Uncategorized

I said Yes!!

So this post is way over due! As in nearly a year over due, oops! So after four years together (five now) my other half finally popped the big question. To say I was surprised was an understatement. I know a lot of ladies will say “I had no idea”, but really they might have had a little inkling that something was in the works. I genuinely hadn’t a clue. So, in order to tell our engagement story, I need to roll back a few years and explain how myself and Andy met. It will all make sense shortly!

 

545318_435700766464416_1203893478_n
Frank & Ellie in action

So in May/June of 2012, I was involved in a show called Showboat out in Dunlavin with a lovely family run performance group called Glad Productions.  They were putting on a production in the fabulous setting of their farm (Deering Farm) as part of the Dunlavin Arts Festival. I was playing the part of Ellie and we were having an awful time trying to find someone to play the part opposite mine. A character named Frank. Eventually, they found someone to do the part for them (as a favour), as this person wasn’t really into stage acting or singing, their thing was improv and stand up comedy. I can remember the first time I saw him, my first thoughts weren’t as you might think they should have been. I was sitting out side the rehearsal hall in my car waiting to go into rehearsals (I was early as usual), when I saw this guy (from behind) wearing a pristine white tracksuit top and navy tracksuit bottoms sauntering in to the hall. I remember thinking, “who is that guy (not in a good way), ugh I bet he’s the guy they got to play opposite me!”. Bare in mind I was only looking at the back of his head and totally making bad assumptions. So when I went into the hall after him, it turned out that yes, he was playing the part opposite me, and that he was very handsome and hilarious. Who new then that I had just met the love of my life! Or that in the show when his showboat character of Frank proposed to my Character Ellie, that it would be happening for real just over four years from then!

wp-1484486995261.pngSo skipping forward four years to the engagement. About a week before the the big question was asked, I had gotten a phone call from a fabulous lady named Mary who was the MD (musical director) of the the show myself and Andy did, she also owned the Deering farm with her husband. She contacted me to see if I would be interested in helping her MD a show that they were thinking of putting on that year. So I jumped at the chance to gain some more experience in this area of work. I was so excited to have been asked. So she asked me to come over to the farm/house to chat about how we would approach things that weekend. So the day arrived, October 22nd 2016, I told Andy I was heading off and that I’d be home in an hour or two. So when I got there, myself, Mary and her husband chatted away for the first hour just catching up etc. And she eventually got to the part about the MD position (after she got a text….I now know it was from Andy). She said she was thinking of putting it on in the barn (they have a beautiful stone barn on their grounds). I thought this was a great idea and was agreeing with her taking notes like a idiot, none the wiser as to what was really going on. So she brought me down to see the barn. I was still none the wiser at this stage, why would I be, this lady could act!!

When we got into the barn, you think the penny would have dropped by then. The whole place was decorated with lace, flowers, candles, rose petals etc. I remember thinking, “jeez this would be a nice spot for a wedding”, but no clue that I was about to be proposed to. Mary started going on about how they had set it up for a wedding and they were thinking of providing that for people…all lies!! And then out of no where I hear a guitar start to play and out pops Andy, dressed in a tux playing the guitar and singing the song “I want to grow old with you”, from the Wedding Singer. Needless to say I turned around to look at Mary, who was gone like lightening out the door. I didn’t know what to do or say, I was shaking and in total shock. So when Andy was finished the song (he did a really good job at singing it!), he sat me down and asked me to marry him. In a much nicer why than that, but that is something I’d like to keep between the two of us. As soon as the question was asked and excepted, Mary and her husband were back in and joined us in celebrating with some champagne. She put on one hell of a show. She was so kind to help Andy out with all the planning and to allow him to propose in the barn in the first place. It was the perfect place to propose as it was where the show Showboat was performed.

On the way home, I actually remember asking Andy, “so I guess there is no MD job!”. Ha, I was actually a bit up set that there was no MD job!! Anyway, we phoned my parents and told them to meet us at home. But when I got home, Andy’s mam had decorated the house and gotten a lovely big engagement cake and we all had champagne, I was a great night and I think it took about a week to actually sink in. We are in no rush with the actual wedding itself and are planning on having it maybe in a year or two. But whenever we do decide on a date, I am looking forward to getting into wedding mode!

