Friday, 30 January 2015

January Favourites

THE WORST MONTH of the year is finally drawing to a close.  Payday beckons, treats can be bought, drinks can be drank and if New Year’s Resolutions were kicked to the kerb, so what?  January is no time to be making unrealistic promises to yourself anyway.  However, I am pleasantly surprised at how I am enjoying virtual smoking.  At this rate I might be able to treat myself to something nice at the end of the year.

In the meantime here are some of the yummy things I encountered during the month of January.

The Beauty Favourites: The Sanctuary & Soap and Glory Ranges.

Every Christmas my mother gives me a hamper containing toiletries, chocolate, perfume, a surprise or two and this year she included some Sanctuary products and a couple from Soap and Glory. 

The 5 Day Creamy Moisture Body Oil is amazing stuff.  It dispenses like a regular cream but once applied and rubbed in it changes into a light oil that is easily absorbed.  It smells gorgeous and the scent lingers all day.

Soap and Glory are an acclaimed beauty brand using clever names for their products. I am still trying to get my hands on their Show Good face primer and foundation combination.  

For the moment I have to content myself with a gorgeous little exfoliating luxury called Flake Away.  None of your sand like particles to irritate skin or eyes (ouch!) think castor sugar in a shea butter to slough away rough skin.  Follow up with a nice application of The Righteous Butter and you will never look back.


The Food & Drink Favourites: 

Walnut Whips: Is there anything nicer?  I love these.  Unfortunately I am back to buying individual ones as Christmas is over and Lidl don’t have the bumper packs anymore.  Actually wait.  I don’t even have a Lidl anymore.  Our local store has been razed to the ground to make way for a newer and improved one.  It’s their ten year policy apparently.    I miss it so much.    

G&T’s.  Pleasure with a slice and some ice.   My Christmas treat to myself is to buy a bottle of gin and some tonic water.   I swear there were evenings when I wanted to pour one at 5pm. 

The Health Favourites:   Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera 100% Gel:

This is a little gem of a product.  We used it last summer for a beach sunburn.  It’s lived in the fridge ever since.  Until this month.  Smallest Boy likes to help me make popcorn of an afternoon and the inevitable happened; he got a little too close to the saucepan and his thumb ended up with a blister.  After the novelty of dunking it in iced water wore off I broke out the Aloe Vera.  It meant blobbing a tiny bit onto his thumb every 30 seconds for almost ten minutes but it worked. It is a lovely, cool, non-sticky gel suitable for all the family.        

The Book Favourites:   The Hunger Games Trilogy. 

 I doubt this one needs an introduction.  The second reading was almost as good as the first.  Imaging winning the lottery where you kill or be killed.  A tale about politics, choices and war.  With kids as the pawns.

The Feel Good Factor:  Shopping by myself:

 I suspected things were coming full circle for a while now and one Saturday, I got to get the groceries by myself.  Call me weird but I actually like doing the shopping.  And I really like doing it alone when I can concentrate and stick to my list.  It also means I get it done twice as fast.  I spend way too much time pulling the boys off each other and the toilet roll displays.  And when I’m not doing that I am begging two of them at any one time to get up off the floor.    

Goodbye January and hello to the snowdrops in my front garden, the yellow gorse dotting the hedge down the road.

Monday, 26 January 2015

7 Random Facts About Our Dog

HER NAME IS Juno.  She will be three in the summer.  

I broke some of my rules for Mister Husband (No smokers, no facial hair and no-one younger than me) I broke all of my animal ones for our Juno girl.  “We are never, ever getting a dog.”  “We already have four kids.  I do not want another one.” “Yes, I had a dog growing up.  Yes, I loved him.  But I’m an adult now.  Dogs are stinky.  Adults don’t have dogs.” “We are not getting one.” “Let’s get a goldfish.  One of those ones out of the Christmas crackers.”

Then a stray wandered into our garden.  The boys fell in love.  Two days later the owners claimed him.  The boys were devastated.

We got a dog.  We got Juno.  She is a lab collie cross, a big eegit, a jumper upper, a food stealer and the most affectionate thing you will ever meet.  Even when it appears you are about to be devoured/bowled over by the hulking black wall of muscle that is coming at you like a steam train, all she wants is to give you a lick.  If she really really likes you she will hump your leg.  You should take this as a compliment.

