Sunday Confessions

Let us just start by saying that in my experience, confessions aren’t heard on a Sunday. I am already outside of the box with this topic. I also should say that children this age (6 months and two years) don’t know it is Sunday. They will one day. Sunday won’t always be like this. I will probably miss this madness!

(This confusion will become a clearer mess soon! ).

Little babies don’t know that on a typical Storybook Sunday, we should be:

1. Adventuring

2. Relaxing

3. At mass…

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Good dress and frilly socks bedecked for Sunday best!

I have not always been a lover of Sunday. As a kid I dreaded the roast beef indigestion and Sunday drive. As a student I hated the approaching Monday morning blues. As a teacher, I have learned to love what Sunday means. Peace!

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Who wouldn’t come back as a loved, domestic cat? (I suppose I now must confess my flirtation with the notion of reincarnation while I am here!)

However, as a parent, peace is suddenly not a Sunday certainty anymore. In fact, it is a luxury that may only visit for a short call. Peace is a different kind of animal when you have babas. Beautiful babas, yes. Peaceful ones? Not really!

I don’t like the catholic tradition of going to confessions and tend not to do it. Today however I feel like breaking that tradition.

Bit different to a confessional box  but there you go! I am confessing via blog post, in public and not private, typed in text for all to see. On Sunday.

So here are my confessions on this day of God. ..

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Austere piety.

1. I miss chilling out! Yes, we may get The Holy Grail but if we don’t there may be precious little chill out time on Sunday. The odd golden moment does occur when we all seem happy together (sans wind, hunger, boredom) but it is a rare beast. It is still precious family time but not always very relaxing time.

2. Unless the weather is good (last Sunday week was a peach) I don’t want to venture out. I don’t particularly want to stay in with small children who need ‘airing’ but I don’t want mud and rain. Paradoxically, I really don’t want to stay in either. Go figure that one out Hawking.

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Stuck in the doorway of my mind.

3. Sunday is a day that should have a great dinner. I am into cooking and do it a lot. On Sunday, I don’t want to. I want it handed to me.

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Burger or surprise? What’s under the cloche…
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Not quite yet!

4. I know that I am not supposed to wish my life away. I love these babies more than imaginably possibly and I love their stages. Betsy is so adorable right now I don’t know if she could ever be more so. It is just the work of a magician to know that she will. Gigi is soaking up words and knowledge and every moment with her is like what I imagine Attenborough must have experienced when he met a tribe in Papua New Guinea who had never encountered members of the outside world from beyond their forest before his team.

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A young Attenborough introduces the tribe for the first time.

Outstandingly amazing, touching and glorious in every aspect. So why do I even look to the future?  I just imagine Sunday morning with my husband and girls in Parisian cafés. Wandering about, discovering cities. Going to theatre. Walks in the woods. I know we can do these things now. We try our best. It doesn’t matter though. I feel a little bit selfish pushing about an unsettled baby around a Lakelands park who clearly would rather Mammy and her playmat having fun at home, yet we are trying to push Sunday excursions onto her. Therefore I confess to dreaming despite loving what they are right now. I don’t think that is wrong.

5. I confess that I don’t encourage bringing the girls to mass. Small children in a church where they don’t know what is going on and that are expected to behave for up to an hour makes no sense to me. When they are older and I can explain, yes. Right now? It feels daft. I know tons of families who do. Fair play to them. I can’t see the sense. I don’t have the courage.

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Worshipping from the window.

6. I confess that I am on tenterhooks on Sunday mornings. The pressure of feeling we should do something and the impossible choice of what to do makes me edgy. It can all be so wonderful or it can be a disaster. I feel mild panic on Sunday morning. Spilled milk may induce hysteria.

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7. Relief. I admit that I feel relief when I know the day is going well. Relief means that tension existed beforehand so I confess that Sunday serenity rests on a bed of tension.

8. I confess to being a loving Mammy who gets frustrated, tired and pained. The internal screams (but outward happyish face) seem to get more excerise on Sunday.

9. I don’t think Sunday is that special. It doesn’t seem to know it must differentiate itself as ‘peaceful’. The proof of this being that pots still boil over while you are distracted with a spit up despite it being a ‘Sunday’. Baby poo still happens on Sunday and tiredness/ grumpiness manifests itself in new forms on Sundays probably due to the pressure to be peaceful. Sunday, you need to take control and be one person to all people.