Until the next blog,

The Irish Mammy x

Fun Days Out

Kildare Farm Foods and Open Farm

18056808_1324547560945794_992039144092068706_nThis weekend we headed off to Kildare Farm  Foods – open farm and shop, situated out in Rathmuck, Co. Kildare. This is a third Generation Family Farm where visitors can see a wide variety of animals in a natural and relaxed setting and entry to the open farm is Free. There is so much here for children of all ages to do. There is of course, the open farm, where children can feed the animals with animal feed that costs of €1. But there is also a train ride called the Adventure Railroad, costing just €2.50 per passenger. The train brings you on a tour of the farm where you can see all of the animals and you will also be brought along to the Old Wild West, the Indian Creek and then to the Old Gold Mine Shaft. You are then brought back to present time where you will surface from the City Underground seeing the Magical Forest as you go (watch out for the Dragon!). There is also an option to play Indoor Golf. It plays 18 holes with an Indian Creek and Old Wild West theme. Prices: Children: €5 each, Adults €7 each, 4 Ball Deal €20 for any 4 players.

 

Once you have finished with all of the activities, you can treat yourself to a lovely tea/coffee and something nice from their cafe. We tried everything but the crazy golf, as Ruby is too little to play. But she had a fantastic time seeing all of the animals and afterwards we had a lovely lunch. We were lucky on this particular day that all of the animals were out. The piglets in particular, which are not always there. Some of the animals on the farm include Wallabies, Mara, Pigs, Goats, Ponies, Deer & Sheep; with a variety of Birds including Ostrich, Black Swans, Ducks, Geese, Chickens, Guinea Foul, Peahen and Peacock.

Before we went home, we had a quick look around the shop. We buy most of our meat from here in bulk as it is such fantastic value. As well as fresh meats, you can also purchase fresh vegetables, frozen foods, desserts, confectionery, pantry supplies, baked goods, jams and sauces. There is also a small toy section.

Overall this is a fantastic family day out for fantastic value, with something for all of the family. They open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to 3pm and are closed Sunday and Bank Holidays. They also cater for school tours and birthday parties. For more information head over to http://www.kildarefarmfoods.com/index.html. 

 

Beauty, review

BB – eautiful Skin

Unlike my post on my favourite mattifying foundations, I am not going to rate these in a first, second or third category. There are two out of the three that I like and use for different reasons and one that I didn’t like at all. On days where I don’t feel like applying a lot of make up or if I just want to give my skin a break from heaving make up, but still need to make my skin look less than deathly pale, I like to use BB creams. I find that they are nice and light with just enough coverage. I tend to use these types of creams  when I am having a good skin day. I have tried three different brands: GARNIER, L’ORÉAL and PS from Penny’s. The two that I really like are the Garniers BB cream – original in light and L’Oréal’s Nude Magique BB cream. And I really disliked the PS by Penny’s Workout Knockout BB cream and concealer.

Garnier – Skin Naturals BB cream

I really like to use this on the days where I still need some coverage without layering on the foundation. I have very oily skin so I need to keep this powered throughout the day – which is kind of annoying. But I love how it feels on my skin and it has a really nice smell. It describes itself as an all in one miracle skin perfecter. The formula has mineral pigments which help to create sheer coverage, blurred imperfections and softened lines. It hydrates your skin and has SPF 15. I love when make up has SPFs in them. It also creates a luminous look to the skin and leaves your skin feeling smoother and softer.

L’Oreal Paris – Nude Magique BB Cream

I like to use this on days when my skin is really clear and needs little to no coverage. I use the light skin tone shade which is dark enough for my skin to add a little bit of warmth. What I really love about this cream is that when first squeezed out of the tube, it looks white and as you apply it to your face it adjusts to your skin colour creating a perfect bare skin look. This happens when the smart pigment capsules in the feather light hydrator transform into foundation on application. It says that it mimics the texture and glow of bare skin and I think that it really does achieve this. It has 24 hour hydration and SPF 20. It is a five in one delivering flawless coverage (not sure this claim is very true – flawless if you’ve very little imperfections to cover in the first place maybe), even skin texture, fresh dewy glow, 24 hour hydration and SPF 20.

PS by Penny’s – Workout Knockout BB cream

I have to say, I really didn’t like this at all. I found it really greasy on my skin and it just melted off my skin pretty much as soon as I used it.  I didn’t like the consistency of it either. It has added vitamin E, which is good and a little concealer hidden at the top of the lid with a tiny flip up mirror – the mirror was the only thing that I liked about it. I went with the light shade but it was a bit too orange in colour for me.

review

My Top Three Matte Foundations

I am always on the hunt for a good foundation that has both good coverage and staying power – but most importantly, it must keep my skin shine free! I have super shiny/oily skin and for a long time I have found it difficult to get my hands on a good foundation. I have come across some ok-ish ones in the past. But for those that have good coverage, they don’t prevent shine or else the foundation does the opposite and looks too caked on my face. However, I have since come across some really good foundations that are up to the job of mattifying my oily skin. I have recently been tooing and frowing between three foundations – two L’Oreal products and one Catrice foundation. All three are excellent. I do have a favourite though.