Here follows 7 random facts about our Juno girl.

One time when she was feeling under the weather, she came upstairs looking for me.  She decided to stop off in a bedroom where she climbed onto the bed, puked on it and then shat on it.  There was a boy sleeping in it at the time.   Under her mess.   I woke to find her on the floor beside me.  Then I found all of the other vom and all of the other poo all over all of the carpet on the landing. 

I believe she can tell the time.  Every day she would come to me at 4.55 and rest her chin on my thigh.  If I ignored her she would put a little more pressure on my leg until I finally got up and collected the boy who was in Montessori at the time.

She understands: treat. Do you want your breakfast/tea?  Run.  Walk.  Sit.  Pop down.  Up onto your seat. Come in.  Go out.  Go downstairs.  I’m cross with you!

In the evenings when the boys are in bed, she curls up on the couch.  At the sound of the fridge door being opened and a bottle of beer making that soft hiss as the lid is popped, she swaps seats because she knows someone else wants to sit on the couch.

When she was neutered I felt The Guilt.  And then The Worry when she came home.  She was so unsteady, terrified and out of it I honestly thought they had given us the wrong dog by mistake.      

You know when your kids make you feel like the most out of control parent ever?  I have a dog who does that.  She hears cyclists before they appear.  Thank god she gives the game away on herself so I can shorten her lead and step in.  Otherwise she’d most likely be up on the crossbar with them!

She can open the back door to let herself into the house.  Lately she waits for permission.  Sometimes I’m mean and I make her wait a few minutes before I open the door fully and ask her, “Well?  Are you coming in or what?”  We’re working on getting her to shut it after her.

Did you know dogs can give great hugs?  Yes, they can.

They also love a good joke. 

"Didya geddit?"

Even if the joke is on us!

Friday, 23 January 2015

A(nother) Week in Dinners with Bumbles of Rice

I HAVE A kitchen because it came with my house.  

And also because I haven’t won the euro millions lottery yet and can’t afford for someone to do it for me.

Look, I just don’t enjoy it ok?  I do it because I have to.  However, I do like to try out new recipes every now and again.  But once I make them a couple of times, both my curiousity and palette are satisfied and I rarely go back to them.

So during a week that was perilously close to Christmas past and too far away from pay day I knew feeding my lot was going to prove interesting.

Taking into account the freezer was full of meat; pork, chicken, lamb and beef plus bread so all I needed to stock up on was fruit and veg and lunch box supplies.  So it wasn’t too bad really.

Except one of our boys is on a detox of sorts at the moment for an allergy and lamb is on the list.  He is also not too fond of beef.  Anyone up for chicken every day this week?

No.  Didn’t think so.

His lunch box was also proving to be a worry.  The usual sandwich was out as was his couple of Rich Tea biscuits (Barley ingredient).  But I got some BFree bread in my local supermarket and found some (bloody expensive) plain biscuits so the lunch box issue was sorted.  He also received a hearty breakfast each morning before school so another thing covered.  Tackling dinners was my next challenge.    

I had already decided I was going to cook something I wanted for a change.  And this was going to be a sweet and sour pork recipe by Elizabeth on Life on Hushabye Farm.  I knew at least two of the kids would complain but I had already started the Bad Mammy moment and I wasn’t to be stopped.  This dish is gorgeous and can be made in half an hour.  I cheat a little and use a can of pineapple chunks instead of the fresh variety.  I served it with rice and was very pleased with myself.

Tuesday isn’t the best day for a dinner in our house.  I go to my breastfeeding group in the morning so we always make do with Flung Together Vittles on Tuesday.  Recently Oldest Boy has discovered toasted ham and cheese sandwiches.  I have been known to plug in the sandwich maker twice a day to satisfy his current addiction.  One of them doesn’t like cheese so I have to make a plain one for him.  We can get through a sliced pan and open another in one day sometimes.  I asked santy for a cow for Christmas but I think I am going to have to add a pig to next year’s wish list if they continue to eat ham at the going rate.