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10. I cannot be alone to admitting that I miss the couple time. Sunday was our day to reconnect. Drives, lunches or whatever we chose, we did it together and it made us closer. Now we have to remember soothers,  blankets, lunches, bottles, sudocreme and God knows what else before we leave the house and despite the loveliness of our funny, sweet children we don’t really get to just be ourselves. The intensity caused by just needing to remember things is almost unbelievable. I miss the couple outside of being Mam and Dad but would never change a thing.

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I know we cannot be the only ones to feel this.

Confessions are now over.

Am I absolved? Wait and see.

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I will wait for you Sunday…

 

 

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Five Ways to Love those Love handles!

Oh Mothers, let us unite once again.

Let us tentatively prod the bear that is -gulp- baby weight.

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I have weight to lose for quite some time now. Before baby one, I was at my ideal weight and felt a sense of freedom and happiness that I can only say I never imagined possible. The ability to buy clothes and LIKE how they looked was a liberty and luxury that I never tired of.

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Like Maria Von Trapp up a mountain.

Weight Watchers are my heroes. They did this with me.

Two babies later however, I am in a sad state of affairs. I am not naturally a ‘good’ eater despite eating vegetables and fruit and I need the support of a class. I have been back to class and am a stone down, however the last few weeks have been rough. You will know if you read Looking forward to anaesthesia that I had some medical work done and this is my reason or sorry excuse for my careful eating abandonment.

This and chocolate treats nightly with new series of the wonderful Peaky Blinders.

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Tommy must be watched behind the security of a Time Out.

Therefore I, with tongue in a chubbier than normal cheek, am giving you an alternative twist on the magazine and Internet pop up classics of Five Ways to Trim Your Waistline! or Surefire Ways to Lose Those Inches and give you my incredibly insightful and certainly practised Five Ways to LOVE Those Love Handles!  

Be prepared for some KILLER ideas…

1. Make your five a day count! ALL things ‘fruit’ should be included to really ensure maximum weight gain. Instead of a homemade fruit pot, you swop for Fruit Loops! No more freshly prepared fruit salads for you. For a change, you need to chew on those delicious eighties’ penny sweets called Fruit Salads! Add ‘ade’ to the end of any fruit (cherry, lemon, orange) and you are onto a calories amassing winner!

2. Tin it or BIN it!  Eat everything that comes in a can. Simplest!  Nothing fresh please. Nothing organic or locally grown (unless the goodness is ‘preserved’ in can form). Tinned beans. Tinned peas. Tinned carrots. Keep it preserved and salty.  Added sugar if possible.

3. Stop over indulging on water! Immediately desist from downing two litres per day. Exhaustion and pain will soon set in driving you towards the short lived energy boost of a Coke or a Fanta. One leads to another and before you know it you are on a litre per day of soda. This will have the added benefit of giving you false hunger due to chronic dehydration which which will see you in the biscuit tin. A guaranteed method to pack on the pounds.

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I will rock your world one inch at a time.
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Woman Down.

4. Packet or Smack it. Eat as much as you can that is pre packed (as an accompaniment to the tinned fodder) and you should see a sharp increase on the scales. Your salt and sugar intake will also soar as added bonus. I am talking crisps, meats and anything rice or pasta based but don’t forget your sweeties or biscuits.

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Let me into your heart…

5. Secret eat like no one is watching you…! Secret eating is the best short lived feel-good booster. It will make you feel indulgent and disgusting within the same ten minutes. Mood swings,yea! Clearly calories eaten whilst hiding in your car don’t count thereby they are a secret. Keep this up and you are on the highway to stretchy pants land.

I told you I could guarantee instant weight gain in five simple steps.

Reminder: This is a parody and intended to make us weight strugglers smile as we fight the battle that we will ultimately win. It takes time and determination but we will all get there.

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With the help of pizza angels, we will all be ‘bikini’ ready by Christmas.
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FlabbyDabbyDoo.

 

Sunscreen and Raincoats

There is no rhyme nor reason to the weather we are experiencing.

Why can May not be May??

I know our environment is changing and we are all to blame.

But I am confused. 

Living in the right now, it is a world of difficulty leaving the house. I just cannot deal with the uncertainty. Sometimes I don’t want to go out (on those voluntary trips at the weekend etc) because I hate all the luggage. The planning is unbearable and filled precariously with unpredictable pitfalls.