Here are my thoughts on all three.

1. L’Oreal Paris – Infallible 24H-Matte Foundation

Out of the three foundations this is my number one. I love it and it does exactly what’s it’s supposed to. It has high coverage, and a lightweight feel without a cakey look which is perfect for me. With any foundation that I use, I normally need to set it with power afterwards – which feels like too much make up on my skin. I don’t like this look or how it feels for every day wear. Within twenty minutes or so I am back at it with the power again and usually by the end of the day my makeup has melted off my face with a super shiny look….unfortunately not the dewy look we’d all like. However, I find that with this foundation I don’t need to set my make up with any powder and it stays that way for the day. At the same time, it doesn’t make my skin dry out either.  My shade is number 11 Vanilla which I think is the lightest shade. There never seems to be a lighter shade available. This shade Is fine, I’ve quite pale skin but I can just about get away with it as it adds a little bit of warmth to my skin. But it would be nice if I could get it in one shade lighter.  I am on my second tube and I intend to keep using it. I just hope it’s not discontinued at any stage!

2. L’Oreal Paris – Infallible Total Cover Foundation

This comes in at second place. I like it a lot and if the first one is ever discontinued I happily use this in its place.  To me it seems to be pretty much the same as the Infallible 24H-Matte. They both have high coverage with a matte finish and lightweight feel. However, the first one seems to be aimed at shine control in particular, while this one is aimed at covering imperfections, redness, marks and dark spots. It is definitely long lasting but I feel the other L’Oreal one last just that little bit longer. A definite plus for this one though, is that it is available in a lighter shade – I’ve been using number 10 porcelain which is a perfect colour for my skin. If I could only find the Infallible 24H-Matte in this shade I’d be set!!

3. Catrice Cosmetics – HD Liquid Coverage Foundation

In third place is the HD Liquid Coverage by Catrice Cosmetics. Although in last place, it is still a really good foundation. It’s has a lightweight feel, is non-oily and is definitely mattifying. It claims to last up to 24 hours and it has excellent coverage, but my shiny skin still makes an entrance where it doesn’t in the first two foundations. Again, if I ran out of my favourite I’d have no problem using this, but I know I’d need to top it up with power at some stage. Again, the colour is more suited to my skin than the first foundation and I love that it has a dropper application lid which stops you from using too much product.

Even though I have my favourite, all three foundations pretty much do what they are suppose to. I’d use any three of these over many other top foundations currently on the shelves. But what suits another’s might not suit someone else, so your best bet is to try a few different ones like I did and find what works best for your skin.

Uncategorized

From Fi to You – Organic Kids Clothes 

Picture taken From Fi to You Instagram page

This Christmas (2016) Ruby was given the most beautiful set of pyjamas from a friend of ours. The pj’s were handmade by our friends sister who has an etsy shop named From fi to you (Fiona Murphy) – she makes organic kids clothes. She is Irish and currently based in Norway. To be honest when I first saw them I thought that the pyjama set was a tracksuit – they are too nice to be pj’s! Ruby has only just grown into them. The material is absolutely gorgeous – a navy blue with little reindeer heads on them. The material itself is really soft and stretchy, so they move well with Ruby’s movements. I wasn’t sure how they would hold up in the wash and I was worried that they might shrink, but after wash number one they have held up well. Just make sure to wash them on low at 30 degrees to help preserve the colour.  She also has an Instagram and Facebook page. Here you can see fabric samples and different projects that Fiona is working on. I am seriously thinking of purchasing some items from her online shop. I would love to get some jumpers for Ruby – the fabrics that  she uses are fabulous. One thing is clear – this is one talented lady.

img_0297-1img_0298-1img_0308-1

img_0312-1
Picture taken From Fi to You Instagram page
Uncategorized

My Hyper-Mobile Child

textgram_1492462133

So it turns out that Ruby has hyper-mobility. This is something that I had never heard of until Ruby was diagnosed with it and yet, I found out that it’s something that I also have, although not to the same extent as Ruby. Someone who suffers from hyper-mobility is basically really flexible, there are differing degrees of it…Ruby is super flexible, like rubber. If you go to pick her up under her arms she’ll basically slide out of your hands if you’re not aware that she has it. I first noticed that something was up with her joints when she was about four or five months old. I noticed that when she was held up in someones arms, that her arms would bend right back behind her, same with her legs when changing her nappies. Considering her birth story, I of course jumped to all sorts of conclusions as to what could be causing this. So when she was called for her six month check up I mentioned it to the health nurse who took a quick look at her. She checked her joints and confirmed that she had hyper-mobility. She explained that it meant that Ruby’s joints were more flexible than what is deemed normal and that it is normally hereditary. So with that she checked both myself and my mother (who came to the appointment with me). She said that we both had it. My mam had it only slightly in her arms and elbows and I had it in my arms, elbows, lower back and hips. And like Ruby I was always really flexible as a child. So the nurse said that Ruby would need to attend physio to assess how much she would be affected by hyper-mobility. Initially I thought that it just meant that she would be really flexible. I had visions off sending her off to be an amazing gymnast or something. But apparently there are a whole host of other problems that can occur because of this condition, depending on its severity. Some of the other problems that can sometimes occur are as follows:

  • Late learning to sit, sit with a very rounded back or W-sit.
  • Skip crawling and bottom shuffle instead.
  • Walk later than normal.
  • Hate tummy time.
  • Avoid activities that are new or require effort and may have sensory issues.
  • Develop coordination and attention problems as they get older.
  • Develop digestive system problems.
  • More prone to develop dyspraxia as a result of low muscle tone.
  • More vulnerable to injury.
  • Suffer from extreme tiredness.
  • Have limbs that appear to be floppy and weak.
  • Pain in the knees, fingers, hips, elbows and lower back.
  • Joints can dislocate easily.
  • Hyperelastic (very stretchy) skin that bruises easily.
  • If there is a more widespread effect on the body, it can usually involve conditions or syndromes like Marfan or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

textgram_1492461824So far Ruby doesn’t seem to be affected by too many of the above symptoms, but we will have to watch her for a lot of the other symptoms as she gets older. It’s important to remember that people who have this may never have any other symptoms besides being really flexible. Hopefully this will be the same for Ruby. I didn’t even know I had it and I don’t think it has effected me in any ill way that has effected my quality of life. Looking back now, perhaps the digestive problems I have and being tired all the time have something to do with my own level of hyper-mobility, but at this stage of my life I am not going to go looking into it!  As for Ruby, she was a bit late on her gross motor skills – she was late to roll, sit, crawl and walk. But she was, and still is ahead in her fine motor skills, language and communication skills. She didn’t start crawling until a week before her first birthday and she didn’t walk until she was 18 months. But at that stage we were doing work with her at home that was given to us by the physiotherapist in order to help strengthen her muscles. So if we weren’t doing that, it could have been a lot later. She 100% hated tummy time – although, this is something that I think most babies hate. The only way we could get her to do it was on my bed.  We will have to keep a close eye on her – apparently hyper-mobile children can plateau at any stage in their development. She definitely has low muscle tone as a result – her muscles feel like jelly if you touch them and if you wave her arms around they go really floppy. But at the same time, she is a strong as an Ox and always has been.

textgram_1492461970Thankfully at her last physio check up everything was spot on. I have to bring her back when she is two, by which time the physio said she should be climbing the stairs without my assistance, jumping and kicking a ball. She said if she is able to do all of these things, and as long as nothing else pops up in the mean time, that she would be happy to discharge her, which is fantastic news. So hopefully everything will balance out. I am sure I will document it here should anything else develop. I just wanted to share this as I don’t think it is something that people are aware of – I mean, I suffer from it and didn’t even know about it! Please feel free to contact me if your little ones have hyper-mobility. I would love to hear other peoples views and experiences on the topic.

*Update* October 2017

So Ruby just had her check up for her hypermobilty. For this check up the physio wanted Ruby to be able to kick a ball, climb the stairs with little to no help, run and to jump. She was able to do three out of the four requirements. She can’t really jump yet but she is trying very hard. The physio was pleased with this as she is only gone 26 months and is still a little young to jump properly. The muscles in her legs have strengthened and her hypermobilty has lessoned in this area. However she is still hypermobile in her feet and ankles, which can make her trip a lot so I have to ensure she is wearing shoes with the correct foot support and her hands and wrists are very mobile. But thankfully the physio was so happy with her progress that she has discharged her from the service. She has asked me to watch out for anything out of the ordinary and if the tripping increases to come back. But overall we are all delighted with her progress!!

Until the next blog.

Orla the Irish Mammy xx

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Uncategorized

To Boob or Not to Boob. 

breastfeeding meme 1Before I get into this blog post, I just want to stress that I am neither pro-breastfeeding or pro-bottle – I am of the view point of fed is best. The most important thing is that your baby is fed,  regardless of whether it’s done by the boob or bottle. Not everyone is able to breastfeed, both mother and sometimes baby too, every circumstance is different. I feel that sometimes we are too quick to judge before knowing the full story. Even before I was pregnant with Ruby I had made up my mind that I would breastfeed. I thought that it was something that was easy (little did I know then!). My sister breastfed and even though she had some problems with it, I was still determined to give it ago. But what really made me determined to do so was when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes while pregnant with Ruby at approximately 32 weeks. I had to attend a lifestyle class in the Coombe, where myself and some other ladies were given a talk on how to make better food choices and what foods effected blood sugars etc, as well as being shown how to check our bloods. I found the whole thing extremely daunting. But I thought that if people who actually had diabetes had to eat this way and document so many things every day of their life’s, that surely I could do the same for a few months for the health of my unborn baby.