It had to be roast chicken, didn’t it?  One of my favourite dinners though.  My boys love their gravy and chicken provides the perfect base for that.  It also meant I would have a few slices left over to include in the lunch box the next day.  I always do potatoes, carrots and parsnip, peas and cauliflower if I have it with this meal.  And the obligatory gravy.  I discovered a few rogue Yorkshire puddings rattling around in the freezer as well.  Happy campers all round on Wednesday.

Spag bol day.  Another opportunity for some of the boys to hurl insults at my cooking but this is my cheats dinner and the fact that they aren’t wild about it means there is always some left over for the freezer.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy: fry off some onions and garlic.  Add minced beef.  Then your jar of choice.  Yes, a jar.  A good one.  Don’t ask me which.  I alternate.  And a bit pot of spaghetti or penne.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 

I know of a few people who have Fast Food Friday.  Ours consists of chicken nuggets and oven chips.  Every. Time.  Smallest Boy like me to crank open a tin of those spaghetti hoop things.

I promised the boys we would go out for pizza before they went back to school after the Christmas holidays.  This would also double up as a little celebration for the happy birthday boy.  They love this treat.  I wolfed down cannelloni filled with ricotta and spinach.  The boys enjoyed pepperoni pizza, Hawaiian pizza and finished up with ice-cream.

We go to Wonderful Nana’s once a month for our Sunday dinner and this day we enjoyed a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings. There may or may not have been a glass or two of wine as well.  The boys drank juice.  Of course.  Strawberry Pavlova, sherry trifle followed that with tea and coffee.  I suppose you could say we had the dining out experience twice in one weekend!

P.S.  I was supposed to add photos with each meal but usually with my cooking, it tastes a lot better than it looks so I didn’t want to distress you with the photography.   Here’s one of Smallest Boy messing about with a napkin at our pizza family dinner instead. 

Thanks to the lovely Sinead from Bumbles of Rice who is inviting people to join in with their own A Week in Dinners  menu.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

A Day Off
SOMETIMES IT’S easier to give in.  Sometimes it lessens the pressure. Sometimes it’s perfectly acceptable.

Life is busy.  Life is fast.  I feel like I am a human hamster on a wheel sometimes.  I detest how my life appears to be sucked into a vortex otherwise known as the school runs.  I hate that it feels like Groundhog Day all the time.

“Come on, lads.  It’s half seven (am) time to get up for school.”
“Come on, lads.  It’s half seven (pm) time to get ready for bed.”
“Come on, lads. It’s nearly eight o’clock (pm).  Time to brush teeth.”
“Come on, lads.  It’s a quarter past eight.  Time to get in the car for school.”

Over and over again.  Every day.  Every week.

It’s crazy.

If I feel like that I know everyone else must too.  Routine is good.  I like routine but sometimes it’s just boring and life sucking.

We had a lovely Christmas.  It was a quiet one with bursts of energy.  On the 13th December 2014 one of our boys suffered what they called “a complete reaction” to something.  He has since been tested and advised to avoid all of the nuts and all of the fish with a serious reduction where other foodstuffs and household items are concerned.

It was a tough experience for him.  There was the physical reaction followed by lots of drugs and needles.  Then a nasty cough got worse so an anti-biotic was introduced.  Shortly after that there were hearing tests on a Saturday afternoon in Dublin. 

Life is busy.  Life is fast.  Life can be confusing and frightening.  Particularly for a seven year old who is nowhere near making sense of it all.

So when there was a sensitive moment at the school gate this week that proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back with tears and a request to go home/refusal to go to school, I stopped, listened and assessed.

My immediate reaction feeling I didn’t have the energy to deal with *this* and then it occurred to me that if I, as an adult, his parent, didn’t want to deal with it at 8.45am, how on earth could I expect a tired and washed out seven year old to.

So I said, ok, get in the car.  We can go home.

It made me thankful again that I am not in a position where I have to rush off to work following the school run.  To do so would naturally have left me with no choice other than to frogmarch him into school because for him to stay at home would mean the same for me.  

Sometimes the load becomes too heavy and our bodies send us a little sign to stop, take a moment and recharge.

There is a lot of emphasis on being mindful lately and I think it can be easy to forget that sometimes our kids need us to be mindful for them.

And if that means taking a day off school to recharge some batteries, then so be it.   

Todays blog post is brought to you via Aisling of BabySteps who has provided us all with a timely reminder for January to just, stop, step back and breathe.