Today we have rain. Yesterday we had spells of rain and a lot of heat. The weekend was blissful, halcyon days of azure blue skies and everything just that extra shade brighter. Before that, we had had hailstones.Wind that ripped apart the flowers. Showers. Dryness. There was snow in some areas.

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Beautiful Saturday by the river.

With today’s rain, we have a warmth. Stickiness. Humidity. The students in school are listless and ill at ease.

The teachers at school are pretending not to be listless and ill at ease.

Inconsistent madness!!

Our little girl’s birthday party was a downpour between two scorchers, see Talk to the Animals. Party dress and welly boots, very Lily Allen. Raincoat.

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Scorchers arrive. Full change in all departments.  Short sleeved vests. Light shirts. Shorts. Sunscreen. Sunhat. Suddenly your carefully prepacked travelling bags are out of date and use within 12 hours.

No sooner than babies are in light jackets than there is a cold snap and you are fleeing inside desperately grabbing for lined hooded coats, tights and woolly hats.

I have worn sandals with a raincoat. Hooded duffle coats in the morning and sleeveless tops only in the afternoon. Open window at night and within a day an extra shirt on in bed. Sun cream and a scarf. Sunhat and woolly socks.

Wasps have invaded my classroom and students have sweltered. The next morning they are shivering cold and dripping with rain.

It is just not fair! !

Make up your mind weather.

It is hard enough being Mammy without you adding to the possible breakdown of the fragile, tenuous sense of organisation or routine we so carefully outline.

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Give us a break please elements!  😇

Are you sending us a message Mother Nature? Are you telling us that you  will fry our brains with paradoxically challenging weather until we stop frying your planet?

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Message received.

Can we come to an agreement? As two members of the Mammy group? I can empathise with you. You love your home. LOVE your children. Just sometimes, you feel unheard. Unappreciated. Your children are driving you nuts. They know the right thing to do but they just won’t do it. Or you are trying all the right things with them but wonder why won’t it work?  This I can understand. Can I just make a plea? From us? From one Mama to another? In the Paper house, we have truly tried to diminish our carbon footprint. Mr Paper is going green as possible on the farm. We use geothermal heating and not oil or fossil fuels. We recycle. I can go one step further! I will ditch my deodorant. Fire out the Febreze. Abandon ALL aerosols. Does De-Icer count? Just because, you know sometimes you throw us a frosty morning…not complaining! Just saying! The De-icer is handy, that’s all!!

I am begging you! Please can we have normality back. Please!

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Squash my Berries and call them Compote

There is a local restaurant nearby that we eat at quite often. Living in a small place that underwent depopulation crisis in the nineties and also where I grew up, when a new venture that focuses on the pleasures in life opens, we must support it.

We do.

If I eat there during the day, I often order chicken and mushroom vol au vents. Yum! They are a main course with salad and chips.

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Pretty delish.

Sometimes we eat there at night.A new evening menu appears.

For starters (appetisers) I often get chicken and mushroom bouchee. Rocket leaves. Dressing. No fries.

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A bouchee. Or a fancier vol au vent.

What’s the difference?? Time of day. Price. Name. Portion. Costs more to eat less.

I often whisper to my company, ‘I am getting the posh vol au vent even though it’s the same thing as during the day’ as if in a confessional box.

I thought a vol au vent was posh enough. Eighties posh, I know. A bouchee however…

This madness that I willingly engage in led me to thinking. My thoughts gathered, I have realised that yes, I love a newly named product. I love taking away the boring old title and giving it a bit of gloss. Words sell me everything.

A childhood lunch box filler for my peers and I was a strawberry jam sandwich. Cheap and cheerful, the Sugar and White Bread Police were still only babes in arms and we ate five a week.

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We NEVER bought a pre-made one. I only learned these ever existed today. M &S was not in our neck of the woods either.

It has meant that I fall in and out with jam. Overdosed in my youth.

However, how could I resist the following? Deluxe strawberry conserve!! what wonders! What joys! What a taste sensation this must indeed be!!

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Buying Irish too. Two birds and all of that.

Notice it doesn’t even say ‘deluxe’ on front. I have added that fact myself. My own lurid imaginings. Sure, it has to be deluxe. Conserve don’t you know!! Toast with jam and butter, I mean conserve and butter is suddenly rocking my breakfast world again. It nearly tastes different to what I remember!  The power of words.

The Celtic Tiger did mad stuff in Ireland. We were left with no money. One reason is because we suddenly had so much to spend our cash on. I won’t discuss the fall lightly as it was a drastic time for us and by no means the fault of the average man and woman, yet my memories of the Tiger largely include lunch.

