter Bunny man and “Baby O” agreed to calm down.

We put them in our bed, switched the lights out, assured them once again that the Easter bunny just pegs the Easter eggs in the door and stays going because he is so busy trying to get to everyone. We kissed and hugged them and bid them goodnight leaving the door to the darkened room slightly ajar so we could hear if they called.

As it would turn out we would have heard them if we were in the next Town.

“The Most Patient Man” put the baby to bed and left the stair gate open while I was making coffee. He returned and we were just ready to tear into their Easter eggs with our cup of scald when horrified screams started coming from upstairs. Now in all honesty, we actually thought the kids were being slaughtered up there. They gave us the shock of our lives because usually they all fall straight to sleep without a sound. So we drop cups and skirt taking the stairs two at a time and scrambling to switch the bedroom light on to see what the fuck is going on and who was attacking our children, all the while the kids are screaming;




It is the one and only time I will let the 5 year old away with cursing;



We flick the switch on the wall and flood the room with light only to see the two bigger ones scrambled over the other side of the bed in a ball on top of each other, holding one another for dear life and waiting to see what it was that was after jumping on them in the dark.



And there is Casper, sprawled out licking himself with nearly a whole double bed to himself.


“The Most Patient Man” just gave me the look.

“You and that fuckin’ cat!”

Here’s hoping he survives another week!


The Unpredictability Factor …

Somebody (who is expecting her first bambino) asked me during the week to describe Motherhood to her. She didn’t like the ‘will I or won’t I?” look I gave her while contemplating the gentlest of answers.

I wish she had asked me to describe birth instead. That I can do. I’m very open and honest. I don’t believe in pussyfooting around the facts. I don’t think I will necessarily help a woman by hiding the truth from her. I think if we know exactly what is ahead of us we can conquer anything. So I’m straight up. If it happened I say it. I pushed three kids out a teeny entrance and did it once without pain relief. I could shout about that from the rooftops. But that’s the easy part!


Motherhood? Sheesh….are there actually any words to describe this gig? I hummed and hawed and mumbled a few things while I gathered my thoughts and decided how to possibly say, in the nicest of ways, that her whole world was about to tip on its axis and she would never so much as visit the the toilet alone again. Continue reading “The Unpredictability Factor …”

We survived our staycation……just about….

