Letting the light in

So it’s January, a difficult month for most of us.  As I sit down to write this, I’m no different. The Christmas lights came down more than a week ago, and it’s funny but the warmth they added to our home has me missing them terribly.  Suddenly we’re left with cables to hide, cobwebs to clean and pieces of glitter that don’t hoover up.  The corner over by the mantle piece is redundant and devoid of pine needles and the rooms smells all the less for it.  Out came the Christmas box and just like that, the little glow that helps us to feel cosy and content in the darkest of days is gone for another year.

Replacing this warm fuzzy glow with talk of changing everything about ourselves in the quest for perfection, has never made much sense to me.  Glittery lights, and that sweet pine smell with a side of frankincense candles wins every time.  These past few years I’ve always seemed to embrace the end of Winter, maybe not with a sense of gusto but certainly with a positive attitude.

Late spring last year

But this year is a little different, truthfully as I write this I must admit that I’m feeling a little January pressure – to have big plans, to be a little better at doing more, to take charge and be on top of everything all at once. That’s daunting because let’s be honest,  it’s unlikely that I’ll manage a fraction of these.

But along with this tummy turning sense of newness, January does have its moments too. The little stretch in the evenings is such a cliche, but it’s something that I love.  At quarter past four yesterday I heard a bird churning out the Spring song they sing.  The Saturday evening light was dimming when I peeped out through my blinds to see her sing, but it seemed less navy, brighter.  I’ll take that.  A friend sent me a message the other day to say she has a daffodil poking up in the garden, reminding me that it won’t be long before the grass starts getting greener in every sense of the word.

Not quite time to smell the roses yet, but soon!

As I type this, I can see myself in my reflection on the screen.

Again the brightness coming through making beautiful shadows.  Perhaps it is an omen for 2018 and what if letting the light in is the only thing to focus on.  I’ll try that and surely the grass will push through shortly after that.





Healthy baby snacks to go

When its comes to baby snacks, I like to think that most of the time we try and make good choices for Edie. If we’re at home and it’s snack time, we usually give her berries, or a banana or another piece of fruit.  But when it comes to travelling ( and as neither of us are from Dublin we do a fair bit of that) we’ve learned the hard way that snacks need to be of the drier variety – and to be honest I’ve struggled with that as it is important to me to feed her natural foods as much as I can.  After a good dozen car journeys where we’ve had blueberry and banana vomit, I knew I needed to find her something that was a little less upsetting to a travelling tummy, but was also healthy.

Learning from experience

Trying to make early healthy choices for Edie has probably come from a lifetime of making the wrong ones myself.  Born with a sweet tooth, I am determined that when she is older she will mostly reach for snacks that don’t come in purple wrappers. So, over the last few months I’ve spent some time trying out some products that, although they are packaged are nutritious, are easy on her tummy and are healthy little treats when she needs one, after all everything in moderation!

Organix Goodies – ( available in Tesco, Dunnes and SuperValu) 

Organix is a brand that some of my other Mammy friends had mentioned to me – and their brand mantra of making tasty on the go foods for babies and toddlers using ‘only organic ingredients and no junk’ was certainly enough for me to want to find out a little more about them.

Their Cheese and herb puffs for example, are made only from corn, mature cheese and a little dried parsley and sunflower oil, and they’ve gone down really well as part of a snack (maybe with a few pieces of orange) that tides us over until we finish the journey to Nanny’s. Products start for babies aged 6 months and up and there’s lots to choose from, we love the  rice cakes in this house too.

Innocent smoothies – Just For Kids (available in Tesco, Dunnes and SuperValu) 

I’m a big fan of Innocent as a brand, for years i’ve been using their cookbook to make smoothies that don’t sound delicious but actually are. When my iron fell low after having Edie it’s fair to say I almost fed myself completely from their book, and when I was out and about knew that whatever I picked up from them was loaded with goodness and nothing else.

Edie has been under the weather this week, and while I normally make my own smoothies it was very handy to pick up their Just for Kids smoothie range when I was out and about the other day. I love knowing that there is nothing in it other than oranges mangoes and pineapple – yes that’s it no funny stuff, so again it’s a top car snack for travelling or for a quick healthy fix when I know Edie needs a little extra goodness.