At the end of this session another nurse came in to chat to us about breast feeding. She said that we 100% had to breastfeed, we didn’t really have a choice in the matter – I have to say, I didn’t really agree with how she approached the talk. I felt like breast feeding was being forced on me as such, and that’s after I had already made the decision to breastfeed. God knows how the other women in the room were feeling if they hadn’t made their mind up yet. We were told that breastfeeding would help to regulate babies blood sugars once born (gestational diabetes babies have to have their bloods checked twice after birth to make sure there are no problems), and that it would help them with their weight in later life, along with passing on nutrients etc on to the baby. I knew a lot of this information already. But because I had this nurse telling me all of this in a force fed sort of way, I felt that I had to breastfeed and that was it. We were told that if we couldn’t make the breastfeeding classes in the Coombe, that it would be covered in the antenatal class that we would attend. I would have loved to have attended the breastfeeding classes in the Coombe, but unfortunately they were on a Wednesday morning and with a very busy full time job I felt that I couldn’t take more time off to go, so I decided to go with whatever information I was given in the antenatal class. This was mistake number one – I should have gone to the breast feeding classes! Due to work and both myself and Andy’s availability, we decided to do a day long antenatal class, but the lady who was giving it ran out of time and never covered anything to do with breast feeding. So the first time I ‘properly’ covered anything to do with breast feeding was when the midwife put Ruby on my boob after I gave birth to her. This was at the end of a very long and tiring 18 hour labour at 3.30 in the morning, so anything she was telling me or showing me went in one ear and out the other.

breast feeding meme 4So my next attempt was about four hours later when the nurses woke me and said that I needed to feed her as they wanted to check her blood sugars. I was in a room where all but one lady was breastfeeding so for some reason I felt like I had to deliver. So I picked up Ruby and tried my best to remember what the nurse had showed me just a few hours earlier, but sure I hadn’t really a notion of what to do. Ruby was roaring so wouldn’t latch on….not that I new how to do that correctly either, I think I was just trying to put my boob in her mouth and was hoping for the best. A few minutes later I completely broke down crying. I felt like every other mother in the room was looking at me and I remember clearly thinking “they must think I’m a terrible mother because I can’t feed my child”. I was so worried too about needing to feed her as she needed to get her sugars done. So I rang the bell beside my bed and a few minutes later a health nurse came in and pulled the curtain around me and asked me what was wrong. I just broke down crying.  I explained that I was just so tired, physically and mentally from the labour and I felt so overwhelmed and that I couldn’t feed my baby. I have to say, she was really nice and tried her best to reassure me. She said that she would send one of the nurses on the ward to come and properly show me how to breastfeed in a few minutes. But, of course that never happened. So I was sitting on my bed trying to feed Ruby while waiting for a nurse who would never come. In the end I asked for a bottle of formula. I told myself that she needed to be fed regardless of how I had to do it. Breastfeeding clearing wasn’t working for me so the bottle would do until I figured it out. She hoovered the bottle – she must have been starving. But it was a few more days before I actually got to give breastfeeding a go because Ruby had to be taken up to the high dependency ward (you can read all about that story here). So I was told that I would have to start pumping so that she could get some colostrum. The idea of pumping hadn’t even crossed my mind, so I went down to the hospital shop and bought the parts for the pumping machine that I needed. I found pumping so much more easier and it turns out I had a massive amount of colostrum and when my milk came in, I had a huge supply of it.  The only problem was that there was only one machine on my ward and one on the high dependency ward so it was a carefully planned out plan of attack as to who could get to them first. Because of this, one of the nurses suggested hand pumping for the occasions where there were no machines available. Again, I had no idea how to do this. So I was randomly squeezing my boob this way and that to no effect. So I asked one of the nurses to help. She said to put boiling water on two nappies and to place one on each boob to help with the let down of milk which would make it easier. She said that she would be with me in a few minutes after that to show me how to do it. But again, the nurse didn’t return. I walked around that ward a few times to try and find her, I saw her alright but it was like she was trying to avoid me. I was so annoyed over this, it was the second time a nurse said they would help me and then just didn’t bother following up on it.  So I just kept pumping like a demon and in the end my mam bought me my own pump so that I could use it when ever I needed to.

