40 cm snow, Baby, beast from the east, Exciting times ahead, exhausted, storm Emma

It was snow joke

For those of you that heard, the beast from the east collided with storm Emma last week to wreak havoc on Ireland. I have never seen snow like this in my lifetime. We had over 40 cm of snow, the roads were impassable for days, the airports closed, public transport ground to a halt, ferries stopped running and suddenly I was very aware that we are on an island.

While most Irish people were bedding down for their snow days, I was trying desperately to get to a family wedding in the UK. With 3 cancelled flights and 2 cancelled ferries, we decided to try one more time and head up to Belfast to get a flight. Thankfully while the roads were very poor at times, we made it up safely and our flight took off the morning of the wedding.

Knowing how bad the drive could potentially be, there was no way I could take the baby, so my little one and hubby stayed at home. As I kissed them both goodbye I got quite emotional. All of a sudden I had visions of crashes in the snow and not making it back home. I looked at them and had this horrible feeling, how would they cope if I wasn’t around? I have to get to MY baby’s wedding some day.

I was really surprised by my reaction as I am someone who has had a few less than sensible adventures in the past. But I realised how important it is to look after myself from now on. Be a more sensible person. As there are so many exciting times to look forward to that I don’t want to miss.

Stay safe everyone! Xx

exhausted, family, Happy momma happy baby!, look back, mum, sleepless nights, So happy, This too shall pass, Toddler, What will make me happy, where has the time gone!

5 things that surprised me about becoming a mum

1) I called my baby the wrong name for a good few weeks

Naming your baby is so much pressure. We spent weeks ruling out names due to sound, or negative associations, or because you are pregnant and you just don’t like it. 🙂 We narrowed it down to a short list of 3 names and we waited to see our little boy, to make sure the name suited him. When he arrived, that was it, the name matched, we were happy and announced his name to the families. We proceeded to call him by his cousin’s name (born 6 months earlier) for a few weeks….. oops!

2) Baby’s have an ability to poo at the worst time

It is incredible how babies have this built in awareness of the worst timing to do a poo. You are running late and rushing to leave the house and then you smell it……poo! You are just nipping to the shops quickly, no need to bring the nappy bag. You arrive and then you smell it…….poo! You just change his nappy, which is a battle at the best of times and next thing you smell it…… poo!

All you can do is laugh at his cutie face and get out the changing mat again.

3) Mums are meant to have all the answers

I had this realisation the first time our little one was sick. His temperature had spiked and wouldn’t come down. My husband looked at me with concern, what will we do, and I thought I have no idea. Let me ring mum and there it was. My first instinct, ring MY mum. And now I am the mum, I am somehow meant to magically know the answers. Luckily I have great support from two amazing mums in my life, which is great, as I have a lot to learn! I feel like I should have mummy L-plates on half the time so at least people will know not to expect all the answers, I might just have to ring my mum!

4) The nights are long but the years are short

I heard this phrase recently and I think it’s so appropriate. When you are up in the middle of the night trying to settle a hysterical baby, the nights are long. When you are up feeding for the third time that night while you hear your other half fast asleep beside you, the nights are long. When your little one decides they want to wake every 45 minutes throughout the night, the nights are long.

But you have to remember that this too shall pass. Many people told me things only get harder, which I don’t really believe. They are different, but not harder. Instead of exhausted from lack of sleep you are exhausted from running around after your little one. Nothing is harder than being terribly sleep deprived. But remember, it will pass.

When I look back on the last year, it really does fly by and I have a feeling the years will just get quicker. We gotta make the most of it while we can.

5) It takes a village to raise a baby

I have no idea how people live far away from their families or move to new places with newborns. Whether its friends or family, we all need support. Especially in those early years. Having someone around to watch your little one while you nip out to the shops, grab a shower or just have a night out to unwind is so important. Having those sanity breaks is so important for our own mental health and wellbeing. So it really does take a village to raise a baby. Remember happy parents mean happy babies!

Girly shopping day
Allergy, Baby, Eczema, Flare-up, Kiwi, Sickness

My baby has an allergy

The most scary part if weaning is the fear that your baby will have an allergy. And how you will respond to that. If your baby has eczema, you should be more wary of allergies as they are often related.

When weaning your baby the advice is to keep a good diary. I downloaded an app called baby tracker to keep track of what I was feeding my little one. It meant that I could update the record on the run which was very useful.