Before 2003 I had never had:

  1. A panini
  2. A cappuccino
  3. A latte
  4. skinny version of either of the last above
  5. An Americano. I then discovered that was coffee. So that probably doesn’t count. I had had coffee.
  6. Bottled water. Bottles that I bought and paid for myself and weren’t filled outta da tap
  7. A ciabatta
  8. Delivered pizza (I slightly lie. I had delivered pizza in New Jersey in 2001 on student visa. Not Ireland)
  9. Linguine anything
  10. Gourmet anything
  11. cupcake

Basically the Tiger was of Italian origin and am I not delighted that he/she was?

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Easy Tiger. 

A sandwich out suddenly became extremely exciting. We weren’t toasting anything anymore. We ate Melts. Who had plain old chicken? Cajun. Tikka. Infusions! Cheddar? Go away! Mozzarella please. Gouda. Brie.

My father still blesses himself if I order Brie. It will surely poison me.

I think he would be secretly delighted if it did. I don’t think he wants me to suffer. He just loves the taste of vindication.  Almost as much as a Calvita cheese single. An eighties staple.

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We used the empty boxes as crayon holders. True story.

I now love a good Americano. Or a cappuccino. The more chocolate the better. Not too gone on the latte. Too milky. An espresso at the end of a meal? Excellent. I am a bit of an expert. Ristretto anyone?

I even have a reference from a Celtic Tiger job that tells of my barista qualifications.

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Eighties coffee.
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How we live now.

I was a coffee hater in the jarred, water mixing with granules day. Now I adore a good old Americano.

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My happy medium.

The Celtic Tiger having been sadly culled, lime has killed our fancy coffee machine and time does not want me to press my own beans. I have blogged before about the Mammy lifebelt that is Azera. I now take my Americano instant! It is a costly coffee. It could be seven euros for a jar. I refuse to pay for it at this price (irresponsible adult!)and stock pile at sale price. Even at this it is too expensive. They have me hooked though. Pesky loveliness.

The word snobbishness doesn’t end there! I love a good compote.  Spoon it into the porridge. Suddenly it is attractive.

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Who can resist such font?

I know it is just mashed up fruit. I still coo and caw happily however when I see compote announced smugly on a breakfast menu. The linguistics!

I recently was in a discussion with colleagues about the ideology of ‘pastafarianism’ (worth a google) and I was explaining how the believers wear colanders on their heads. Uproar ensued. Pastafarianism did not cause the controversy.  No. It was my use of the word ‘colander’. Where did I think I was from?!!! In the Irish midlands of the eighties, we all called them just plain old strainers and they were never used for pasta-only spuds.

Twice a week I strain my penne, rigatoni or even my conchiglie with my blue colander. I won’t be told!

Don’t give me pieces or -God forbid- lumps of chocolate or parmesan. Shavings, if you will.

Shavings taste better.

No longer will sauce or gravy accompany my meat. I shall be having jus.

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You might try to give me pancakes and syrup with my coffee. I will actually be eating crèpes with glaze whilst drinking nectar of roasted cocoa beans.

Charge me more for the privilege.

You may as well. I am the idiot who can be bought.

So squash my berries and call it compote. I will be thrilled.

Just one thing.  I will not be fooled by pea puree and the like. The mashing of vegetables is for babies and large family dinners so don’t go offering me carrot and parsnip mash as a delicacy. I won’t be fooled. What’s that? Chop up my bacon and call them lardons you say? Oh yes please! Work away. I can take that.

Respect also to the humble curranty bun. You were (and are) a loved household guest. Raisin filled (Queen cake) or plain (fairy cake) or fancy (butterfly bun), you must feel very sidetracked by the naughties newcomer-the cupcake. These buttercream-mountain topped beauties are outside the box with their unnatural colours and ability to make tomato a flavour. Blueberries? I wouldn’t expect less. Another newbie on our streets and waistlines.

You are welcome cupcake. There is a room for you all in our home.

Maybe not our hearts though…

Names and words have such power as to make and break my day! Porridge and jam?? Bleurhh. Creamed oats and berry compote?  Of course!! 

 

A First Tooth

Little Betsy is our six month old, smiling, beautiful little bundle of joy. She has energy in abundance and a love of life that emanates from a fabulously wide, endearingly gummy grin, both easily given and impossible to forget. It is impossible not to smile at this child.