So by the time I was allowed to try breastfeed Ruby again, I still had no clue how to do it correctly. They had started to feed her my milk via a small bottle and I just explained that I really wanted to try and breastfeed. So the nurse on Ruby’s ward said that she would ring my phone when it was time to feed her (this was during the night). So I’d hop out of bed and Run up to the ward to try and breastfeed. The nurse didn’t actually show me how to hold her or give me any assistance really. I’d barely start and she’d whip Ruby off me to bottle feed her. She just said that it wasn’t working and to go and pump instead. It was the same nurses for most of the next day too and she acted the same way at each feed. By the time the shift was changing again the following evening, I was so up set by the whole thing and I felt like such a failure. By pure luck, the nurse who was taking over was an expert in breastfeeding. I explained that I had been trying since the night before without much luck and that this was something that I really wanted to do. So she promised me that she would try her very best to get breastfeeding established for me. She was so helpful. Each time we tried for ages, she showed me the correct positions to hold Ruby and we discovered what suited both myself and Ruby best. She introduced me to a breastfeeding pillow, which was a game changer. Each time we got a little bit better at it. She totally man handled by boobs but to be honest, at this point I didn’t care. I was just so happy that someone was was actually willing to spend the time helping me. Ruby seemed to be having huge difficulty with latching on so the nurse checked for for tongue tie. It turned out that she had a severe case of it – it was so severe that it was pulling her tongue inwards in the middle and she also had a lip tie as well. So the poor child wasn’t having any luck. So morning time came and the nurse said that we were almost there. She suggested that I go to the shop and get some nipple shields to make latching on a bit easier for her – as well as Ruby’s tongue and lip ties, I had a really inverted nipple which also didn’t help matters. So I got the shields as soon as the shop opened and by lunch time we were breastfeeding. I was beyond delighted. All it took was that one nurse to take the time to help me. Before we were both discharged, I asked the doctor if I needed to get anything done with Ruby’s tongue and lip ties. He said that he didn’t think so but to get my doctor to have a look at it at her 6 week check up and to go from there.

So we were home for four days before we had to take a trip up to Crumlin Children’s Hospital with Ruby (click here to read more about that story). The breastfeeding had been going ok at home. But as soon  as I got to the hospital, I was there on the first night trying to breastfeed when they told me to start pumping again. I can’t remember what the reason was, I don’t think there was one really, they told me. In hindsight I should have said no, that I wanted to stick with beast feeding. So I started pumping again, but by the time we got home again I just couldn’t re-establish breastfeeding on my own. So I continued with pumping and told myself that she was still getting breast milk, just via a bottle instead. I lasted just under 8 weeks before my milk dried up. I tried to pump every three hours to keep my supply up but eventually at each pumping session I was producing less and less milk. In the end I was getting maybe two feeds in a day. I couldn’t keep it up. I was getting up ahead of Ruby’s scheduled feeds to try and pump what little milk I had left (the pumping and feeding schedules had become out of sync), then by the time I was finished with pumping, it was time to feed Ruby and long term I just couldn’t sustain that kind of schedule. So I decided to use up what ever breast milk I had left in the freezer and I slowly weaned Ruby onto formula milk.

breastfeeding meme 3During those eight weeks though, I noticed that while I was feeding her breast milk via a bottle, that she was having trouble even sucking/latching on to the bottle so I brought her to the doctor to take a look at her tongue and lip tie. My doctor said it was very bad and that it would most definitely affect her eating and speech when she was older. So we were advised to get the ties snipped. We brought Ruby when she was eleven weeks old to a specialist named Dr Dermot Murnane who did a fantastic job. If I had have been told how severe it was by the doctor when I actually asked him in the hospital, I would have gotten the procedure done straight away – maybe I would have had a better chance at breastfeeding Ruby. If I ever have any more babies with tongue tie, it’s something that I will definitely get done again. Also during this time, I brought Ruby to a breast feeding group in the health centre, more so to keep an eye on her weight. I spoke to the health nurses about the difficulties I was having with breast feeding and filled her in on Ruby’s story. Her answer was something along the lines of ‘well sometimes if you’re under that much pressure it can effect your supply’. That was it. There was nothing else offered regarding help with re-establishing breastfeeding – baring in mind this was still within the 8 weeks before my milk supply stopped. I got no advice on where to go or who to talk to. All she gave me was a little flyer with tips to help with breast feeding – all of which I was already doing. I just felt that there wasn’t a lot of help given or available to me for breastfeeding. I think that the nurses etc just expect that if your breastfeeding that you can just go and do it and if you happen to have any problems along the way, deal with it yourself. I found that there was very little advice available to me from the time I was in hospital right up until I could no longer breastfeed. I don’t think there are enough resources out there for women. I know there are websites etc that explain how to go about it. But I mean there is very little hands on help out there – unless you can afford to go to a lactation consultant. Of which was never mentioned to me as an option when I was in hospital. As I mentioned above, breastfeeding isn’t for everyone, whether it’s by choice or not, which is absolutely fine. You need to do what is best for mother and baby. But I think that if it’s something you decide to do, that there should be at least more help out there. Just because it’s something that is natural, doesn’t mean that it will happen naturally for mother or baby. Maybe I am wrong, but all I can draw my opinion upon is my own experience on the matter. Hopefully, if I ever give Ruby a little brother or sister, that my experience will be far better and easier than it was with Ruby. Here’s hoping.