The most common allergies are dairy, eggs, peanuts, treenuts and kiwi. So do keep an eye on things when you introduce those. You are recommended to only introduce one new food item every 3 days but sticking to that is hard as there are so many things you want to get your baby on. So I never had more than one new thing per meal. I introduced new foods at lunch. That way if there was an allergy, doctors would be open.

Unfortunately the pharmacy will not sell you any antihistamines for a child under 1. So there is nothing you can have on hand just in case.

Typically a child will have a very mild reaction the first time they eat something they are allergic to. But a much more severe reaction the second time. Things to look out for:

  • Redness around the mouth
  • Redness around the eyes
  • Swollen lips or tongue
  • A hive like rash on the body
  • Shortness of breath

If your baby has more than one of these symptoms, I would advise going straight to your doctor or a&e.

Our little one has an allergy to kiwi and the second reaction he ever had was to a piece of melon I gave him out of my fruit salad. So I thought it was an allergy to melon. It never dawned on me that the fruit salad had kiwi juice in there too.

The first time he had kiwi, he had redness around his mouth, which faded in a few hours. I didn’t think much about it, as he had a similar reaction to milk until he built up a tolerance.

The second time he had kiwi was kiwi juice on the melon in my fruit salad. It was Saturday morning and he had a moderate reaction, redness near his eyes and a lot around his mouth. We took him to a&e but luckily it didn’t get worse. At this point we were convinced it was a melon alleegy.

Then the third time he had it, he had half a kiwi and had a pretty scary reaction. He had redness around his mouth, swollen lips, hives everywhere and redness around his eyes. We luckily had been prescribed antihistamines so gave him that. And our GP referred us to a children’s allergy clinic.

My advice, always consider whether there could be cross contamination with your babies new foods and always get things checked if in doubt.

We are lucky our little one doesnt have a peanut allergy. But we have been advised that it’s common to develop one and as such we should give him peanut butter at least 3 times a week. He loves it! 😁

Baby, Christmas, exhausted, family, Happy momma happy baby!, mum, So happy, Walking

The magic of Christmas with kids

I can’t believe Christmas has come and gone. It was such a busy period. But it really was one of our best Christmases yet.

While this Christmas was our little ones second official Christmas, it felt like his first as last year he was admitted to hospital on Christmas eve due to low blood sugar. So that really disrupted our plans last year.

This year we felt like we were starting all our family traditions, and it was so much fun.

We got ourselves matching pj’s, had a lovely relaxing Christmas eve walk, made sure a mince pie and coke was left out for Santa and read a Christmas book before bed time.

Over Christmas we managed to fit in a visit to both families, which was very special!

There was so much excitement for both our families having babies around at Christmas.

While I know our little one won’t remember this Christmas, it was still important to us to do things right. Start as we mean to go on. It was so strange being “santa” and setting up the toys as We know our parents did for us for years! So I felt super grown up doing all the mummy jobs. Well not quite all of them, we were extremely lucky to be given two wonderful Christmas dinners over the holidays with each of our families, so no cooking for me thank god. I fear the day I have to cook a full Christmas dinner!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas!

Back to work, exhausted, miss him already, settling in, Sickness, Uncategorized, What will make me happy

My return to work

It’s been way too long since I last wrote, primarily because the last 6 weeks have just been a whirlwind. I am back in work roughly 10 weeks (but who is counting) and in the time we have had 1 stomach bug, one vomiting bug, countless colds and coughs and one particularly bad virus.

At the same time I have faced a pre-busy season in work. I am an auditor by trade, so I work in a very male dominated industry. There are not many mommas at my level right now (actually I am the only one at my level but there are a few above and below). To put it into perspective, the department has 200 people, so it’s not a small department!

Finding the right work life balance is so hard! Before my little one arrived, I could easily do on average 12 hour days, ramping that up in busier periods and working my weekends. But I have had a major shift in priorities. I now not only have mothers guilt but guilt I let my team down in work too! I am in charge if pickups from Creche. So I go in early and leave early. If I miss a pick up as I have late meetings, the guilt I feel is just awful. And it’s not just that, it’s that I miss my little one.

I was hoping to hold off writing this post until I had all the answers, until I had achieved the perfect balance and I feel I could provide people with great advice. But the reality is, there is no perfect balance.

I have been stressing over trying to get this balance right, but in the last two weeks I have come to the conclusion that you can’t really have it all. But the important thing is to know what you need to prioritise at different times.