I have written about her recent discomforts at bedtime in Looking forward to anaesthesia. Times can get tough and it is hard to see through the mud. Then the magic of babies occur. We now have a first tooth. A little precious pearly tip of enamel that makes us feel so proud. It is her Everest. Her Olympic medal. Her Oscar.

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I knew there had to be something  wrong. It is difficult to be rational with yourself when you feel up against a wall. I am just so pleased that one like toothie is through.

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Little Sweet Betsy.

Teeth are such an unpredictable body part. My father in law often says teeth give you trouble all your life.  Trouble coming and trouble going.  I have been pretty lucky with teeth. I hope our lasses are lucky too.

Brushing Gigi’s teeth is a part of our routine. I am still uncertain if we do enough. Often she ‘does it herself’ which doesn’t count I suppose. I recently freaked myself out reading about tooth decay in toddlers. Here is hoping that good diets and our best attempts at keeping their oral hygiene straight keeps them cavity free.

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Not quite ready for you yet little lady!

It is quite a milestone for this little girl and for us. Many more little choppers to come and many more evenings for me to second guess my instincts on parenting!

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Next up…crawling!

Looking forward to anaesthesia

The babies have been trying to kill us again.

I don’t know why fully.

Sleep regression?

Both of them…?

It is going to bed that has featured as a problem. Gigi’s bad tummy of late is still giving problems. She sleeps at bedtime. Then she awakens. There are pains I think. Sometimes she has a sick stomach. We change nappies. Pyjamas. Whatever we can do to make her feel ease. Going to sleep again is what she seems to want to do, but she twists and turns. Sleep seems to come at nine pm when usually she is down by seven.

I know it is only a few hours.

It is the discomfort.  I can’t bear it for her .

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Betsy seems to have a little problem of her own.

Teeth? It is possible.

A version of the same bug? Likely.

She goes to bed and then is unsettled. Rocking and cuddling ensues when necessary and she spits up. She is very awake by then and it is a whole new round of ‘going to bed’ before she is settled again.

Mr Paper comes in from the farm and I am going from child to child, ripping my hair out. Feeling useless.

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Betsy can wake in the night.

Gigi is waking screaming.

Gigi goes back to sleep.

Betsy goes back to sleep.

I don’t.

I twist and turn.

I sweat and worry.

I am exhausted.

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I get some sleep. It is the sleeping with one ear constantly twitching for some noise that dilutes sleep quality.

All Mammies know what I mean.

Today I am in hospital for a small procedure related to post baby birthing issues. They need to give me an anaesthetic.

It is not normal to look forward to anaesthesia.

I need the rest.

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On a bed of nails if I must.

 

Talk to the Animals

We finally got to the pet farm to celebrate Gigi’s birthday and have a little party. I had chosen a pet farm because I was being selfish. I wanted to keep the party out of the house, just this one time. I wanted to see Gigi and Betsy enjoy a petfarm. I wanted a day out. It is funny that I was willing to save up and pay for a pricey pet farm party with party food delivered just to keep the floor clean but you have to understand! When planning the party I thought, new baby. Hard work. We are all tired. Let us just take it some place else. This once! Since that we had sickness at home. We have lost a week because of the Jelly Flood. I have been in dire straits keeping all in order. So bringing the party away seemed like an A star idea by the end, all things considered.

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It was a sweet party. Absolutely. Full of teenies with their family. It is just that I think it is important to keep your dreams realistic when planning a toddler party. It isn’t ever going to be clockwork. You can’t plan all aspects to perfectly. Sometimes as you much you try reason with a toddler it just doesn’t work that way.

You can try talk to the animals.  They won’t always respond.

Unless you are Rex Harrison.

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Of course, by animals I include the little people! No matter what happens, you will have a combination of outrageous hilarity, extreme extrovert behaviour, bouts of timidity, shyness and occasional tantrums over the colour of a jelly sweet. Tears and toddlers always go together. So I won’t judge the success of our party by counting how many times people cried. No adult cried anyway.

I think.

Not publicly anyway…!

I think it was great.

To start, it was a downpour of a day. Unfortunate, as both Friday and today, Sunday, are lovely. Our girl’s party was the rainy filler in a heatwave sandwich. A bit depressing but we manged to get over it. Raincoats and boots. Wipers and air fans in the car. We got there eventually.