So were home 4 days now and I’m just about recovered from it all. I need a holiday after my holiday!  Does every Irish family who goes on a staycation inevitably say “never again” out loud one hundred and sixty four times a day during it? Or is it just us???? wpid-screenshot_2015-07-13-23-35-40.png It began when I was packing. How is it even concievable that for three days in Cork I managed to pack an incredible 3 suitcases, 4 plastic bags, a steraliser, 2 bed rails, 2 buggies, a travelcot and half the play room? You see, when I began packing the sun was shining. I got half way up the suitcases with sandles and shorts when a massive rain cloud darkened the whole place and it began to spill, which is when I started pegging in the winter gear.  For every togs that was in the bottom of the suitcase I packed a welly in the top, for every pair of sunglasses I packed a raincoat and for every shorts and t-shirt I threw in a wooly jumper and jeans. wpid-screenshot_2015-07-14-00-19-59.png And so it began. As I packed a stupendous amount of unecessary shite and watched the rain falling, all the while contemplating the lure of sunny Marbella and convincing myself a week there would probably cost the same anyway, it came out of my mouth for the first time; “Never again”. wpid-screenshot_2015-07-14-00-18-15.png Our mini-van full of suitcases, buggies, travel cots, baby equipment, toys, teething parafanalia, kids and nanas (o.k. there was only one nana) took off at 10am, 2 hours later than planned. We got as far as the Tesco convenience store at the top of our road and we all got a funny whiff. On inspection we discovered the baby had exploded requiring the disposal of every item of clothing he was wearing and a full change of clothes and as I began the clean up operation it happened again; “Never again”. These words were repeated about fourteen times during the four hour trip that included three pit stops, one wrong turn, both our phones dying meaning the loss of all maps, route planners and sat nav devices we were relying upon, the search for a car charger, the eldest needing to pee and refusing to take his winkle out on the main road leading to a fanta orange bottle full of pee rolling around the car floor for the duration of the journey. Our car radio is on the blink but as it turns out we didn’t need it because “big bro” and “baby O” supplied the in-car entertainment the whole way there with their amazing renditions of ‘old mac domald’, ‘the wheels on the bus’ and ‘tinkle tinkle yittle star’. The best part for us was when they couldn’t agree on a song and a fight ensued leading to them both trying to outsing each other for a full half hour. I foolishly put shorts on ‘baby O’ and he saw his grazed knee that happened when he launched himself out the back door headfirst four days ago but the lack of trousers meant he was reminded of this every ten minutes and he had to cry about it all over again – full on, injury induced wailing every time he saw it. I almost put one of the 15kg suitcases on his lap just so he wouldn’t be able to see it. We arrived at our hotel, mid typhoon, at half past 2. Nana scrambled out and lit and smoked her cigarettes 2 at a time when we finally released her from the torture chamber. The ‘most patient man’ queued to check in for twenty minutes while I paced the floor with a screaming, teething baby and the two older boys kicked the heads off each other only to be told our apartment wouldn’t be ready until after 3pm but we were ‘welcome to use the leisure facilities’ while we waited. It wouldn’t be very ‘leisurely’ now trying to locate our swimming gear in the sardine can packed full of crap so I politely declined and we went for yet ANOTHER spin in the lashing rain and ridiculous winds. We finally recieved a key for the apartment at half four only to realise we had been put in a second floor apartment, with 2 small kids, a baby, all our luggage, 2 flipping buggies, one geriatric (only kiddin’ mam) and NO LIFT! The huffs and puffs of us draggin ourselves and all our gear up 2 flights of stairs would put the Wimbledon athletes to shame! Poor Nana nearly had a conniption fit when she climbed the two flights only to be met by a big no smoking sign when she crawled breathlessly through the door. I will tell no lies. I lost a little bit of my soul trecking up and down with all the luggage and trying to keep the kids safe on the stairs. We stayed in the Quality Hotel in Youghal which is lovely and the perfect spot if you had the good weather to go with it. wpid-screenshot_2015-07-13-23-34-21.png The restaurant and staff are brilliant and super kid friendly. The apartments are nice, clean, basic but just what you need and the location is fantastic – you are literally on the beach. But I have to be very honest. I explained the family dynamic when  I booked the room. They knew we were coming with kids and small babies, I was never informed that an upper floor apartment had no lift facility, I was never told that check in would have to be after 3pm, I asked for an extra bed for one of the kids which we never got so we pushed 2 beds together and all bunked up and got on with it and we had absolutely no hot water the few days we were there. I found these points completely bad form and a huge dissapointment but I would still chance a return visit in better