Monday, 19 January 2015

My UTI Experience (Not What You Think)

pic credit:
I’VE GOT a UTI.  And not the one you think either.  I’ve had one or two Urinary Tract Infections in my time but this UTI needs to stop! 

You know that “best text bloopers” where the Mammy tells her son WTF when he passed his exams and he gets all upset?  She thought she was telling him Well That’s Fantastic but of course, in RL (Real Life) she was saying What The Fcuk.

Well I went and got me a UTI. 

Under The Influence.

And I tend to go shopping with my new BFF the UTI.

(No.  I don’t mean Big Fat Fucker.  I mean Best Friend Forever!)


(Sorry.  I’ll stop now)

It’s not all bad.  I’m not out of control or anything but lately I have a little tendency to do the shopping thing on line with a glass of wine in my hand. Because, you know, see below.

I don’t go clothes shopping because most times regular clothes in regular shops look fantastic on the hanger. 

Well, I ain’t the hanger so they all go back out onto the shop floor and I end up buying stuff like nail varnishes instead.  Oh and a 75th eye shadow to add to my collection.

I like make-up.  I turn into a magpie when I am around it.   I. Want. It. All.

So when I spotted a sale on a makeup website I had been meaning to check out, I filled my glass and got comfortable.

I had great fun!  I spent just over €20 (incl P&P) and got loads of stuff.  That should have been my first clue.

Purdy make muck

Last autumn I did something similar on another make-up site.  I will name this one because they are excellent.  I highly recommend Zoeva and their products.  I treated myself to a lovely nude eye shadow palette and some of their rather marvellous make-up brushes.  I may have spent €30 on these.  Eaten bread is soon forgotten.  Spending money on line is a little bit like that too.

Anyway, post and packaging with Zoeva costs €7.50 regardless of your order and they arrived in three days.    

they feel like angels tickling your face!
Sigh.  Just sigh.

Lovely lovely things. 

I liked that UTI experience.

This recent one however, not so much.  The eye shadows are lovely.  I’ll give them that.  And the lip colours in the palette but everything else would go straight into my daughters dress up bag.

If I had a daughter.

And if I didn’t mind looking like my imaginary daughter after she got her hands on mammy’s make-up bag, then fell against the door on her way out.

Do you remember the free lipsticks we used to get sellotaped to the front of those teenage magazines?


This is what arrived in the post today.

Doesn't do exactly as it says on the tin!

Trés disappointed.

The only consolation is they cost me practically nothing.   

P.S.  For someone who will show you how to apply makeup properly, check out Sharon the Makeup Artist on YouTube.  (I think I love her!)   Better than a side of Pringles with a glass of wine on Friday nights!

pic credit:  sharon the makeup artist

Friday, 16 January 2015

Snow Hater

Some fond snow memories as a child

Waking up in a strange bright room.  The stillness makes me suspicious.  Dare I hope?  The only thing that muffles sound like that is…………………………….snow!

Fields and fields of whiteness.  Like someone went mental with a huge bag of icing sugar overnight and it’s out there, waiting for my mark. 

The best news is yet to come.  The pipes burst in the school.  It’s flooded so closed for the foreseeable future.

Levels of joy double up and I am not able for it.  I think I’m about to cry with happiness.

That first crunch as my foot sullies the virgin snow.  And another one, followed by another and suddenly I’m running, screaming through the whiteness, marvelling at the quiet of it all. 

 My breath streams out in front of me in a long white plume.

A lump of lino folded over and a skipping rope threaded through to fashion a sled of sorts.  My sister sitting on it being dragged down a road that is better than any ice rink.  We stop dead, let go the rope and the piece of lino slides several metres down the road in front of us.  It’s a good thing her arse is freezing or she’d feel every stone in the tarmac. The best fun.  Ever.

Burning hands.  Frozen solid yet curiously feeling as if they are on fire.  The sting!  The only thing worse is the thaw.  Tears are shed as feeling slowly and agonisingly returns.

Gloves have dried and this time plastic bags are employed as a waterproof measure.  The torture of purple blue frozen hands is forgotten and I’m off outside again to build a snowman.  A tiny ball of snow is rolled along the ground until it is deemed big enough for a belly.  The same actions make a head but I discover it is too heavy to lift off the ground.  
Have to start again.  Pushing carrots and stones into frozen, impacted snow is no mean feat.

