I am So Floating Mum

Yesterday, I found a new favourite thing to do!
Yesterday, I went Floating.

“The Float Room” in the Finn Valley Centre, Stranorlar is recently established and going from strength to strength.

I’ve been meaning to try floating for ages now, having heard great reports, so I was delighted when Gary invited myself and the Hubby over to try out the floating chamber.


I didn’t really know what to expect.  We arrived to a warm welcome from proprietor Gary Ramsay, who brought us through to the floating suite.  The room is spacious, well appointed and clean; a bathroom and shower adjoins the changing room.

In the centre of the room was a big white door.  The door looks like a fridge from a space ship, but inside is a little cocoon of blue loveliness.
Gary guided us through the process with simple instructions.

Once everything had been explained, he left us to it.  What I really enjoyed about the experience was that you are left alone.  You are completely in charge of your own experience.  When in a spa, you’re always aware that the therapist will return in just a few minutes.  Here, unless you need a member of staff, you are free to enjoy the experience at your own pace.  (there is of course an emergency button should you need assistance.  It’s never been pressed!)

The chamber is beautiful.  The blue lights are soothing and calming.  The ceiling has colour-changing LED lights which are a sensory treat. When you enter the bath, music plays for the first 15 minutes.  This is followed by 30 minutes of quiet and then the music gently returns when there is 15 minutes of your session left.  It is a clever system as you can allow yourself to forget time completely.
The bath itself is huge.  Two people can comfortably share the chamber. The water isn’t overly deep and is toasty warm, and once you lie into it, you do indeed float!  With over a tonne of Epsom salts in the tub, you are fully unable to sink. (I swim like a concrete block, so this was a very new experience for me!)



The most difficult part of the experience is actually relaxing!  It took me quite a while to fully surrender to the water.  I had to fully focus on relaxing certain muscles.  My neck was automatically keeping my head above water, but when you consciously force it to relax, it’s incredible.

The lights on the ceiling can be controlled manually.  We chose to turn them off.  I think that when I go again, I’ll keep the music on throughout.  I enjoyed the silence of course, but the music was relaxing and added that spa-like feel to the experience.

At the end of the session, when the filter begins to clean the chamber, you begin to spin gently as if on a whirlpool.  This was weird, but fun!  I think that with a few more sessions, I’d get better at relaxing and get further benefit from the experience.

As a couple, we don’t often get a full hour of uninterrupted conversation. I thought that we’d have a chance to talk, but obviously when you’re floating, your ears are under water, so there was no chatting! There are neck cushions that can be used however if you do want to chat with your floating partner.  Goggles and earplugs are also available in the changing room.

The one piece of advice that I wish I’d paid more attention to, was to keep my hands away from my eyes!
Epsom salts + contact lenses = ouchee! But a dry towel beside the chamber door soon sorted that.

The shower room and changing room are fully equipped with robes, towels and toiletries.  There is a powerful hairdryer and a basket of everything you might have forgotten!  Bottles of water and “sucky sweets” were welcome after the float.

I have to say, by bedtime, my back and shoulders had the ache of having had a good massage.  I slept like a baby last night.

So all in all, the experience was a lovely one. It was different.  It was relaxing.  It was very enjoyable.
I would happily go back on my own, or with himself.  If nothing else, it meant that I knew that he had had a full hour of relaxation without his phone beeping!
I can fully understand why Floating can benefit everyone.  It is proven to have immense benefits for pregnancy and Gary tells me that he has a number of clients to who bring their autistic children along as a form of relaxation.

Gary will be at my Bump and Beyond event on April 3rd so will answer any questions.  Or if you can’t wait until then, call him on 0894428691 or email him on info@thefloatroom.ie


I am So-floating Mum 😆

Follow me on Facebook

I am Sunrise Mum

This morning, Princess woke at 6am with a sore tummy.  I brought her into my bed and tried all of my usual tricks to get her back to sleep. 
Just one more hour please.
Usually, she snuggles up to me, plants a pudgy wee hand flat on my cheek and sighs.  It’s quite adorable.
This morning she was searching frantically through closed eyes for the teat of the bottle that I obviously should have had in her mouth ten minutes earlier. Her arms were flailing and she was grunting like a little pig at the swill bucket.
I swear, it was as if she hadn’t been fed in 3 days. 
She’s funny when she decides she’s hungry.  Feed me NOW. (She’s like her mother I suppose!)

And so, for the first time in a few weeks, I find myself up and coffeefied before 6.30am.
I got herself settled and she’s currently snoring in the corner. 
I was thinking about going back to bed, but then I looked out the window and realised that I haven’t seen the sunrise in a long time.
I’ve always been a morning person.
I’m the person that those “If you see someone smiling before 7am, slap them!” mugs, are about.