IMG_9381Glenisk Organic Baby bio yogurts – Assorted flavours (available in Tesco, Dunnes and SuperValu) 

As with Innocent, Glenisk is a brand that I’ve been buying for Adrian and I for years, we are absolutely a household of yogurt eaters so I wasn’t surprised to find out that Edie loves her ‘yogi’ too!

The yogurts which come in handy little individual packs of four, are tasty snacks that I use as part of her morning creche snack, so add a few raspberries and a banana and its a great little filler upper until lunchtime. I’ve tried a number of baby yogurts and the reason I keep buying these is because as well as Edie loving these, they have no added sugar, no preservatives, colours are made with real fruit puree and have no bits!  They also have a reward programme where you can save your tokens from the packaging and sign up to choose rewards from the brand.  The baby bios come in a few different flavours, all of which go down well in our house.


Teething dramas – what I’ve learned…

As I sit down to write this I’m listening out, Edie and her Daddy are still asleep. It’s half eleven on a Sunday morning so this is unusual, except for when teething gets in the way!

It was a long night for little miss, she only settled around 5.45 this morning and I can easily say that of all the nights where we’ve been up in the small hours with colds, bugs and restlessness, last night was the worst.

What makes it so bad is the fact that both Edie’s Daddy and I feel so helpless when she’s in that much pain. There’s nothing like a bad bout of teething to make you feel like you can’t comfort them when they need it most.

The Science bit

Back in July after documenting poor little Edie’s teething woes, I got a lovely package from Brush Baby a UK company who make dental care products for babies and toddlers. The package came with some leaflets on the myths and truths about teething, which made for interesting reading. One fact was that I was surprised by was that teeth do not cut through the gums – instead chemicals are released in the babies mouth that cause the little ones guns to seperate and recede, then allowing the teeth to come through – who knew?

IMG_7999Brush brushy brush… ( in the words of Elmo…)

As well as the reading material, they sent me their Firstbrush and Teether set which is available in both Boots and Tesco (8.99e). With a little help from Elmo and pals on youtube, Edie has loved using it morning and night and I’m delighted to say almost three months on that we seem to have created a habit with her by using the products and the Brush Brushy Elmo song to encourage her good habit! A starter toothbrush as well as a teether comes together in the set, and the apple and mint toothpaste has also been a winner!

It’s past 12 now and I’m tempted to wake them up – after all we need her to sleep tonight!

Teething is never easy I’ve learned but the powers of distraction do help the day or night to go in a little quicker for them.  Today will be mostly buggy walks and cuddles, teeth or no teeth and that’s still a perfect day to me.

Taking small steps – the first day at creche

It started with the lunchbox last Sunday afternoon, a simple little pink box.  I bought it in Dealz on Saturday along with a stash of Bountys for himself and a few notebooks to feed my on going notebook addiction.

Buying the lunchbox, bringing it home, even taking it out of the bag – and still nothing registered with me.  It wasn’t until I went to make a name label for the box ( that sounds less ‘make and do’ than it was) that the tears started coming.  Edie was going to creche tomorrow. Our little woman, starting out on her own little path to learning and independence, really I couldn’t believe it.

Starting our little lady at creche the next morning was a big step for all three of us. Until now she was minded by her nanny a few days a week since I had started back at work in July so it was always so much easier to bounce off in the morning knowing that she was in the safest of hands.


But now, a new routine, new hands. Arms that she had never been held by before. Would she eat and sleep for them? Would she talk and be herself or would she be a little subdued and wonder why I’d left her?

I know I’m not the first mother to go through these feelings, but that doesn’t matter when you’re alone in your own moment of vunerability.  Certainly this week’s back to school and creche photos on Facebook made me think. As a new parent its easy to feel that everyone else isnt stressed or dreading their childs next big step – whether thats school or creche, but thats not the case. Reading the messages under the cute uniformed babas made me realise that we’re all in the same boat, just at different stages.

It’s Friday now and we’re on day five, and I’m happy to report that what everyone says is true, it does get easier. What a little trooper she is. This morning she left out a little excited kick as we got nearer to the gate.

It was just the message I needed, she’s happy and that’s all we could wish for.