When I feel the guilt, I try and ask myself what will make me happy. Will attending this meeting make me happy, will getting to creche make me happy, will meeting my deadline make me happy? A happy momma is a happy family. A happy worker is a more productive worker. So what will really make me happy????

It changes and flexes every day. But that’s ok too. Achieving things in work is important, but so is being there when your baby needs you.

A sicky baby

Some things I have done that help me:

1) Get a cleaner – you have enough to be doing working and looking after a family, so getting help with the big cleaning jobs is so important

2) be disciplined – I block off my calendar when I am due to go, to avoid meetings going into it.

3) when you feel the guilt, check in and see what makes you happy

4) when you see issues coming up, raise them early, you know when things will become unmanageable!

Finally remember, we are all human, and we are doing our best. That’s all we can do!

Baby, creche, exhausted, mum, Sickness, This too shall pass, Winter vomiting bug

Creche and all its associated diseases!

We started our little one in Creche about 4 weeks ago now. The first two weeks were his settling in period where we built up the time he was in Creche slowly by an hour a day. Before he started in Creche I heard about all the bugs he will pick up. We made it through the first 2 weeks and he didn’t even have a cold. I thought maybe his immune system is slightly stronger. Maybe he won’t get anything…..oh was I wrong! On Saturday his temperature started to spike a bit during the day and he woke up with the sniffles. I just thought here we go, a bad head cold. That’s to be expected! We watched his temperature all Saturday and Sunday, giving him calpol when it went up. On Sunday he was very grumpy. He didn’t really eat much of his food. Eating very little dinner, which is not like him at all. I stress about dinner the most as I am always afraid he will wake up in the middle of the night hungry. So it was bed early for our grumpy boy. He was very unsettled that evening so the hubby went up to check on him. And all of a sudden he vomited everywhere. Not baby vom, but proper vom. He had picked up the winter vomiting bug! 🤢 I was called up to do the clean up while my hubby cuddled a very happy little boy, he looked so relieved. Over the next few days we battled the runs, temperatures and an increasingly worse cold. He also managed to pass the bug on around the family. When I got it I realised how awful my little one felt, no wonder he was so grumpy! Thankfully he is so much better this week and we are pretty much over his cold too. I have a feeling that with all the bugs in Creche.. .. this is definitely not the last bug he will pick up. But better to build up his immunity now…. and ours along the way!

10 months, Baby, can't wait for a cuddle, creche, miss him already, mum, settling in, This too shall pass

Heartbreak at leaving my crying baby at creche

Ok so my little one was officially 10 months yesterday, so not really a baby anymore. But as every mother says, he is still my baby!

Last week we started our creche settling in period for our little man. The first day he spent an hour there with daddy. He had a great time playing with all the new toys.

The second day he spent an hour there by himself. I dropped him off. He was busy playing with toys when I left and seemed happy out. Only upon collecting him did we find out about 15 mins after leaving he cried on and off for the rest of his time there. The good thing is that he wasn’t crying by the time he was picked up by nana.

The third day mummy and daddy dropped him off. Today he spent 2 hours at creche. Again, he was happy out when we left as he was busy playing with toys. But the same thing happened 15 mins after we left. He cried on an off until he was picked up by daddy and nana, he was delighted to see them both.

The fourth day, Friday, he went there for 3 hours. He got upset as daddy was leaving. The good thing is that he did sleep. And overall cried less while he was there. So that’s positive. But the minute he saw Daddy he burst into tears until he got a big cuddle.

Today it is my turn to drop him off. I didn’t think much about it as I was running around getting things ready for creche. He was so good going in. I put him down on the floor to play and he was fine. And then all of a sudden he just burst into tears. The kind of wail that means I just want my mummy. I picked him up and he stopped immediately. I handed him over to one of the girls and the wailing started again with his arms outstretched for me to take him back.

My heart absolutely broke. I had to leave my crying baby with people I didn’t know! My eyes start to well with tears of my own. And I start to take big breaths to keep back the tears. I am one of those people who wears my emotions on my sleeve. It was heart breaking walking out of the place. I drove straight to the local shopping centre for a haircut. I feel I deserve a bit of pampering!

I sit here with dye in my hair counting down the hours until I get a big cuddle! This is so much worse than being in work!

I know he will start to enjoy creche, but this settling in phase is so much worse than I ever imagined!Finally home with mummy!

Baby, exhausted, single parent

Such respect for single mums!