Warming bowls of stew and soup with crusty bread when we go inside.  Frozen solid for the second time that day.

Snowball fights.  Running through blizzards, catching snowflakes on my tongue.  Writing rude words in the fresh snow in the field next door.

There are no dry gloves and footwear left so I am confined to inside for the rest of the day.

Never mind.  The school is still flooded so I can do it all again tomorrow.

Some not so fond snow memories as an adult

Driving home with snow teeming out of the sky so thick and fast I can’t see the road.  But I can see the car in front of me sliding into the kerb and fuck, looks like I’m playing copycat.

Cold.  Cold.  Cold.  Paying for extra oil to keep us all warm.

Being housebound because the car has literally frozen to the ground.

Finally the thaw has started but the car won’t.

Experiencing extreme alarm and panic at the sight of smoke pouring out of the passenger side of the car.  As I’m driving.  Discovering the radiator has burst and the car is, as they say, fucked.  End up in the ditch on the side of the road.  

Being pregnant and housebound because the car has literally frozen to the ground.

Spending twenty five minutes putting hats, scarves and gloves onto excited kids.  I’m delighted for them, I am really.  Off they go and I set the timer on the cooker.  The first one comes in bawling after less than five minutes complaining of freezing hands.  My timer didn’t even go off.

I used to think you were an adult when you had kids and a mortgage.  I was wrong.  It’s when you look out your window, see a foot of snow and go “oh, crap!”

At least it’s all gone now. 

I wasn’t always a hater.  I did enjoy it once.  A long time ago.  I think time and life has made me cynical and jaded.  But at least I can admit it now.  I have no fear.  Just conviction.   I’m a snow hater and I’m proud.    


Monday, 12 January 2015

Shopping. Not all It's Cracked Up To Be

getty images
THIS IS a story about the time I went shopping for boots.  I had a wodge (is that a word?) of birthday money begging to be spent and footwear at home that let in the wet and kept out the heat.  Standing at the school gate is a cold business and you take your health into your hands if you’ve got inadequate shoes and coats.

This year I was determined not to spend my hard earned birthday cash on running gear that I liked the look of but was a size too small.  This year I was going to be sensible. 

But not in a mammy kind of way.

I wanted boots for the school run, to go with my everyday mammy uniform, but with a bit of pizazz attached.  Those ones.    

And off I went.

Now, you know the way every town has a shop (don’t they?) you avoid going into for various reasons.  You’re the only one in there and feel like you’re seven foot tall, taking up most of the space and they’re watching you waiting for you to buy something.  Or worse, acting like you’re a hard faced shop lifter.  In order to prove this is not the case, you feel guilted into buying something. But not before you end up having the obligatory Dougal from Fr. Ted type conversation.

Against my better judgement I found myself in this very shop over Christmas. 

Shop Owner: “Not too bad out there now.”  *Walking around with his hands behind his back, kicking dust balls along the carpet.

Me:  “No.  It’s grand.  Cold. But the cold is good.”  *Already regretting coming in.  Should have stayed looking in the window!  Should have stayed looking in the window!*

Shop Owner:  “Christmas was quiet this year.”  *Adjusts a pair of shoes and looks at me sideways.” 

Me:  “Yes. Yes it was. But quiet is good.  Quiet is good. *Where’s the fucking door?  Shite, he’s standing at it.  I’m trapped!*

Shop Owner:  “Indeed and it is.  Can I help you with anything there at all? Do you know your size?”  *Tapping a shoe off the palm of his hand.*

Me:  “Ah, no.  I’m just looking.” *And trying desperately to get out of there without breaking into a run*

And then it happens. Because he’s looking at me.  Waiting for me to buy something.  The fact that he’s still in the doorway with his arms outstretched and holding onto the frame hammers home the fact I am not going to get out of there without buying something. 

In a moment of desperation and guilt I blurt out, “Boots.  I’m looking for boots.”

Shop Owner:  “Boots you say.  What about these?  These are a grand pair.”

Me:  “Ah…………. no.  Brown.  I like brown boots.”

Shop Owner:  “Well, why didn’t you say so?  These have been flying out.”