I’ve always loved the calm and the quiet of day break, when you can breathe in the nothingness before the world awakens. 
And so, I put on my warmest coat and sat on the back doorstep; coffee and huge dog cuddles keeping me warm.

And I watched. 
And I listened. 
The countryside at stupid o’clock is eerily quiet. It’s gorgeous.


And while I knew that this calm would not last; because my little Tasmanian Devil would be waking up to take on the world in approximately ten minutes; I took it all in and enjoyed it.

My backside was freezing by the time I heard her footsteps coming up the hall, but my head was calm and my heart was all warm and fuzzy.
I was ready for the day ahead.

I would have loved an extra hour in bed, obviously,
but sometimes it does not harm to be
Sunrise Mum.

Follow S-Mum on Facebook https://m.facebook.com/Secretsofsmum/
And on Twitter @Maria_Rushe


I am Suds-and-Sauvignon Mum

Recently I had a bubble bath.

It wasn’t just an ordinary bubble bath.

It was my first bubble bath since having Princess a few months ago.
It was my first bubble bath with bubbles made by a ridiculously luxurious and smelly bath lotion.
It was my first bubble bath in almost a year where I could sip on a glass of Sauvigon while I soaked.

It was my first bubble bath in quite a while, where I actually fit into the tub and didn’t require the help of Hubby and a forklift to get out!

It was heavenly.

I lit some scented candles, turned off the main light and closed the door knowing that Mini-Me and Princess were safe with Daddy.
I had at least a half hour to switch off.

It was utter bliss.

To get a few minutes, however long or short, where you know the kids are safe in someone else’s care and you can completely relax, is a luxury that I never appreciated until I had children.

I reached out for the fancy, long-stemmed wine glass and sighed.  The golden liquid swishing around the huge glass looked extra pretty and lush in the candlelight.  I found myself stopping to look at the scene in front of me.

Had I had a camera, this would have been a cool photograph.
Candlelight, suds, the gold sauvignon, my recently painted nails.  It was all quite fabulous; classy; romantic even!  The photograph would have been the perfect accompaniment to an article on a Yummy Mummy, or indeed a perfect pamper evening.


I sipped on the cold wine and enjoyed the flavours.  It had been quite a while since I had had wine in the bath!  Deep breath and relax.  And then smile as I felt a little bit of the “Me B.C” creeping back.
Yes.  This was Heaven.
And then I turned my head slightly to the left…
On the edge of my “photograph of perfection” was a reminder of real life.

Along the side of the bath, was the full collection of Disney princesses…the bath toy versions…which are pretty, but a little creepy when you consider the size of their heads in relation to their bodies!
(And the Rapunzel doll looks like she’s high on something illegal!)
Interspersed with these Princesses, were multicoloured rubber ducks, glaring at me through their pirate eye-patches.


I looked to the right.
The over flowing laundry basket looked like it was puking clothes.

And so my picture perfect Yummy Mummy moment suddenly became a snapshot of reality.
And I simply laughed.
I focused again on the centre view.  If I just kept looking straight ahead, I could pretend for a few minutes that I had nothing to worry about but the suds and that my servants would sort out the laundry!

And so that is what I did.  I finished sipping the Sauvignon, stared at the candle flame dancing through the suds, and relaxed.

When I was suitably wrinkly and relaxed, (and the water was starting to get too cold to enjoy), I turned my attention back to Cinderella and her band of ducking pirates.

Yes, I was cross at them for ruining my picture perfect moment, but still.
They represent my reality.
I can pretend to be as classy and sophisticated as I like, but the reality is that I am an overgrown child who quite likes the colourful mess of bath toys in the bathroom.
And I don’t have servants so the puking laundry basket would be dealt with, by me…but not until the next morning.

I got out of the bath, (without help!!!  HUGE accomplishment!), wrapped myself up in a fluffy towel and left the candlelit bathroom, completely relaxed and smelling lovely, and looking forward to cuddles with my own little Disney Princesses in the bright light of the next morning.

But for just a little while,
I was Suds-And-Sauvignon Mum.

Follow S-Mum on Facebook  https://m.facebook.com/Secretsofsmum/
And on Twitter @Maria_rushe

I am So Smug Mum

So tonight, I am So Smug Mum.

Like, soooooo smug.

Because tomorrow, Mini-Me turns four and I will no longer be the mother of a Threenager!


When the sun rises tomorrow, it will mark a new phase in our family’s life. 

Gone will be the irrational, illogical, utterly terrifying (and slightly demonic!) three year old.
Instead, from the bedroom will emerge a calm, sweet and reasonable little four year old.