weather because I think it is somewhere I would love had it not been such hard work. The weather didn’t stop us completely in our tracks though. Our boys were hell bent on doing the beach thing no matter what Mother Nature threw at us so we rooted out the wellies, raincoats, buckets and spades and had the whole beach to ourselves……silver linings and all that jazz! wpid-image-35d7ed06dc8daf88844b9a402987ca3593cc4701b93f8daffb67798bd28e1a16-v.jpgwpid-img_20150708_224830.jpg But a half hour on the beach during a blizzard is just about enough and we were all absolutely wiped after our adventurous day and everyone was in bed uber early. The ‘most patient man’ is as cute as a shit house rat and opted to share the double bed with the two older ones meaning a full night sleep for him while yours truly and nana got the teething baby, two single beds, two night feeds and a 6am screaming wake up call. By 8.30am I was bouncing the baby mercilessly on my knee while attempting to sip on a coffee, stil in my p.j’s, daydreaming about sleep while my hair was crying out for a hairbrush when the ‘most patient man’ emerges from his room freshly showered and dressed, downloading directions to todays destination and bouncing off the walls with all the energy he had. Bastard. wpid-screenshot_2015-07-14-00-08-44.png He was closely followed by two little energizer bunnies shouting for coco pops. I filled the cereal bowls and planned to peg them both down into soft play for an hour and send the baby off for a walk with nana or daddy so that I could enjoy a coffee while it was actually hot but to my complete dissatisfaction I turn around to the ‘most patient man’ lacing up his walking shoes because “today Matthew he is going to beee…..Steve fuckin’ Irwin” and were going to Fota Wildlife Park AND Ramleys Open Farm and we are apparently leaving in ten minutes. wpid-screenshot_2015-07-13-12-27-41.pngwpid-screenshot_2015-07-13-23-31-49.png Fota Wildlife resembles a bit of a construction site at the moment so we were slightly dissapointed but then again we are huge Dublin Zoo fans so it was always going to be hard beat that for us. RAMLEYS OPEN FARM is well worth the visit. The kids loved it. The place has go karts and the boys didn’t want to get off them. Thanks to Ramleys, ‘Baby O’ has since been singing a new rendition of ‘old mcdonald’ which now includes old mcdonald having go karts with a ‘brum brum here, there and everywer’. Nana brightened up our day by offering free babysitting services that night if we fancied a few scoops at the bar by ourselves which put a spring in my step. However, the euphoria was short lived. We returned to the apartment and managed to get 2 out of 3 down to sleep but the teething baby decided he was going to see how many windows he could shatter with his screams and we were going nowhere in a hurry. I eventually got him down and crawled silently out of the bedroom on all fours avoiding every creaky floorboard in the place with a mouth on me like ghandi’s flip flop absolutely looing for a cold beer… wpid-screenshot_2015-07-14-00-09-45.png .. only to discover that the Crocodile Hunter was holed up in the bathroom with either the vomiting bug or a woeful case of food poisoning and this is where he stayed for the next hour. wpid-screenshot_2015-07-13-23-37-52.png I begrudgingly switched the kettle on and settled for coffee and a hobnob. I am pretty sure the hotel bar was lovely but we didn’t get to experience it. wpid-screenshot_2015-07-14-00-14-10.png We took a detour on the way home to the Ailwee Caves and did the cave and the birds of prey experience. The caves are a bit freaky for small kids but the birds of prey were the highlight of our trip. ‘Big bro’ is afraid of his own shadow most of the time but when the handler asked for volunteers to hold a hawk, up he jumped closely followed by the dodi sucking 2 year old and they both let a hawk land on their arms. I was beaming from ear to ear and in awe of them. They were so blooming brave I couldn’t believe it. Proudest momma in the country watching them! I couldn’t recommend this day trip more! I have been told the Ailwee Caves do a fantastic Christmas experience also for anyone thinking of paying them a visit. I am actually glad to be home after all our hardship. I’ll say it one more time… “never again”. You would want to be going somewhere for two weeks to make all the luggage and packing and unpacking and repacking worthwhile. I will totally eat these words of course come August when I want to go somewhere again and I am already pecking the ear off  ‘the most patient man’ about chancing a campsite in France next year, but for now I am going to relish the fact I am home, the car no longer resembles a camper van, the ‘most patient man’ has stopped vomiting, the kids are in their own beds and sleeping soundly and I do not have to climb 2 flights of stairs with 2 buggies to get to my bed! wpid-img_20150708_224034.jpg I clearly didnt realise how hard a staycation with three smallies was actually going to be. I know this because I finally managed to get around to unpacking the suitcases today only to uncover the single, solitary, perfectly wrapped, untouched, lonely little birth control measure that I threw in when I was packing (probably before it started to rain). I’m adding a new word to my C.V…… ‘AMBITIOUS’.