Me: “………………………………………………” *If they’re a fiver I’ll buy them just to get out of there.*

Shop Owner:  “Well?  What do you think?”

I think I am caught in a twilight zone and I will never see my kids again.  But I won’t cry.  I won’t cry. 

Shop Owner:  “I’ll ring them up for you, will I?  You’ll get great wear out of them.  You won’t be sorry.”

But I already am.  We stand there looking at each other.  I am the first to break eye contact.

Me:  “Okay.”  *whispers* “Thank you.”

Moral of the story.  Don’t ever go shopping by yourself.  Bring your kids.  Bring all of them.  They are a great excuse to make a quick getaway. 

I might have taken great artistic license with this story but a version of it did take place over Christmas.  I was indeed beginning to fear I would not get out of the shop without making a purchase but then a beautiful sound.  My kids could be heard haring up the street shrieking and roaring and before I could say “I have a verruca, I can’t try them on” they burst into the shop.  In the end, after many many pairs of boots were foisted upon me, a grand pair was indeed located.  And these are they.  Warm, water proof and not a hoof in sight.


Friday, 9 January 2015

XBox Wars

AND SO it’s happened.  The dreaded Xbox is in the house.  Someone left the door open; a big, jolly, slightly inebriated man dressed in red gained easy access to our house on Christmas Eve and left it in the playroom.

The big jolly fucker!

Yes the Xbox.  Do not ask me which one it is.  It is a black box that sits beside the telly and has several hand held control things.  The amount of games that were deposited alongside it, is crazy.

Okay there were only about four but as we celebrate a birthday in the New Year, birthday money got spent.

And it wasn’t on books and boxes of Lego like I wanted.  Oh no.  More Xbox games.  Of the Minecraft genre.

Because it was the festive season we let them have unlimited access to the damn thing.  Kind of hoping that they would self-regulate their gaming time.


We have one heavily addicted boy, another who can give or take and a third who demands help for all of the killing that must take place.

I hate it already!  There have been Donedeal threats and another where it was going up into a bedroom if they couldn’t learn to share the love. This one backfired on me because straight away they thought there was going to be a second television brought into the house.

I believe my exact words were: “Don’t mind your mother.  I was talking shite.  I will put that thing in the middle of the field next door sooner than allow it into a bedroom!”  *minus the word shite*

The Lord of the Rings has been a big favourite in the house recently.  You know the scene where the horrible little bony grey guy crawls around and hisses “my precioussssssssssssss,” when he gets his slimy mitts on The Ring?

Well, it appears I have an Xbox Gollum in the house.

Mister Husband reckons he’s going to take over the world such is his ability to manipulate, divide and conquer and plain old get what he wants.

Which is his preciousssssssssssssss Xbox.

I reckon he is going to get his head boxed in when the others figure out his tactics!


Monday, 5 January 2015

A Little Back Pedal

I HAVE a dormant blog post somewhere called My Most Useless Baby Purchases and this buggy featured heavily on it. 

As of today I take it back.  I take it all back.

We bought it several years ago because we had a voucher for the shop in question.  The first thing that pissed me off was even though it was their cheapest buggy, we still had to fork out 100/150 on top of our voucher.

Then we took it home and discovered a number of things about it.  The wheels were………………….weird.  They just were.  They had a mind of their own for one thing and they refused to go through most shop doors without first trying to take it off the hinges.  It was most annoying. 

It also hated all the aisles in all of the shops.  The wheels again.  They kept catching on things and knocking stuff over.  It was like a trolley on wham bars!

But my biggest gripe and the most dangerous thing about it was the fucker liked to topple backwards.  With a child in it. 

When the two older boys were younger they napped in a buggy downstairs.  It was the perfect arrangement for us all.  They would pan out for two hours; one boy on the couch the other in the buggy.  Until the boy in the buggy stretched after his nap and upended himself on the floor.

I thought it was a once off.  The second time it happened, I refused to use it. 

It has been redundant for about four years now but this morning I took it out again and eyed it up and down.

Maybe just maybe it would behave itself on the road.  With a child in it and a dog on a lead.

I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before.  In fact, I credit all buggy brainwaves to my sister who put the question to me over Christmas during one of my rants about not being able to get out for a run, “why don’t you put Brendan in a buggy and just go for a walk with the dog.”