We arrived after everyone else. Bit panicky for me as I like to be super organised and I had laid out nothing for the party.

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Those little jelly babies on the birthday march again.

A few small helpers got on board. I was busy emptying bags and when I turned around a party had started. Actually a lot of little children were eating bowls of marshmallows and jellies. Sugar first. Oops. Quickly we got the sandwiches out and hid the treats until after the actual food was consumed. I had hot party food ordered for noon which duly arrived and we all tucked in. Disney CD on in the background. No rhyme nor reason to the party but enjoyable none the less in its madness.

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Every wall was a mural of animated fun.

Outdoors to the farm we went with our individual bags of pet food. Greedy insatiable goats made us laugh as they ate and ate. They even whipped up the brown paper bags when they got a chance. Rabbits and babies. Pigs and piglets. Sheep and lambs. Puppies. Raccoons. Emus. Even capuchin monkeys.  Hold up! We were definitely not in Kansas anymore Toto. Not the most regularly featured in an Irish farm, monkeys, emus and racoons only made us happier with their exoticism.

Daddy emu, Eddie, had an important duty whilst the Mammy was chilling out in her pen.

This made me think so hard my head nearly bust. I think fatigue and envy made me want to lie down in the pen and ask mammy emu to swop places. Hard work done, Dad’s duty is now taking place. Who says the animal kingdom can’t teach us humans? Paternity leave not a factor, Eddie did not move a muscle. What a CIVILISED practice. I sighed as I hurried away to help supervise the next stage.

Soft play.

Oh dear. What mother or father doesn’t have a slight shiver approaching the playarea? Soft play areas are really the bear pit of under fives’ existences as survival of the fittest is definitely the credo. My two year old was the youngest allowed play. The younger ones were too young really. The older tries were four and five. One eight year old, Gigi’s cousin, suddenly became official security guard for my little lass as the play area has parts that adults cannot walk through. The area itself is cool. A warren of enclosed walks and slides, perfect if your child is self sufficient but scary if they are just two! Gigi had a few turns on the slide. She had her first adrenaline rush and was hooked. It took time and a lot of stamina to convince the little one it was time to leave when the time came!

To be fair, many children whined leaving the play area. It just seems so mean I suppose. Why take us from this fun place, they must wonder. Time is not an issue. The freedom and non restriction of being a child and having the mind of a child must make us adultly minded appear irrationally ludicrous for wanting to leave fun behind.

Soft play is a bit of a nightmare at times. Kids can transform into bullies. Crazed beings. Totally reclusive. It can bring extremity to the forefront so quickly and there is NO preparation for what may happen only to know and accept that tears will.

I know a child who was bitten badly in a soft play area by a child they she didn’t know. (Would the bite be worse if you knew the biter personally?! I can’t say!).  What do you do?! My friend briefly told off the other child at the risk of offending a parent. Where is the line?! This is where rain came in handy for us. No other children only our own group were there so we could solve small grievances easily.

I am glad no one got bitten though.

By little children or little goats.

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Just a nip.

Gigi has been very sick so really the day was hard work for her as she lacked energy. She is very good however at standing back and taking stock when that is required so this conserved her energy for the slide insanity. She loved that playarea which makes all the preparation worth it.

I have barely find one photo where she isn’t eating. Sandwiches. Sausages. Cake. Really, she has made up for days of little or no food in one banquet. Naturally I worried that she would be sick. She had no jellies or chocolate though and cake was the only sweet treat she ate. She has been fine.

Cake was produced and time to go.

Firstly, I must praise her cake. Again. Anyone following my blog will have seen a myriad of cakes for this one birthday presented here! So one more for the road.

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A sugar fest. That pig appears again. My friend is a cake making genius!

What have we learned?

Gigi puffs put her cheeks and blows at every candle she sees. Even church ones.

Soft play on a rainy day is great on a petfarm as everyone stays away and you get the place to yourself.

Don’t let children help you prepare a party table if you want them to eat well first.

You can have too much cake. Three in ten days is too much. I don’t care to slice another creamy gateau again for quite some time. Who knew?

Toddler parties are tiring for babies but also make you fall asleep in front of the TV at half past nine at night even though you are watching the gripping series two of House of Cards.

Pet farms don’t just stay local with animals. Think capuchin monkeys. There are capuchin friars locally…does this count?

Children love sweets.

Emus are not living in the past.

I might want to be an emu.

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A relaxed mother. A rarity. Like an emu on an Irish farm.