Thursday, 31 March 2016

Me & Mine March

Yahoo I'm back with my regular Me & Mine post! I'm gutted I never got to do a February post last month but it was a month spent nursing sickness between myself and Luke. I hadn't been that ill in a long long time, years and it really knocked me for six. The month went by in blur to be honest and my motivation and enthusiasm for anything was at all time low.

However we all recovered and spent March catching up on family time and adventures, so much so that we didn't have time to take a proper family portrait this month but we did manage to get a few quick snaps along the way so forgive the quality for this month please ;)

We had lots of celebrations this month with St Patricks Day, Easter, the 1916 commemoration and we spent a lot of time out and about in different places. Thankfully the weather was on our side for some parts of March and got to visit a farm, the beach, see parades, go on Easter egg hunts and just spend some time together which is much needed ahead of a busy April.

I've had short weeks at work and the OH has had time off college due to all of the public holidays so it's been great to kick back and just relax for a while. The OH has been busy studying as he has exams coming up and I've been getting a few things in order for myself as I have a few plans coming up in April which I shall share next month should they all go to plan, I don't want to jinx myself! Anyone else ever feel like that?!

My 2 best friends took me off to Killarney for a night in a hotel and dinner and drinks as a belated birthday present and it was just like old times, pre babies, when we would take off to Killarney every other weekend. We laughed a lot!

This month also saw me celebrate my bestie engagement, we may have consumed a bit too much prosecco that night but was delighted to share in her happiness.

Since I spent most of March getting back on my feet, diet and exercise are out the window, it's ridiculous but April brings a new month and new goals and that is top of the list!

So, here we are, slightly blurry but happy, in March:

This month Luke loves:
  • Blaze and The Monster Machines
  • Being an Avenger - he runs around the pretending to have a weapon shouting "I'm an abenger!"
  • Easter and all the chocolate it brings
This month Dad loves:
  • Having time off college and moving departments in work
  • Booking flights to Liverpool
  • Not shaving (we have a bet on to see how long he'll go before getting too annoyed and shaving the beard off, I didn't think I'd like it but I do)
This month Mum loves:
  • Some Spring sunshine at long last
  • Spending quality time with family and friends
  • Getting my hair done, the roots were bad

The Me and Mine Project

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The Invisible Mother

I have a few fears, none of which I had before I became a parent though.

I fear for my child's future, that I'll be able to provide for him, give him the education he deserves, a home that we can call our own. I fear that I may not prepare him enough for the big wide world that's out there. These are fears I think I'll have for a long time, some may never go away even when he's an adult and out there by himself but there's the fears of the here and now and one in particular that hit me like a ton of bricks while I was talking to someone last week.
As my parental leave draws to close, my 4 day week will no longer be a given after the May bank holiday, I suddenly realised that I was terrified of being "an invisible mother".

Each time I think into the future, signing Luke up for pre school, picking which primary school we'd like him to go to, it's all a bit bittersweet as I realise that, as it stands right now, I won't be the one dropping him off or collecting him. I won't be the one, a few minutes drive away should he need to be collected because he feels sick or something, I won't be the one who he run's out to at the end of his school day, excitedly clutching what ever he may have made in school that day or telling me a story about something new he's learned.
No that's all going to have to wait until about 4 hours later when I get home, it's not going to be as exciting then, he's not going to be bursting to tell me because he'll probably have already told his Nanny, Grandad and Aunty. I'll be hearing it all second hand.
It's not me the teachers are going to recognise, I'll probably have to introduce myself to remind them who I am on the rare occasion I'll get to do the school run or have to go into his school for whatever reason. They'll know my name and on paper they will see that I'm Luke's mother but they won't know me. I'll be the invisible mother. The one that's there but the one they never see.

It saddens me, it clutches at my mothering heart strings and it hurts. I don't want that.
Fridays are my favourite day of the week at the moment, I get to drop Luke off at play school, before he used to cry a little now he doesn't even look back as he toddles off to his friends. I get to collect him and watch him instantly stop what he's doing when he sees me, he's ready to come home with his Mama and all that playing and learning can wait until the next school day. He takes my hand as we make our way to the car and he insists on reminding me every time we walk over the grassy area in the car park about the time I slipped and fell there. We laugh and chat and go about our business down town, getting lunch from the shop on those days.

The end of parental leave signifies the end of that, I'm not ready but I understand that I have to. Have to go to work, these are our circumstances right now, we are both working hard to try and give Luke to best we possibly can but at what sacrifice? He's only 2 and half now and every morning he asks, "Mum not go work today? You stay at home with me?" and it breaks my heart, the little bit of hope he has when asks, crushes me from the inside out as I see it quickly fade when I tell him I have to go to work for a little while. Even that's a lie, it's not a little while, Im not going to see him for another 10 hours.

The weekend are never enough to make up for it all, I know it's up to me to try and change it if I can but I'm struggling on knowing where to start or how to start.

The one thing that is consistent though is the guilt, the ever present mother's guilt. Sigh...


Friday, 11 March 2016

Before We Got The Dog...