Until the next blog.

The Irish Mammy xx

 

P.S. Here is a link to Breastfeeding.ie for anyone who is interested.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Fun Days Out

Afternoon Delight

20170408_133249

I recently went out with my mam and sister for afternoon tea at the Killashee House Hotel in Naas, Co. Kildare. It was a mothers day treat for our mam (a little bit later than expected), and myself and my sisters birthday treat to each other (our birthdays are the day after each others, and the week after mothers day). So we decided to celebrate all three occasions together. To book you can either phone or email the Bistro. I emailed and was replied to within the hour with two time choices. The two settings for afternoon tea are at 1.30 and 3.30 and lasts for two hours. I went for the 1.30 time slot.

When we arrived, we were immediately brought to our table. A beautiful spot by the window, which led into the stunning garden area. Thankfully it was a super day, so we had lots of sunshine beaming in to make a happy day even more cheerful. We had the option of ordering either the sparkling afternoon tea for €30, which included a glass of prosecco, or the traditional afternoon tea for €25, which included tea and coffee. As both myself and sister had little people to return home to, we went for the traditional afternoon tea. I know if I had even sniffed a glass of prosecco I would have been on my ear!

The food was absolutely gorgeous. I was so full afterwards that I didn’t need to eat a dinner later that evening! The set menu consisted of:

I enjoyed all of the food on offer. But I have to say, the Caramel Choux Bun and Macaroons were exceptional!! We spent a full two hours at the hotel, which is just the right length of time to spend enjoying afternoon tea. When the bill came, I got the happy surprise of not having to pay extra for the two cups of cappuccinos that I had ordered. Any where else that I have had afternoon tea at, have always charged extra if you order any kind of drink not included on the afternoon tea menu. Most places just serve black coffee, so I nearly always ask for a cappuccino instead and expect to pay extra for it. But happily in Killashee, they included it in the price as I did’t ask for a pot of coffee. In total, for the three of us it cost €75. Not a bad price for a relaxing two hours of eating and drinking!

I would definitely recommend going to Killashee hotel for their afternoon tea. It is such a nice way to catch up with and spend time with friends and family. If you would like book afternoon tea click here and click on ‘Dining’ and scroll down to ‘afternoon tea’ to follow details on how to book.

Picture taken from the gallery at http://www.killasheehotel.com

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Parenting

Keepy – Organize and Save Kids’ Artwork & Memories

1048257_651517224886880_1005599632_oI was contacted a few weeks ago by a lovely dad of two boys named Offir, who is the CEO and co-founder of Keepy. Keepy is an app for parents to save their children’s artwork, schoolwork, photos, videos and mementos. There is also an option to add voice and video narration to anything that you upload. You simply save your memories on Keepy and you’ll have a unique, interactive, family scrapbook to cherish for now, for later, and for ever.

Key Features:

_0001_2– Share your photos and videos with grandparents and loved ones.
– Safe and private, accessible based on invitation only.
– Quickly saves your family’s best photos, videos, quotes, videos, notes     and more.
– Easy commenting with text, high quality video and voice recording.
– Family “fan” invites that keep everyone in the loop.
– Easy to use cropping tools.
– Unique timeline for every family member.
– E-mail, web or phone notifications.
– Private Keepy website to view your family’s memories.
– Secure, private platform, accessible from all devices.
– Print mugs, T-shirts, greeting cards and more directly from the apps       store.
– Auto Sync with Dropbox.
– Available for: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle Fire and Web.

Screenshot_20170330-092344I downloaded the app from the Play Store on my Samsung and applied for the unlimited plan. The unlimited plan allows you to save more memories, without it you are limited to the amount of data you can upload. To go unlimited you can subscribe for €2.41 per month or €11 for the year. It will also give you 50% off products in the app store and allows unlimited keepy uploads. For €2.41 or €11, its a very reasonable price.