Mini-Me will be four.  As she told me today, when she’s four, she’ll be able to touch the roof because she’ll be so grown up.

The tantrums will end.
The screaming will cease.  (Mine too!)
Her moods will become more predictable and she’ll become more logical and rational.
I will have the bestest little buddy that a daughter becomes.  Obviously, she’s my best buddy already, but the love and ability to appreciate each other’s company will be mutual from tomorrow…obviously!

Because the Threenager will have left the building!
And I will have survived the “Terrible Twos” AND the “Tantrumesque Threes”.
So therefore, tonight, I raise my glass of red juice and say, quite happily, that I am indeed So Smug Mum!

See you on the other side S-Mummies!



Follow S-Mum on Facebook https://m.facebook.com/Secretsofsmum and on Twitter @Maria_Rushe

I am So-Smug Mum

I am SeelaSalaaCassello-Mum!

And so say all of us!”

This is what Mini-Me sings EVERY time she finishes singing “Happy Beffday”.
It’s completely ridiculous, but so cute that I don’t have the heart to correct her.  In fact, on Friday last, while her Aunty blew out her candles, everyone started to sing Mini-Me’s version of the song.  I have a feeling that it will be one of those things that will haunt her into adulthood.

And it got me thinking.  Why do we automatically correct some mistakes, while accepting others?
Why do I think it’s okay for her to change the entire lyric of a song, but yet when she says “Where is her?”, I immediately correct her with “Where is she!”?

It’s not like my own speech is perfect.
I sometimes talk really quickly.
Like, really quickly.
Or so I’m told.

I’m always aware that I need to slow down, especially if I’m speaking to someone new.
It can be full speed ahead, to the point that if you’re not from lovely Donegal, there’s a good chance that you’re smiling politely at me, but you’ve no idea what I’m saying.

Why do I do this?
I have no idea.

I do make an effort to slow down obviously, but if I’m nervous or excited, I speed up dramatically.
If I’m excited and I’ve had coffee, I go to superspeed.
If I’m excited and I’ve had wine, well you had better buckle up and try to keep up!

As an English teacher, I am constantly aware of the mistakes that we make in our everyday speech.  Indeed, outside of the classroom, I am happily able to slip into the colloquial dialect of my hometown.   I don’t apologise for it.

I’m am however, that person who is silently correcting your grammar.  I don’t mean any harm.  It’s my job I suppose.

When people mispronounce words, I cringe.  (I had a meeting once with a lovely lady who loved the word “specific”, but who pronounced it “pacific”.)
When my students make the (very Donegal)  mistake of “I seen him down the town,” I have been known to start singing “See-Saw, See-Saw, See-Saw!!!!!” at them.


I want to throw people who like, say “like”, like a lot, out the like window.

So of course I try to teach my own girls to speak properly.

I find myself using the phrases “Slow down” or “Let me hear your words please” with Mini-Me quite frequently of late.

Her speech is generally very good.  It’s never been a cause for concern for me.
She drives my brother crazy saying “Lellow“.  He once spent 20 minutes teaching her “Ye-Ye-Yellow.”  She proudly ended the lesson with “Ye-Ye-Lellow!”
Everything is “Bery” good and she wears a “best” instead of a vest.
I don’t stress.  She’s three… (or free!).

She lost her first tooth last week and for a few days, her newly acquired lisp provided great entertainment to the adults in her life.  Of course, we didn’t make her aware of the humour she was providing to us, but we had a little chuckle at the cuteness among ourselves.  It passed after only a few days.

But it got me thinking.
Over the past week, I’ve found myself paying attention to the little words she mispronounces or gets completely wrong.  And where I would usually automatically say the word correctly to her straight away, I’m trying to remember them.
She’s growing up so quickly and as she proceeds through the school system, those little mistakes will be rectified by her well-intentioned teachers.

Instead, when she announces that she wants another “escapode” of Peppa Pig, I smile and enjoy the fact that she’s can even try to say that word!

And for now, when she has the confidence to stand in front of a room full of people and sing “Seeeela Saalla Casello!” At the top of her voice, I let her.
(How “She’s a jolly good fellow” became “Seeeela Saalla Casello!”, I will never know).
But it is hilarious. It’s cute. It won’t last forever.


(Sometimes however,  we must correct.
Like yesterday when she bumped her elbow and screamed “You hurt my Booobeeeee!”, I HAD to correct her.
I’m not even going to try to understand how she got those two particular body parts mixed up, but she did.)

Because she’s three.
And for  “Seeeela Saalla Casello!” And so say all of us!

I am  “SeeeelaSaallaCasello-Mum”. 😅

Follow S-Mum on Facebook  https://m.facebook.com/Secretsofsmum/
Or on Twitter @Maria_Rushe