...there was number of things we said we wouldn't do, much like before the baby arrives for the first time, there's great intentions there from us, as the parents / owners but who are we kidding, there's a high number of those "things" we actually end up doing, more often than not, of the sake of a slightly easier life.

  • He would be an outdoor dog....He most definitely is not an outdoor dog, as long as we are inside, so is he.
  • He would be graaaaand in the garden, it's a nice size, enclosed....he attacked the grass, the fence, whined all the time and then managed to scale the wall, jump over it and run around the green to the front door, where he sat patiently waiting for us to let him back in. This resulted in us having to fence off  a section for him, redo the grass and move his dog house to nearer the back door so we could keep an eye on him
  • He'll sleep outside, in the lovely specially made dog house we got him....he does not sleep outside
  • He'll sleep in the hall on his own bed....he does not sleep in the hall and he chews up his bed
  • He'll sleep in the middle part of stairs....he does not sleep in the middle of the stairs. Well, he does, he sleeps in our room until whatever time Luke might wake and come in with us and then he moves to the stairs, we swap the dog for the toddler
  • He'll be walked everyday....PAH! He is not walked everyday, never has been. In our defence he's a bit crazy around other dogs, but he does get free reign of the parent's garden when he goes out there and that's huge
  • He's not allowed on the couch....he's currently unconscious on the couch, sometimes he even gets wrapped up in the blanket.
  • He's definitely not allowed on the beds....he's now wormed his way into the bed in Katie's room when her and Luke wake up in the morning. White bed sheets, black dog hair, my heart is broken 
  • He'll go in the back of the car....he does no such thing, he's perches himself proudly on the passengers seat next to me

Ah he's a great bit of stuff really and is 100% part of the family as if he was a human being, he may as well be, it's like having 2 toddlers, not 1....ah it's great really, I swear, joyous! Oh look he pooped, again, for the 70th time today, where are my gloves and my pooper scooper bags and the yard brush and the with a dog is glamorous....


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Trials & Tribulations of a Surname

If I could foresee the issues we would encounter when giving Luke a double barrelled surname, would I have changed my mind on giving it to him? The answer is no.
We gave him both of our surnames because we wanted to, because who was I to decide which name he was more entitled to?
Myself and the OH are not yet married, we'll get around to it, eventually, when life slows down a little so that we can actually plan a wedding but when we do I will take his surname but I will also keep my own. It's something I've always said I will do, I don't see any real reason why I should give up my name but I am quite excited to take on the name of my partner so my best option would be to keep both.

In his short life to date, Luke has never been known by anything other than his full 2 named surname, Murphy-Langan, we've never dropped one or the other, it's on his birth cert and we always use the 2, in the same order.
So why do people insist on picking and choosing which of his surnames they'd like to use?!!

In the beginning the doctor was using Murphy, it took a few goes before it eventually got changed to both names.

The chemist still insists on using it the other way around, I have mentioned it...I'll say it again.

South Doc the other week, calling him for his appointment "Luke Langan"...even though the full name was written quite clearly on the piece of paper that was IN HER HAND!

Handing in the form for play school last year, all of his deets written on it, the girl behind the desk, writing out the receipt, Luke Murphy - eh you forgot the rest of his name there?!

People used to try and call me Lou or LouLou growing up and it drove my mam insane, if she wanted me to be called either of those names she "would've christened me with those names" and it stuck with me, very few people get away with calling me Lou now and it's only in recent years I've kind of stopped correcting people.
I don't want Luke to drop either of his surnames because he feels like they might be an inconvenience to people because they feel the need to drop one or the other. It's not even a hard name to say, I think the 2 surnames fit well together and roll of the tongue easily enough.

I might start insisting they call him by his first name, middle name and 2 surnames just to be even more pedantic about it all....jokes, kind of!


Monday, 7 March 2016

A Beacon Of Self Belief

I don't usually blog about current affairs or sporting events, it's a pretty easy going over here at the TLWAB headquarters but this weekends sporting events and the series of debates, arguments, comments, feedback both negative and positive have had me thinking all day.

There are so many people waiting to jump on the negative bandwagon when it comes to someone messing up or their downfall and Conor McGregor's loss at the weekend was no exception.

Naively prehaps, I didn't actually expect to see such a negative backlash from so called "supporters", I genuinely thought "Y'know what he's done good, win or lose and our country, his supporters will be proud either way" and a lot were.
Some though, were sitting in the wings waiting, oh so patiently, for him to lose a fight so that they could attack him straight away. I saw some comments on Facebook that seemed to me to be so rehearsed, that I wouldn't be surprised had the person penned them down ages ago and kept it in a safe place to use when he did go on to lose a fight, totally begrudging comments that prevented them from seeing all of what he's achieved so far.

Listen I'm not going to pretend I know anything about this sport or any other sport for that matter, it's not my area, no interest, I listen half heartedly when the OH talks about football but that's it really. The first I ever saw of Conor McGregor was a few females FB friends posting his picture saying how much of a dirty ride he is! What actually drew my attention to him was listening to him one day, I thought "Who the hell is this cocky fella, thinking he's all that a bag of chips?!"  but his self confidence, pure positive self belief in what he could achieve won me over and I was impressed. Whether he was going to win whatever fight was coming up, he sure as hell was going to go in there thinking he will and give it his all.