When disciplining goes wrong… horribly wrong…

Our 4 year old is testing us. Every minute of every hour of every day is a test. It starts in the morning the minute he opens his eyes and is not happy that I have chosen jeans for him to wear today. He stomps and huffs and puffs in protest and continues to object to every single solitary move I make for the next twelve hours until he is unconsious again. He completely ignores any attempt I make at correcting his wrongdoings and the word “no” seems to trigger his tantrum switch. I know this comes with the territory when parenting a four year old but we still have to kick some of it into touch.

So we have been having the same argument over and over again the last few weeks – What is the most appropriate form of discipline?


We’ve worn out the time out chair and it has lost effect, we shout a lot and don’t get listened to and both of us agree that slapping doesn’t get you anywhere.

So today ‘the most patient man’ had, what can only be described as an epiphany – a ‘Eureka’ moment, if u will. Danny, our first born, was slap bang mid-tantrum about not wanting to come in and have his dinner with us when ‘the most patient man’ leapt off his chair and tore up the stairs. I could actually see the light bulb above his head come on as he took the steps two at a time. He emerged from the boys room holding a tractor.


Now i’m just going to say at this stage, this idea and all matters in relation to this idea were a product of the mind of ‘the most patient man’ and nothing (NOTHING) to do with yours truly!

So the first born was told that the tractor was getting burned in the fire because of his behaviour and he had better shape up or this is what would be happening as a consequence any more.

***queue mommy’s horrified – ‘I told you a million times to discuss your stupid ass ideas with me before you say them out loud’ – glare. But I dare not interrupt while ‘the most patient man’ was “disciplining”. So when he had finished his speech in went the tractor into the already lit fire and it took light. I was a little bit frozen to the spot while awaiting the onslaught of cries and wails that would surely follow.

And then a funny thing happened. The first born, fashioning a peculiar excited sort of a grin which neither of us saw fit for a boy getting his beloved toys burned, ran to the front door to excitedly invite his friends in to “watch daddy burn all the toys”. Realising that this was all going horribly pear shaped, ‘the most patient man’ shot me a ‘wtf look’ to which I responded with a ‘you made your bed you can lie in it’ glare. It would seem we had invented a new spectator sport. One which required the entire neighbourhood’s attendance in my living room.


So were standing there in front of the fire watching this toy slowly burn and sizzle, the flames are doing a lovely gentle dance around each other in the fireplace while the toy melts away to nothing and we all stare at it in silence, Daniel with a delighted smile on his face which I am rather freaked out about.

I am very aware that ‘the most patient man’ has gone about this completely the wrong way and I should have intervened sooner because after this we will inevitably have a 4 year old who will set fire to whoever pisses him off. The ‘most patient man’ is even more infuriated than he was when all this started because a)it didn’t work, and b) it seems to have somehow taken the shape of a new sport Daniel is very excited about enrolling in.

So I decide its time to take the bull by the horns and talk it out. I’ll just explain to him that he should feel distraught at the loss of his precious toy and this is a consequence, the sort of which he will be facing from now on should he continue to misbehave. (Even though I was never ever going to let this happen again but for the next five minutes I had to stay united with ‘the most patient man’ on his shitty disciplining effort).

“Daniel, you understand that you have lost this toy because your behaviour was so bad, right? You won’t ever get to play with it again and that’s very sad so your behaviour will have to improve so this doesn’t happen again O.K?”

“Its not sad for me mummy” he says still watching the burning toy.

My heart literally skips a beat as I accept the fact I am raising a pyromaniac and begin to come up with hiding places for every box of matches we own whilst mentally calculating the approximate cost of a psychiatrist.

“Why is this not sad for you?” I ask, a little afraid of his answer.

“That’s Eoghan’s tractor”.

Daniel: 1    Discipline: 0

An Open Letter to Dads of Young Kids Everywhere…


Thank you for choosing to take on the very difficult and often unrewarding task of fatherhood.

Thank you for doing late night shop runs for whatever mummy was craving way back when she was cooking me in her tummy house.

Thank you for sleeping on only a half inch of the bed so she could have almost the whole lot because I was making her so uncomfortable.

Thank you for being patient every time she cried and fretted about the future. Thank you for reassuring her it would all be O.K.

Thank you for being right by her side through every contraction and every push and helping her bring me into the world.

Thank you for being there every day since, even when some of those days were the most difficult and most testing days you will ever know….you were always present and I will remember that you never gave up on us!

Thank you for changing nappies and making bottles, for chasing toddlers and mending broken toys.

Thank you for leaving your nice cosy bed fourteen times a night for night feeds, toilet trips, bad dreams and strange noises and still getting up in the morning and doing it all over again.

Thank you for going to work and putting in a long day’s graft on 4 hours sleep just so I have everything I need.

Thank you for graciously accepting the abusive texts mommy sends you out of sheer desperation because she has reached her wits end with me and doesn’t know what else to do but give out to the only other person who knows how she feels and is not here. Thank you for putting the phone back in your pocket without retaliating, understanding how knackered she is and not mentioning it ever again.

Thank you for dealing with the worst tantrums imaginable and still loving me the very same when I get over myself and calm down.

Thank you for knowing which one of us likes the crust on and which one likes the crust off, who likes yoghurts with little balls and who prefers frubes, which one of us will bounce back up after a fall but which one will need a ‘magic kiss’ to make the ‘ouchie’ all better.

Thank you for looking proud every time I do something right even though this is definitely outweighed by the amount of times I chance doing something wrong.