Last week my husband went away for 3 nights with work. This was the first time I had to get both myself and our little one ready in the morning with no help. Usually I would make the bottle, grab a shower while my hubby gave our little one a bottle and then we would all go downstairs for breakfast. But when it was just me doing morning prep, things did not go so smoothly!

The first night I barely slept. Not only was I up when our little one woke, but I tossed and turned throughout the night stressed about how I would manage the next morning. It was the same poor quality sleep you get when you have an early morning flight to get the next day and you have the fear that you will sleep in!

The morning went better than expected. I managed to grab a shower before our little one got upset (he had woken but he was just cooing in bed) and because I was up before 6 I got everything I needed done before he woke (bottle prep, breakfast etc).

The following two mornings were not as successful as he woke earlier and was up more at night so I was more tired.

By the time my hubby was back, I was so exhausted! And so relieved to have our little team him back to normal!

However I have a much greater amount of respect for any single parent! It’s really hard to do things by yourself! You are all amazing!

Baby, breast feeding, Combination feeding, mastitis

My breastfeeding journey – the end is in sight!

When I originally thought of this blog post title, I didn’t think I would get my little one onto bottles, but thanks to the NUK closer to nature bottle, that’s not an issue (see my bottle review post here).

Mastitis – the devil!

Getting mastitis was what started me on the road to ending my breastfeeding journey. It is rare that someone will make it through their own breastfeeding journey without getting mastitis at least once. For others they can be riddled with it! I was lucky enough to avoid it up until my little one was 7 moths old. It hit me like a ton of bricks. It started with just feeling very uncomfortable one Sunday evening when I was lying down to go to sleep. One breast just felt really achy and sore to the touch. I thought nothing of it until I woke up the next day feeling extremely ill., I had a high temperature, aches and pains all over, a splitting headache, no energy and a very very sore breast. That’s the moment you realise there is no rest for us mommas! I couldn’t call in sick from my day job, and my little one needed as much attention as normal. I was lucky enough to have had a GP appointment that morning by chance. Had it not been booked, I probably would have gotten much worse before getting checked out. I was prescribed antibiotics which took a few days to clear up the infection. But the worse part was just how exhausted I was. It really surprised me how much of a toll a little infection can take on the body.

On the road to getting my boobs back!

Every piece of information I have read about breastfeeding is based on how to get breastfeeding established, how to get through the first few weeks. Nowhere at all does it tell you how to stop!

Once I got my little one to accept formula, I chose one feed every half a week or so to switch to a bottle feed. I started with day feeds, as I was going back to work, it was most important to get the little one onto a bottle when I wasn’t there. I tried to be rigid about the feed I chose and not offer him the boob for these feeds, despite him looking for it at times. There were days when he just needed boob comfort, for example when he got a terrible cold. But I just tried not to make it a habit.

All together it took about 8 weeks to get my little one off breastfeeding exclusively and onto formula during the day. Doing this slowly prevented the over-production of milk most of the time. I will admit, I am still feeding him in the middle of the night, but I will be dropping that soon. I never thought I would make it past 6 weeks feeding, then I said I would stop at 6 months. Now we are nine months in and I can’t believe it.

I am looking forward to getting my body back but I will really miss the closeness and connection you get from breastfeeding. But for now, I am just going to enjoy every last feed I have left.


My first day back in work, this is going to be emotional….

While today is my official first day back to work, I have attended 2.5 training days in the last 3 weeks. The first training day I was very upset leaving. But as my amazing family were babysitting and I was getting updates, I didn’t feel too bad, surprisingly. The rest of my training days went fine. I wasn’t emotional leaving and just looked forward to the thought of getting home to my baby.

Seeing as today daddy is watching our little one, I thought I would be fine leaving. But actually I am a rollercoaster of emotions. From the moment our little one woke (at 5.45, waaay too early) he was reaching out for me. I brought him into our bed for a snuggle and bottle and all he wanted to do was snuggle into mummy and stroke my face. I went to get up for a shower and he got a little upset, despite daddy being right next to him. It just felt like he knew!

That was the moment my emotions got the better of me. As I ran out the door afraid I would miss the bus, I tried not to focus on the tears rolling down my face. Hopefully people on the bus will just mistake it for rain water!

As I sit on the bus typing this, I get a snap of our little one playing with his cars, as happy as ever. I just gotta take a deep breath, pop a smile on my face and hope that the day will fly by!