I find it so typical of our culture that while the person is flying high and doing great, they are delighted to hold them in high esteem, bask in their glory with them, but when they topple at their top a little, woah...let's stop a second and reign in our support, this guy might not be all he made himself out to be. He's human right?! Allowed to make mistakes like everybody else right?! Yes I think so.

Whatever people's opinions are on his technique in the sport, again I'll mention I can't comment on this as I know nothing about the ins and outs, he, to me is what I would call a good sportsman. He took that loss on the chin, there was an awful lot of hype around him and his fight, as there seems to always be but like a true gent, he didn't hide, he came out with a statement on his social media accounts and said he will be back, only stronger this time. Exactly the mindset he should have, when you fall off that horse, the best thing you can do is get back up on it. So my parents told me anyway and it's a motto that's not let me down yet.

A lot of people were so quick to forget all that he has done so far since he began his MMA journey, sure he's raking in the money but he doesn't seem to forget where he came from. From what I can see he's back in his hometown, gym, locality every chance he gets.
The man oozes positivity, beneath the bravado and pre fight / after fight talk, he's an incredibly positive person and this is a quality that is one of utmost importance in someone as far as I'm concerned. He doesn't let the negativity bring him down, in fact I believe it drives him on.
To all those kids, teenagers, men and women who may look up to him, he could be that bit of hope and encouragement they might need to push themselves that bit further. He has achieved great success through nothing but sheer determination and hard work, physically, mentally and emotionally no doubt.

He is a man true to his roots, proud to be who he is and where he's from, proud of all that he's achieved but not complacent though his persona may lead you to believe differently. He wants to keep going, win or lose, he's not just going to sit back now he's made a few quid.

I'd have sincerely hoped all of that would not have been forgotten in the midst of his loss but sadly it seems to be. People were so quick to jump on his back and try and keep him down, I'm pleased to see they did not succeed.

He is a gracious loser and one I'm proud to say hails from my homeland, one that, right now, makes me proud to say I'm Irish.

Don't try and take away all that he represents to so many people, hope, dreams, motivation, self belief and a true example of just how far hard work will get you.

I'll leave you with his latest Budweiser ad, he gives me all the feels with the positive speak :)


Thursday, 3 March 2016

The Spare Room That Is No Longer The Spare Room

Our spare room has always been a mixture of things - an extra large wardrobe, a store room, a guest room, it was the boy child's room before we moved him next door, but now the room has a new purpose and a new inhabitant.
My niece, Katie, who has featured on the blog many times has become somewhat of a regular fixture in our house so it makes sense that the room is now "her" bedroom. At the moment, 3 days of the week she lives in there so it's only right I guess that we give it a little makeover in order to make it feel like her room.

I had been picking up little bits and pieces from Penneys last Summer as I had every intention of decorating in there but of course, I never got around to it and without realising, the colour scheme ended up in yellow, grey and white. I have some lovely canvas print in these colours that will be hung up as well as a chevron throw in the same colours to go in there.

I seem to be a bit obsessed with chevron designs lately, I may be a bit late to this craze but that's me! So off I went and trowled through Pinterest for some ideas.

I'm hoping to get my hands on some curtains like these:

I've found a few sets of curtains I like but nothing so far that jumps out at me, it's a small window so I don't want them too long especially seeing as the bed is up against the window. Ideally I'd love a window from the company VELUX, I've always loved the idea of these, lying back on the pillows looking out at the night sky or having a pretty pattern to look at rather than a dull ceiling. I especially love these Disney designs on the velux blinds, the Bambi one would be perfect for the colour scheme I have planned!

Next up is bedding, I love this one for sticking with the chevron theme:

But also this one to break up the design a little:

How cute is the subtle bird design from Littlewoods? Perfect for a newly turned teenage girls bedroom I think.

I'm all for accessories especially throws, some might say (my mother) that I have a bit of an obsession because the hot press is full of them, all different colours and designs but something like these are what I have got for the room already:

As mentioned, I have a few canvas prints and signs I've picked up along the way to choose from as well as some fairy lights to go around the bed, similar to these:

There is some paint leftover from another room in the house which just so happens to be the shade I want in the bedroom, a soft buttermilk which I think will really give the room a warmer feel to it. I just need to invest in a new roller and really I have no excuse to not get started on it.

The only thing I can't seem to find is a nice mat or rug. With the way I have arranged the furniture there is quite a bit of floor space and I'd like a mat to go there, nothing too big and nothing too bold in print as I don't want to take away from the rest of the little features that will be in the room but I also need it to hide any dirt from shoes going in and out! If you know of anywhere that I can have a look at some nice mats in the theme above please let me know in the comments :)

I'm hoping to get cracking on the painting in the next week or so and am excited to see it all come together, I'll probably want the room for myself after all of this! Be sure to stay tuned and I will blog my final result once it's all done along with prices and how we are trying to keep it budget friendly.

I love seeing other peoples interiors and renovations so if you've done a room in your house lately and blogged about it, please let me know because I would love to have a read!

Images courtesy of Pinterest and Littlewoods

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