Thank you for believing in me.

Thank you for taking my little hand in your big hand and showing me the way as I grow and learn.

Thank you for being strong and independant, hard working and fiercely loyal.

Thank you for taking care of the most important thing I have, my mummy.

Thank you for being the kind of man that I will want to be someday.

Thank you for being my Daddy X


Diary of a Demented Mother of a Teething Baby (part 1)

Something funny happened today. I think I was recognised. Not for any of the multitude of things I do like beauty, blogging, writing, socialising, school runs. Nope. This was new.

I ran into someone that I used to know. I was flying by before I saw him and was overwhelmed with recognition and mortification all at the same time when I realised it was 8.30am and I had baby spew on my pants, hair hadn’t seen a hairbrush since saturday and my eyebags had eyebags.

Then the funny thing happened. He kinda half smirked – half head tilted at me as I flew past. Wtf did that mean? The old me would have stopped for a catch up and given myself a chance to figure out what he was thinking when he performed such a manouvre. I kept scooting on however, solely because I was scarlet for me velour tracksuit bottoms that I wouldn’t usually wear to the bog for the last load but this morning thaught were a good idea to throw on to go grab milk. I didn’t stall but the gammy interaction had me perturbed. I couldn’t get the awkward smirk/sympathy tilt out of my head. Was it that obvious? Did I look that bad? Did I need an answer to that? Of course I looked that bad. I was tiptoeing around the house in the dark at 4am singing the chorus of Ireland’s Call to a wailing baby and practising exactly what I was going to say when I rang in the morning to book my hystorectomy.


So he felt sorry for me? Thats when I undertook to stalk him on Facebook and would ya look at that! He too is the ‘demented parent of a teething baby’!!! I click on his profile picture and there is his lovely wife in a pair of velour tracksuit pants all of her own.


Phew! The look wasn’t rude. It was recognition. He clearly knows the haggard look of ‘motherhood’ too well. He was possibly half smirking because we could probably both remember once upon a different life when I wouldn’t step passed the threshold of home without a full face of make up and all we had to worry about was whose round it was next? And the head tilt was a sympathy nod. An ‘I know what your going through’ offering.

So as it turns out ‘the demented mother of a teething baby’ is very easily recognisable. Here’s how you can catch a glimps of one of these common creatures;

She is the one in the mis-matched trackies with spew on the shoulder and snot on the sleeve.

She is the one with hair that looks like she was accidentally plugged in.

She is the one rocking back and forth on her chair even when she is not holding a baby because at this stage in the game its second nature.

You may meet her every time you are in Tesco and she is always holding pain relief and new bibs.

She is the one that makes a cup of tea and has it half drank before she realises she didn’t boil the kettle.

She is the one that nearly signed up to Airtricity just so the salesman would stay and occupy the other 2 kids while she settled the teething baby.

She is the one that hung out a dirty load of washing to dry and didnt realise for four hours she hadn’t actually washed them yet.

She is the one prying a child’s mouth open  and jamming a hand in there in search of the little white bastard that is causing all this heartache.

She is the one parenting her other kids with biscuits just to make it through the afternoon alive. She can be observed pegging custard creams at such problems as tantrums, hunger, boredom, speaking,  moving, breathing…..

She is the one driving aimlessly around town trying to settle her screaming child. If the same car has circled and passed you four times, chances are, you have just witnessed the ‘demented mother of a teething child’.

She is the one thanking God fourteen times a day for sending her a life support machine, more commonly known as her Tassimo coffee maker and can be seen sporting eyes like flying saucers.

She is the one who denied her husband the oppurtunity of ‘the snip’ on the grounds he was too young but seriously contemplates a radical hystorectomy every time their teething baby stirs in the night.


Imagine my frustration at realising that a ‘demented father of a teething baby’ is not as easily recognisable as his female counterpart, hence my confusion when I ran into my old buddy all bright eyed and bushy tailed.

The ‘demented father of a teething baby’ sleeps in the spare room, you see for fear one of his super sperm would jump into one of his wife’s unmanned orifices, impregnate her and put her through this ever again!

If any of you are trying to spot a ‘demented father of a teething baby’ there is in fact only one tell tale sign. That is the giant wheelbarrow that he is carrying his balls around in because they haven’t seen the light of day in more than a while.