Those weren’t Christmas bells chiming, it was realisation dawning.

Why don’t I just? 

Smallest Boy asked Juno if she wanted to go for a walk and once she heard “walk” I was going whether I liked it or not.

I did like and it was wonderful.

Over the Christmas break I got out each and every day for a walk or a run and I loved it.  All the cobwebs blown away before 10am (on a good morning) and I pined Sunday night over having to wait till the weekends to get out again.

I’m lazy too and if I take one day off, I’ll take the next day.  Which makes it easier for me to skip the third day.  So I have to keep going.

And now I will be able to!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Happy You're Near Resolutions

DO you make resolutions in the New Year?  Go on, be honest.  Even a tiny one?  I think we all do really.  I caught myself walking around the last few days shouting out random stuff like; “New Year’s Resolution:  never leave a room without taking something with you!”  and “New Year’s Resolution:  tidy up after yourselves,” and “New Year’s Resolution:  flush the toilet when you’re done!  Is anyone listening to me?”

Turns out I’m pretty darn good at making up NYR’s for everyone else. 

I used to make them every year and I always failed miserably.  I’m not sure if I aimed too high in the first place or I was just completely ill equipped to carry them out but I was never successful.

For example there was the year I was going to write a book and get it published.  I had it all worked out. Fame and fortune were going to be mine for the taking and the enjoying.  I dug out my typewriter, bought a realm of paper and sat down.  I had neither storyline nor any idea where to start.  That dream fizzled out as quickly as it appeared.  Did I mention I was about ten and my typewriter was one of my all-time favourite santy presents? 

Then there was the time I was going to learn how to play the piano.  We didn’t have a piano.  But I managed to persuade someone in school to teach me “chopsticks” and I was thrilled with myself.  Unfortunately everyone else had to put up with my rendition for the next twenty years.

But there are one or two that I am going to try in 2015.  Nothing too big really because we all know NYR’s are made to be broken but also if I put myself under too much pressure, I just feel really defeated if I fail.   

Keep on running.  Or maybe walking at least.  Over Christmas I finally got back out on the road after a rather long break that stopped bothering me after the second month.  Because I simply realised there is no point beating myself up over something that is out of my control; namely the winter darkness.  I cannot run in the dark nor will I as it is not safe.  I decided I would *try* and get out at the weekends but shopping and birthday parties and work and errands and all sorts of stuff knocked that on the head.  So I strapped up and got out over the Christmas break and was delighted to find I can still do it.  I took it very very slowly and did not increase my pace but I did it.  And after that I found the long break didn’t bother me so much.  In fact I got out every single day with the dog and I mostly walked my circuit each time but the point is, I did it!  

Breathe more.  This one sounds odd but what I mean is every time I find myself turning into crazy psycho mammy because of timetables and school runs and pressure and kids, I am going to take a step back, either physically or mentally and breathe.  Nothing can be gained from losing your reason.  I have long since learned we will still reach our destination and the shopping will get done regardless.  Having a hissy fit and stressing everyone else out into the bargain only serves to generate a lot of negative energy.     

Say yes.  I have a habit of saying no.  “No, I can’t.  I’m too tired.”  “No, it’s too late for me.” “No, I might give that a miss.” “No, that’s too short notice.”  So instead I am going to check if it might actually be a “yes” first before I decline.  Who knows, I might even like it!

Take up virtual smoking.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Now let me explain.  I am going to save ten euros at least three times a week in a big tin that needs an industrial tin opener to rip into when it’s full.  I have asked and apparently it costs ten euros every time someone goes into a shop and buys cigarettes.  Ten euros!!!!!  Literally setting fire to ten euros maybe every day of the week.  Holy smoke batman! So I am going to be a virtual smoker and save what it would cost me if I were a real smoker.  At least that’s the plan.  I have already started.      

Note the Guardian of the Tin!

So there you go.  Call it my lazy arse list of New Year’s Resolutions but it’s all about making it doable as far as I am concerned.  Start small and work your way up.

Today’s post was brought to you with the emotion hope and a lot of good will plus the lovely Helen from The Busy Mama's blog.  

Happy New Year to you all!  Or Happy You’re Near as we say in our house!