Sure hate these Blurred Lines

Before I start, I should confess that I’m a feminist. Now, not one of those bra-burning man hating ones, just one of those normal ones who believes that men and women should be treated as equals, and who wants to strangle those who come out with “Back in the kitchen” jokes.

E is now three and a half months old. He’s become a cool little dude who smiles, seems to know who we are, and gives attitude if he can’t get his own way. I’ve written before about how he seems to connect with music that I play him, which I found pretty cool. It’s become a pretty regular thing with me and him. Most days, he’ll be down on the playmat or in his bouncer, I’ll stick on Spotify and he’ll smile up at me or grunt dependant on the song playing. Occasionally we’ll even add a bit of a boogie in there. I’m fairly sure our neighbours across the road think I’ve lost it, between my daytime dancing and the made-up songs to the tunes of nursery rhymes that regularly get belted out. Anything to stop him from crying.

He seems to have honed quite the musical taste. U2 is out, Lana del Ray is in. Bit of a penchant for Dolly Parton. And then. There’s Robin Thicke, and that ear worm of a song, Blurred Lines. Known for its misogyny, and its uproar of last year, probably not the most appropriate of songs for a 14 week old. But he loves it. It came on as part of a random playlist one day when he was in a particularly cranky mood and my child changed into this happy smiling chap. Clearly a “lad” already. It seems that there is something in the melody (because I seriously doubt he understands the underlying sexism in the lyrics) that entices him.

Now, I realise that there are indeed blurred lines as to what way I could approach this. I’m not utterly opposed to the song, despite my feminist confession above I actually did find it quite catchy and while yes agreeing that it did make the singer out to be a total creep, it did make it onto some of my playlists last Summer. That said, the lyrics aren’t exactly words I want imprinted onto my tiny boys brain. But it makes him laugh and smile, and according to Google and other friends of mine with access to tiny babies, he is NOT the only one.

So I went looking for sanitised versions of lyrics with the same melody. I’ve even written my own, though “You know you wanna sleep” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. Each time it comes on I feel like its this decades version of that scene in Friends where Ross and Rachel sing “Baby Got Back” to Emma. The only versions I’ve found online change the melody and it doesn’t have the same effect, so the poor child has to deal with me trying to think of lyrics to replace the worst of them.

Anybody else had the predicament of inappropriate content adding to their childs happiness, and any suggestions how to fix it? Answers on a post card, please.

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Reasons To Smile

I came across this linky blog post from Ojo’s World, which she is running through the month of June, and found it to be a little ray of sunshine. I got inspired to stop looking at whats going wrong on a day to day basis and take stock of everything that is going right, and everything which is making me smile.

Sleep

E slept from 8-5 this morning with only one wake up for a feed at 1, which was quick and painless. Compared to the night before which was up every hour screaming after a battle to get him to sleep in his crib, it was bliss, and I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and like the sleep I’d got may actually make a dent into the bags under my eyes (yay for a layer less of concealer needed!). Definitely a much smilier person this morning.

Sales

You have to love a midsummer sale. Especially when you’re not yet fitting into half of the pre-baby wardrobe, but the maternity clothes are hanging off you (and depressing you anyway, three months later). Due to my attitude of not being willing to spend a fortune on clothes that I’m hoping won’t fit me for very long, the sales are making additions to my wardrobe but not as much of a dent to my purse, yay. Also, there are all of the cute tiny baby clothes on sale as well. Ridiculously cute.

Sunshine

It is still Summer in Ireland, and as far as I’m aware, the Leaving Cert finished last week (now that I’ve said that, the Great Floods will descend and we’ll all have to pile onto an ark). I’ve learned my lesson from the superbad sunburn, which is now after leaving me with beautiful tan lines, have my factor 50+ on leaving the house, with E coated in the same stuff despite not a ray touching him. We’ve even gotten that bloody parasol working, since every single shop I tried was sold out of those sun covers indefinitely. Definitely a plus being able to get out and about for walks around town and surrounding areas with the buggy 🙂

Health

E got checked out this week by the Paediatrics in hospital after being referred for being a bit too small, and they’ve declared him perfectly healthy now. All ten and a half pounds of him 😀 The relief is fantastic!

Plans

This week I’ve been to a Cuidiu Mammy and Baby morning, had coffee with friends, and this morning, I am about to go sign up for a three month membership for a gym that has a creche in it for members use while working out. Getting up in the morning with actual purpose and needing to do something definitely makes a difference than waking up and having Groundhog Day, over and over again. I’m definitely someone who likes having a set out plan of things to do, a variable plan on a very variable timetable, but I like knowing I’ve something to do, people to see, somewhere to go.

iPhone

It’s back working. 24 hours in a bag of wholegrain rice, sealed in a nappy bag (A Mammy McGyver move) seems to have done the trick. So relieved!

And finally

Nespresso

My saviour. My darling. The best investment I ever made. I’ve become a convert, especially to the Vanilla capsules. Means I get to have a latte in the morning, generally when E is asleep, or on his playmat. Definitely makes nights when we’ve been up a lot a lot easier to deal with!

How about you? What makes you smile?

Ojos World

 

iPhones Don’t Swim

My poor baby iPhone is currently sheltering in a bag of rice, trying its best (hopefully) to dry out. It decided to not heed the instructions and attempted to start an Olympic Diving career today, into a toilet. Of all places. It really is one of the most icky icky things in the world, knowing that you have to go grab it super quick, even though it was clean (as clean as a toilet can be), it really is one of those things that just horrifies me.

Initially it all seemed to be okay. I wasn’t surprised, despite working in tech support and knowing that these things are not meant to go for a swim, and likely would stop working. This was my phone. It’s been bounced off floors, walls, gotten baby formula dripped on it, and survived a car accident where it hit the road. I doubted that a little bit of water would put a dent into its spirit. 

I was wrong. First it started with telling me how loud the volume for my headphones were. When the headphones were on the kitchen table, far away from me. Then decided to sporadically keep asking me if I wanted to switch it off. I rejected its cries for sleep each time. It showed me that yes I could make calls but that I don’t have the luxury of hearing the other person, and yes I can text but only so long as I can see at all times how loud my non existent headphones are. Still though. We’re survivors here. Until the damn thing turned off and refused to turn back on. 

It probably isn’t healthy how much I feel like I’ve lopped off a limb and left it soaking in a nappy bag filled with rice.  Leaving the house for a coffee with friends and the little man earlier, and leaving it behind to dwell in its new wholegrain cell felt very strange, very cut off despite going to interact with people in the flesh. You’d swear I was in great demand with the need to be in constant contact with everyone, but its just what I’m used to now, I never leave the house without it. I’ve got my sim in a different phone now until tomorrow, but what am I going to do when it comes to taking the million billion pictures of cute things Little Man does over those few hours (ok, maybe I can cut back on that). This may be good for me. Or, you know, I’ll just supplement the amount of time I’d normally be messing around on my phone, on the laptop. Oh technology, thou art a cruel mistress.

Here’s hoping she dries out and is okey dokey, I really don’t want to use my upgrade until the new one comes out…

Paradise Weekend, or That Time We Staycationed and The Sun Shone

ImageSo at 12 weeks old we deemed E old enough to go spend some bonding time with his grandparents in Wexford without us. They raised three kids and got them all through secondary school, as of last week, so it felt okay trusting them with a baby who stays put when you put him down and generally quietens his screams if given a bottle. All grandparents have offered the break, so we jumped at the chance and off we went to Kerry, a long promised trip that we’d kinda put on the long finger when we were busy being pregnant and sleep deprived. 

So Friday, E got into the car with grandad and his uncles, roaring, inciting all of the mammy guilt (supposedly fell asleep leaving the car park but that didn’t appease my mind), I ran into town to do some last minute shopping, even into shops with no lift (shock!). New flip flops and some Penneys bargains later, and with himself getting out of work on time, off we headed on the train to Killarney. 

The first night wasn’t fantastic by hotel standards, it seemed that the one we’d chosen had decided they were going to be a rip off and laugh at us for pointing it out. However we got our glad rags on, went out for drinks and pizza, and they provided a bed to sleep in. Enough said. 

Saturday we entered Paradise. We went straight from checkout of Hotel 1 to the Lake Hotel, where we were brought to a gorgeous ground floor room looking over the Killarney Lakes, with a patio leading out to them. Said room also contained a jacuzzi bath, which had magical healing powers for over tiredness and stress. After a suitable amount of mooning over how amazing the place was, and how beautiful, we decided to make the most of this incredible weather we’re experiencing on a stay cation, and rented bikes from a place across the road from the hotel, to cycle around the Killarney National Park. Knowing I’d not cycled properly in about two and a half years, the first five minutes was like watching Bambi learn to walk – including a rather mortified need to move to the smaller bike because the adult ladies bike I’d been handed may as well have been a Penny Farthing… After we got into the swing of it though, it was bliss. I’d sheer forgotten the joy of cycling along, wind against me, the feeling of freedom and fresh air and just being at one with the world and all that. That joy continued for what the Moves app advised us was 20k, incorporating the gorgeous views of Torc Waterfall, Muckross House, and over those stunning lakes. Needless to say, I’m sore today, but oh it was so worth it. 

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The day continued as amazing as that, dinner on our patio with wine (yay for first proper drinking in nearly a year!), and just general relaxing. No worrying about whether E would wake up and cry, or having to fix bottles – there was even uninterrupted sleep! Woke up this morning only mildly feeling the wine from last night, to find a deer sitting in direct view of our patio, just staring ahead peacefully.Image

I felt a little sad coming back to Cork today after such blissful few days. Worried that back into the grind of things that knot in my shoulders of worry and panic would make its way back in straight away. But E seems happy and contented after his little holiday away from us and gave some massive smiles this evening, so I’m happy to be back. That said, I’ll definitely be back to Killarney and that hotel in particular, for a return to Paradise on a temporary basis. 

 

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Mid Life Crisis

This seems to be a bit of a rambley piece but its weighing on my mind a lot lately.

It seems a bit redundant to have a mid life crisis at the grand old age of 22. I could potentially go ahead and decide that its a quarter life crisis, thus giving me an extra 44 years to play with in the hopes of getting it somewhat right, but for dramatic effect (my ex-drama student self loving it, of course), we’ll stick with mid life crisis. 

I’m half way through my maternity leave, my baby is 12 weeks old and I’ve started looking into going back to work. Started looking into who will be minding my baby while I deal with the day to day things my job offers me (and I’ve even heard legend of uninterrupted cups of coffee! With a biscuit!). I never doubted that I would be going back to work after having him, it wasn’t something that entered my head while pregnant, that I’d become a stay at home mammy. My own mother did it after having my youngest brother for three years, so I do have memories of having Mammy at home from the age of five to eight or so. But it isn’t something that appealed to me. Having taken a basically extended maternity leave as it is, having been signed off work from 22 weeks, by the time I was en route to the labour ward I was chomping at the bit to get back to work. And facing into six months off, to get to know the tiny tyrant and to recover from his creation process. Not exactly the mixture I was hoping for. This makes me sound like a work-crazy fiend, I’m not, I just don’t deal very well with staring at the walls of the house all day. My job is something I’m good at, not something I wish to do for the rest of my days, but for the most part is something I enjoy. 

I fear the Mammy hormones, and the money matters, have kicked in, and made me doubt everything. I like to have well laid out plans (not that they get stuck to) to work with, a framework to bounce off of in my day to day life. It is for this reason that in final year of college I decided to become an accountant, and scored an interview with the partners of one of the “Big Four” finance companies. They were offering me a five year plan and I was jumping at it, despite the fact that I abhorred accounting, had stopped doing it after Junior Cert and still am bitter about it being the one test I failed in school barring Higher Level Maths (damn you Profit and Loss account). None of this seemed to matter to me, as long as they gave me my lovely five year plan and it was all set out. Jesus, what was I thinking. I did of course receive the rather lovely PFO letter from them once they realised how not made out for a career in auditing I was in interview, and for that, I am truly thankful. However, this did leave me without a five year plan, and I ambled on anyway and wound up to where I am today, working in the same job for the last year and a half in something that wasn’t my field of study in college. This all seemed fine and dandy until I’ve had time off to think, and now have to assess what my next move is, and honestly, what my next five year plan is aiming towards. It’s now not all about me anymore, I don’t have the freedoms of being able to up and leave a job and hope for the best. I’ve got rent and bills to pay, nappies and formula to buy, and to fund all of this while still making sure that I am the one E is calling “Mama”, not a childminder. It’s giving me a serious case of the Mammy Guilts and I’ve not even left the room he’s in yet. If I’m leaving him I want it to be for something that I love, or at least, will want to leave the house to do it in the morning. Unfortunately it seems that my degree isn’t much use for me there, unless I go back and top it up. I’m eligible for graduate schemes, much like my lovely five year plan for becoming an accountant, but given the feedback from others who have pursued them, it is unlikely that I will be able to devote the long hours and dedication to the role in order to succeed when he is this young, without complete neglect of the Mammy duties. 

And so I am faced with a crisis, which would likely be solved by a lovely lotto win or a rich benefactor deciding to make me their pet project. Understandably, this is a crisis which I’m likely better off having at 22 than 44, because I’m still at the very very start of my career. That opinion piece by Kirstie Allsopp two weeks ago, about how we should be having our babies younger and then going back for the career got me thinking. Yes, it is fantastic that when my baby goes to school in four/five years time I will still be in my late twenties and able to start picking up on proper career work, and that by the time I turn 40, he will hopefully be heading off to college. However, I don’t think she’s being realistic about how much more of a struggle it is to get established while balancing everything else with your career. My mam was an absolute hero and went back to study when my littlest brother started school (he’s just finished his Leaving Cert today), and for years worked and studied by night as well as minding us, her three kids under the age of 10. Until I went through university myself, I never realised how much of a struggle it must have been to be that dedicated to studying while everything else was going on at the same time. It was done with a lot of support from family members, but still, the dedication required is something I’m not sure Kirstie takes into account in her piece. Last time I checked, “My three year old was up all night crying so its not completed” doesn’t get you bonus marks in any college essay. 

I need to decide what to do with my life all over again. With everything else balanced in. Wish me luck…

Summer Days!

Summer has finally hit Cork. This is noted by the lobster shade my shoulders and chest have taken on, thanks to my great thinking of leaving the suncream in the wrong bag. Not advisable, especially when you have a tiny tyrant who likes to attack with his tiny claws!

But yesterday was beautiful. One of those gorgeous blue sky days. Everything was good – we had even gotten some sleep! And so off to the park we trekked. Fitzgerald Park was recently reopened after being done up, with the addition of the Sky Garden in there. They’ve done a nice job of it, even if the main piece didn’t strike me as particularly wonderful, but maybe I just didn’t get it. 

Theres a gorgeous seating area overlooking the river that is covered over, which proved perfect for feeding little man, though the school group of ten year olds stampeding onto it did disturb a little bit. They were everywhere! Since it was such a gorgeous day, it seemed that the whole world had the same idea of grabbing their lunch at the Natural Food Bakery cafe in the park, and eating it outside – the queue was a mile long, which is great to see for a newly set up branch. We didn’t get to stay for lunch as E became rather fussy and it was easier to just keep heading on back towards town. From there we searched for something which would take the place of the stupid parasol which was not doing the job I bought it to do at all. Again it seems I was late to that party as everywhere seemed to be out of suitable covers for our travel system, but after seeing my distress on twitter, the lovely  Bumbles of Rice recommended the ShadeaBabe cover, so I think a trip to Mahon Point to Mothercare is in order. (And a sneaky trip to Starbucks while out there, oh the novelty). 

 

Long may this weather last (though I’ll be better about the suncream next time, I promise!).Image

Holidays to Wexford

We’re off to Nanny and Grandad’s for the week to be looked after, and to get a bit more variety on our wander around the city. Up to rural Wexford, where you can actually see the stars at night, and for some reason, the child sleeps… Latest discovery is glycerine and aniseed for the dummy. He loves it. Keeps the dummy in his mouth, keeps him calm and he sleeps. Between that and the swaddle blanket, he settles himself in the Moses basket. This hopefully isn’t a Wexford exclusive.Image

Went for a walk along the beach in Duncannon today – absolutely stunning weather, but little man isn’t too much of a fan of the breeze, so we didn’t stay long. Still though, makes a difference from the pouring rain restricting us to shopping centres…