Personally, I think its a great app! You can easily tag and invite family members to the app so that they can all view the pictures you upload. I love how you can organise pictures by category and that you can save information like the who, what, where and when in the pictures.  The automatic notification through Facebook is great too if you’d like to share there. Even photos from years back on Facebook can be added through the Facebook ‘On This Day‘ section. There is also the Keepybot reminders in Facebook messenger. It asks if you want to save statuses, photos, etc to Keepy, which is a quick reminder to log things away regularly.

Its not just pictures you can upload either, you can take pictures or scans of your children’s art work and upload those too. Then you can go to the apps store and turn your pictures or artwork into picture mugs, photo-books, photo gifts, of which there are all kinds of options. Which would make nice gifts for mother’s or Father’s day and any other celebrations.

To learn more about this app or to download it, go to: http://www.keepy.me/

I was given the app, including the unlimited plan in return for this review.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Uncategorized

Birchbox – March Review

I have been getting the Birchbox subscription for nearly six months now. I was really impressed with them at the start, but sadly as the months have gone on I haven’t been as impressed. You get five items but they are nearly all always sample sizes. I have only ever gotten one or two full sizes (one per box). As it is an English company, there are certain items that cannot be shipped to Ireland and I sometimes feel that these items are replaced with random items. On their website you have the option to complete your beauty profile so that they can match their products to your beauty needs. I have filled this profile out but I find that the Birchbox I receive doesn’t always reflect this. This month there were only two items that I was impressed with, the rest were just Ok.

So what did I get in my March box?

1. BENEFIT – They’re real! Double the lip lipstick.

This was one of the items that I loved. I new it would be included in this months box as I recieved an email giving me the option to choose between two different shades – Lusty Rose or Pink Thrills. I choose Lusty Rose which turned out to be a gorgeous colour. This lipstick is like a lip liner and lipstick in one. It has a teardrop shaped tip, with a liner shade at the top and a long lasting lipstick at the bottom. It is a really vibrant colour and the two in one formula helps to create visibly fuller lips. I loved this. It has a lovely moisturising feel and lasts on the lips for long time. It is long lasting as advertised.

2. CAUDALIE – Vine (Activ) Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum.

This was the second item from this months beautybox that I really liked. The serum itself has a lovely texture and goes onto the skin like silk. My skin felt gorgeous after using it. It delivers anti-cell burn-out complex (whatever that is!?) which brightens dull skin and smooths fine lines. It is applied in the morning and at night before your moisturiser for some added protection.

3. BATISTE – 2-in-1 Invisible Dry Shampoo & Conditioner

This was something that I was really excited to see when I opened my beautybox. I had seen it in the shops and had been meaning to try it out. I am a big fan of Bastille products and like most girls, I have used them in the past to boost my hair a little if it is looking a bit flat. But as everyone knows, it can leave your hair feeling really dry. So when I saw that a 2-in1- product was out I thought it would be great. When using it, I applied it to my hair/roots and waited for a few minutes before massaging it through my hair. To be honest, the result was a bit of a let down. It definitely didn’t have the same result as the original dry shampoo and it didn’t even look like I had applied it to my hair. It even looked more greasy then it was in the first instance! I am not sure that I will use it again, but if anyone tires it and has a better result than I had, please let me know!

4. RITUALS – The Rutual of Sakura Foaming  Shower Gel

This is a nice product – it does what it says on the tin. A foaming gel wash that foams at contact with water. I have used many products like it. The smell is really gorgeous – Cherry blossom and organic rice milk. When using it, use a coin sized amount onto damp skin, lather up and rinse away.

5. BALANCE ME – Instant Lift Primer

This is a 99% natural blend of hyaluronic acid and acacia gum that tightens and diffuses for smoother and refined skin. I didn’t really like this, I found that it made my foundation look like it was sitting on top of my skin. The particular foundation that I used over this primer is a long wearing matte foundation, which on its own is genuinely long wearing and doesn’t look cakey on the skin. But unfortunately when used with this primer, looked heavy on my skin and went blotchy, which it normally never does. It might work better for other skin types, or even with a different type of foundation but, ultimately it’s not for me.

So, my thoughts on Birchbox’s March beautybox? It’s just ok. As I mentioned above, there were two out of the five items that I really liked and I suppose that the foaming gel wash was good too. And I liked the little bag that was in the box too. But I just felt like the items weren’t exactly in line with my beauty profile and maybe that’s because some items cannot be shipped to Ireland. But if that is the case, they should aleast include a replacement item that is going to suit you. I feel that some items are just added regardless, to make up the five items required. Maybe next months box will be better, but I am not 100% sure if I will get it next month. If you would like to try Birchbox’s beautybox’s out for yourselves, of to www.birchbox.co.uk.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin