I am “So it’s Results Day” Mum

Although it is many moons ago, Mammy remembers getting her Leaving Cert Results.

Mammy was certain that the contents of the little brown envelope were going to change her life. Had Mammy’s life REALLY depended on the contents of that little brown envelope, quite frankly, I’d be living an utterly dreadful, mediocre and half-arsed attempt at one. πŸ˜‚

Because the results printed on my little scrap of yellow paper were quite awful, if I’m very honest. The only mark I remember (or tell anyone about!) was my A1 in Honours English. Go figure. As for the rest of them? I’d say the examiners only passed me so that they wouldn’t have to read my verbal diahorrea again the following year. πŸ˜‚I’m not exaggerating either.

But the other grades didn’t matter. The A in English was all that mattered to me, both then AND today. Yes, I got into college, but not until I had spent a week back in the brown uniform 😣😣 convincing myself that I needed to repeat. It wasn’t until the second round offers and a trip to meet (attackπŸ˜›) the Dean of the English Department in Coleraine, that I finally got my place on the degree course. (I might have only been 17, but I was a stroppy one!πŸ˜‚)

English was all I loved. It was all that I wanted to study and, as the little brown envelope told me, it was apparently all that I was good at… All that I was good at THEN. At 17. Turns out, I’m good at a whole load of things. I just didn’t get to take exams in singing, dancing, shopping or eating. The Big LC recognised my ability to understand Shakespeare and write stories off the top of my head, but it didn’t (and couldn’t) know how strong I was at things like organisation, being a friend, laughing or pulling pints. So I was crap at French. Biology for me ended after the section on photosynthesis. But although my math grade was dismal, I challenge you to find ANYONE who can work out a % as quickly as me when I see the word “SALE”. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

So there. Now, almost 20 years on, I’m a teacher and of COURSE I value the Leaving Cert. I love teaching the course and I try my best to encourage my Babbies to give it their best shot. But I also know that they are teenagers. That they have a LOT going on. That some of them have things going on in their lives that are a WHOLE lot more important that exams. 😒 That whole some of them will give it their ALL for 2 years, on the day of the exam, it might just not happen. And sometimes, that at 18, they’re just not quite ready for the ridiculousnpressure of the state exam.

For a whole load of reasons, tomorrow is a huge day for our young adults. But that little brown envelope is only that. An envelope. Despite what it is inflated to be, it is NOT the most important piece of paper in the world. Yes, the letters and numbers inside it will have an immediate effect. Yes, some doors will open and yes, some doors will close, but what is written on the page does not define them.

The Leaving Cert does NOT know our children. It doesn’t see the kindness. It doesn’t measure their ability to change things. It can’t recognise their skills as motivators, or thinkers, or makers, or doers. It does not define them, nor should it. And as parents, yes, some of us might be disappointed tomorrow. But mostly we should be proud, because regardless of what is on that page, they are OUR children and they have done their best and we must remind them that they CAN do whatever they want. Because WE know what they can be.

There are ALWAYS options and sometimes, the path that they are so determined to be the ONLY one for them right now, was never the right one for them…it usually takes a few years for them to realise that however. But they will. πŸ’•

So tonight, tell them how brilliant they are. And leave them under NO illusion that no matter what words and letters are on that piece of paper tomorrow, that you are and will always be proud of them and that you will help them to get to where they want to go, may it be straight through the college door or in a longer, roundabout way. But all roads lead ahead. And before they know it, they won’t even remember what was printed on the page!

It might be almost 20 years since I opened my little brown envelope and had my heart broken in a million pieces, but trust me, everything happens for a reason. πŸ˜‡ Tonight, I send love to all of the young people (especially my own Babbies😘😘) and to all you exam parents whose minions face the brown envelope tomorrow.

And remember, that little brown envelope does NOT hold the key to their future. They hold that key already.

It’s right inside them.

And no piece of paper can change that. XXX

I am “Shut that alarm clock up” Mum

Mammy has been stressed since BEFORE she opened her Feckin eyes this morning… Why? Because of The Him.

You see The Him is tired and when The Him is tired he likes to play a game called “Let’s see how many times I can make the alarm clock go off before the love of my life loses the plot and physically kicks me OUT of bed game”.

This morning, he played that game and let’s just say, it did NOT end well. On the THIRD Snooze attempt, Mammy opened one sticky eye and whispered “Pleeeeease get up. You’ll be late.”

On alarm number Four, Mammy opened the other eye and hissed “Do NOT let that fucking thing go OFF again. If you wake the Baby, I will HURT you.” “I’m up. I’m up” says Him, very OBVIOUSLY NOT UP. In fact, the end of his sentence was punctuated by a guttural nearly-snore.

By now, I was stressed. I was glaring through his big dopey head, stressing about the fact that HE was going to be late for HIS work, while HE slipped back into the type of sleep that only a feckin MAN can! πŸ˜‘

So there lay Mammy, WIDE AWAKE at 7am, the ONE morning the Minions slept beyond 6.30am this SUMMER, stressed that The Him was going to be late for work, while Him, the big Gombeen waited for his fecking alarm clock to sing at him for the FIFTH time…and SING it did. 😑 Loudly.

So loudly in fact that it did INDEED awaken the Minions across the hall, BEFORE it woke him. Actually, to be pedantic, it probably wasn’t the alarm clock that woke him… It MIGHT have been Mammy pulling the quilt off, putting her feet to his arse and pushing him OFF the bed, all the while serenading him with affectionate terms of endearment, some of which I’m pretty sure even HE hasn’t heard before! (And he worked on building sites for years, so you can imagine the colour Language of THAT morning wake-up callπŸ˜….)

Anybuts. By 10am, I’d calmed down. A bit.

And now, all is right with the world… We have a babysitter, I’ve stolen sparkly danglies from my Baby sister and we’re heading out for his birthday dinner tonight, so I can’t be too grumpy with him, but it’s safe to say that if an alarm clock goes off EVEN ONCE tomorrow morning, someone WILL get hurt. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Have a Super Saturday Lovelies.

Anything exciting planned?

I am So not in Galway Mum

Another year, another Ladies’ Day. πŸŽπŸ¦„πŸŽπŸŽπŸ¦„πŸŽ

I’ve just scrolled my news feed to see all of the EVERYBODY dressed up and eyebrowed to the hilt, in glorious colours and HUMONGOUS hats. And then I switched over from RTE Jnr to the lovely Ladybelles on Expose, (who succeed daily in EITHER inspiring me to wash my face and put on proper clothes… or hide in my pit eating icecream, depending on the level of hormental), and watched the interviews with all of the Everybody in their shiny perfection.

Every year, I declare that NEXT YEAR, I too will be Glammy Mammied to the ninety-nines, with eyebrows and concrete muckup and AMAZING high hair, quaffing chambubbles in a tent and smiling gaily at all the other Dollybirds. I would be wearing something chic and spensive and fablis and my neck would be sore from a MAHOOSIVE headhat which keeps stabbing The Him when I move, but I would NEVER admit that it is heavy because he would then be able to say “I told you so” and be all “Such a waste of money”, (even though he’d OBVIOUSLY never have been told how much it ACTUALLY cost!πŸ˜‚)

The Him would be beside me, all dapper of course, and my friends and I would clink glasses, admiring the fashionistas and keeping our smiles expertly fitted while we say things like “WTF is she wearing?” and “How can she walk in those?”, without words of course… just using our secret eyebrow code. πŸ˜„πŸ˜˜

And then we would have the coveted “FINALIST” sticker stuck on our outfits, and the afternoon would be a whirlwind of camera flashes and sore faces and I’d feel like a feckin Rose (yes, a geriatric rose, but still, it’d be as close as I’ll get.)

And then we’d all pop back to the G Hotel or some such fablis spot, where we’d spend the evening quaffing yet more chambubbles with all the fablis, shiny, eyebrowed Beauties, before rolling into bed, tipsy and still fablis.

Next year… (Coughs) πŸ˜„

For tonight however, I shall sit in my messy kitchen, listening to Princess refusing to go to sleep, getting over the fact that my Mini-Me told me she “doesn’t wub you no more” because I asked her lift the blocks before bed, wondering what I’ve eaten that has caused my skin to look like pizza and considering that I should perhaps change out of The Him’s PJs before he gets home.

(Lucky boy Him!πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜˜)

Then only thing high about my hair, is my Mum bun, but in honour of all the glamour on my news feed, (which YES, I AM going to continue to stalk for the next hour or so), I have decided to glam it up with a big flower so I don’t feel quite so unglam and DOWDY (and slightly grubby if I’m honest!). Probably should shower the smell of lasagne off me too.

Yeah. I’m quite content here.

Who would want to be in Galway eh?

Not me.

Nope.

Noooooo sirreeeeee.

I much prefer watching everyone else being glam. I am however, going to pop a wee cork here and do some quaffing myself, all in honour of the horsies of course. πŸŽπŸ¦„πŸŽπŸ¦„

Congrats to the winner in Galway, who seems to be getting a mixed reaction, but who I think looked fab. Amazing headpiece. (But I must say, Lisa’s Lust List was my favourite.)

Who was your favourite? #galwayraces #glammymammy

I am Seven Summer Fundays in Donegal Mum


Summer

 

It’s here.  The summer holidays: when routine goes out the window, the fridge seems to have permanent bums waggling out of it, and we find ourselves wondering, once again, how on earth primary teachers deal with up to 30 of our little minions in one room.  Of course the holidays are great, but they also bring their challenges. The biggest one?

 

Boredom.

 

Kids get bored, verrrrrrrry quickly.  Kids need constant entertainment and fun.  Entertainment and fun cost money, and while there are of course hundreds of things you can do with your minions, here are 7 of my favourite things to do right here at home. They range from absolutely free to the not so free but no matter how often we do these things or go to these places, the girls always enjoy them and feel like they’ve been somewhere special.

 

In no particular order:

 

 

Glenveagh – Now those of you who follow my blog, know that Glenveagh National Park is a firm favourite in our little family.  We go there 2 or 3 times a month and myself and The Him love it just as much as the girls do.  It’s only a short drive from Letterkenny, has absolutely NO phone coverage and has THE most stunning landscape in the country.  NOWHERE beats Glenveagh for beauty. The best thing is that entry to the park is absolutely FREE. You can bring a picnic or try some of the insanely good cakes and food in the tearooms there.  We walk the 4k to the castle every and usually take the bus back up as Mini-Me’s legs aren’t quite able for 8K just yet! Bikes are available to hire from Grassroutes in the carpark too and you can get one of the little buggy-trailers for the minions.  The castle grounds are beautiful and while ours are too young to do the full bridal path, there is lots to occupy them (and their imaginations) in the gardens.  (Tell your minions that the gates with the stag heads are the Gates to Santa’s summer house.  Never gets old!)

 

The Beach – We are so blessed to have so many beautiful beaches on our doorsteps. Lisfannon Beach in Fahan is possibly my favourite place in the world.  It’s not only where I often escape for some sneaky Mam-me time, (seriously, some life changing decisions have been made on this beach), it’s also where I take the girls if we want to have some good old fashioned free fun.  It’s only 15 minutes from my house, but the girls feel like they’ve had such a treat, even if we only stop for a 20 minute run-about.  Over the summer, I keep a blanket and buckets in the car, so if we find ourselves nearby, it’s easy to stop here.  I also keep a bag with a change of clothes and a towel in the boot, just incase it’s warm enough for a paddle.  There’s loads of parking and in the summertime, there’s usually an ice-cream van in the carpark.

 

Nature Walks – Mini-Me loves these.  We live in the backend of beyond, so in fairness, even a play in the garden can be a learning curve, but if I really want to occupy them for an hour, I plop Princess in the buggy and off we go.  Mini-Me is beginning to recognise some of the tree types (reminding me  of things that I used to know!) and there’s a gate at the end of our farm where I once told her the fairy kingdom begins, so she loves to visit there.  She stands on the side of the road talking to the gate, but in her head, she’s on a serious adventure! Fun fun fun and FREE FREE FREE!

Parks – We love Ballymacool Park.  Just outside the town, it’s peaceful and quiet, even when busy.  It’s easy to park, has lovely trails for walking and beautiful views. The little playpark is wonderful; clean and full of playthings for kids of all ages.  The best thing about this little area is that it’s fully fenced off, and so no matter what direction Princess runs in, she’s safe (and enclosed!).  

 

Soft Play – Some days, Soft play is the only answer isn’t it? Especially with the summer weather we get here! The most exciting thing about going to soft play, is going to soft play with OTHER minions.  It’s win:win; A catch up for the mums, excitement (and a guaranteed successful bedtime) for the kids.  Arena 7, Dizzy Rascals and Century Play are all wonderful and have different features that the kids love, AND they all serve good coffee.  Keep an eye on their pages for deals and rates.

 

The Happy Camper –  Now.  Here is a secret that every parent in the area should know. The Happy Camper at Cooney’s is probably the ONLY place in Letterkenny where Mammy and Daddy Bear types can get to actually DRINK their cuppa.  Not only are the pancakes incredible, they have a fully childproofed level with a brilliant corner full of toys and chalkboards and books for kids.  There is a stairgate so even your littlest ones are safe to wobble about.  Now that Princess is at the stage of point-blank refusing to sit in a high chair, this spot is perfect for us.  If I meet a mate, we can actually chat.  And if I’m on my own with the girls, I get to drink my coffee and they’re in playtime heaven.  

 

Oakfield Park  –  Again, we LOVE Oakfield Park. It’s only 10 minutes from where we live and great for famiy Sunday-fundays, but also for random afternoons over the holidays. There is a charge to get in of course, but what I love about this place is that every year when they reopen, something new and wonderful has been added to the park. They add to the facility constantly.  The new Buffers Tea rooms are lovely, but you can also bring a picnic along with you. We bought the annual pass this year and it’s great value if you use the park often. The park is stunning, so well kept and beautifully presented.  There’s a play park and the Fairy tree is a favourite of Mini-Me’s.  The steam train is a real novelty.  Again, keep an eye on their page for events and activities coming up over the summer.

😘Their Teddy Bear Picnic is on this Wednesday from 12pm😘

https://www.facebook.com/Oakfield.Park/ 

 

 

So there you go.  These are just my top 7 go-to days out and activities in and around Letterkenny, all year round. I’m sure you could all add your own to this list. 

Here’s to a fun summer and some sort of summer weather! 

You can also read this post on my Thoroughly Modern Mammy column here http://www.donegalwoman.ie/2017/07/02/my-top-7-things-to-do-with-my-minions/ 

Join my daily blog on Bookface https://www.facebook.com/the.s.mum/

Or follow my Instagranny @the.s.mum 

I am So I took a week off Mum

So, as you’ll have noticed, I took a week off.  I deleted the FB app from my phone and took a long overdue trip with the love of my life, sans kiddies. 

This time last week, I was swinging off a lampost in central Park in 30Β° sunshine, πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡ singing “Singing in the rain” at the top of my voice and not giving a continental who heard me.  I’m going to spend the next 5 days starting sentences with “This time last week…” πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ 

We spent 5 glorious days in NYC, just me and The Him. (I’ll post properly about it during the week.)  Suffice to say, it was AMAZEBALLS and we really did have the time of our lives.🍏 But today, while it CERTAINLY was NOT 30Β°, we were back in our FAVOURITE park in the world with our favourite little people. Central Park doesn’t hold a candle to Glenveagh with our wee buddies. πŸ’—πŸ’—

Oh how we missed Mini-Me and Princess, and we are so glad to be home safe and sound to them, but taking a few days to be Mammy and Daddy again, (or rather Maria and Emmet), was invaluable. When you’re busy parents, it’s hard to find yourselves in the mayhem.  Every conversation tends to be about the kids. Every phonecall or text message revolves around them. Each thought you have has something to do with the act of parenting. Your daily interactions are mostly about or for the kids. Your entire focus in day-to-day life, is the kids… 

And so it must be,  but to have had 5 full days and nights of just being US, did our little family unit absolutely no harm at all. 

Sometimes, a Mammy and Daddy need to find each other in the midst of all the madness, may it be simply for a dinner date or a movie night, or a trip away.  Yes, we spent much of our time talking about and missing the girls, but we also had fun together, laughed together, drank beer at 2pm, ate our bodyweight, and enjoyed being tourists in a ridiculously fun place.

  We finished conversations without being interrupted 167 times. We did what WE wanted to do when it suited us, just like we used to. We were spontaneous, not thinking about anything but us, and we remembered all the things we actually like about being The Him and The Her. πŸ’—πŸ’™

So while the biggest challenge for me was to STOP referring to him as “Daddy” (and no it is NOT kinky! WTF like? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚), we managed to have the holiday of our lives. 

 In fact the only thing that made us look forward to getting home, was the thought of getting squeezes and snuggles from the two Dollies. Their reactions were priceless when we got back. 
Mini-Me has announced that we are “never going on holidays again, ever!” and Princess seems to have doubled in size and has learned to use “Noooooooo” quite impressively.  They were spoiled rotten by Ganny and Gwanda.  Of course they were! 
I must admit that I did miss the daily craic here with you all,πŸ’— but I think the week off from writing did me the world of good.   

And how is Jim I hear you ask? Poor Jim, was abandoned by The Him for the Her, for the 1st time in 3 years. Poor Jim my arse.  Jim is probably rocking in the corner waiting for Him’s Daddy back at 6am tomorrow.  
But did we miss him? Not one feckin bit! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I am Sunshine and Suncream Mum

Oh it is sunshiny and fablis. 😎😎
Oh how wonderful.😎
Let us drive home with Stepford Mammy notions of pottering in the garden, topping up our Vitamin D, naming flowers and passing on our memories of nature walks and such. Let us have a light, sunnyful,  salady dinner and let the children run free while we watch and adore them from the poofy lounger. And then, let them be so exhausted from their frolicking and pottering, that they snuggle down for a long sleep, full of the joys of summer and sunkissed and freckled, smelling of the great outdoors…
Good Mammy.
Now let us be realistic. πŸ˜…
Yes, we may drive home full of these notions, but notions they are, and only notions.
In reality, let’s collect the minions, tired and cranky from the heat at play/school, let us put them in a car of approximately 31Β° even with the windows down, for them to get MORE cranky and sweaty on the way home. Let us have a complete fecking meltdown when you offer icecream but end up with ice-POPS because the cone machine has had fecking heart attack at its sudden overuse. Let us try to get the homework done, because Clever Mammy knows that whatever chance we have of getting it done NOW, there is precisely feck all chance of it being done once the pottering commences.
Let us wrestle more suncream onto the two wrigglers, before having a quiet and peaceful πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚standoff with the Mini-Me about putting ON her hat,  while the Princess insists on removing HER hat to EAT IT at 3 minute intervals.
 Let is not even think about sitting one’s Stepford Mummy posterier on a lounger, poofy or not, because “Pottering” with a wobbler ACTUALLY means following the little turdler, 3 steps behind, lifting her away from the dog’s bowl and racing her to the gate 16 times in 6 minutes, wondering how her fat little legs are so fast?  πŸ˜₯
Then, let us realise that unless you have a fecking COOK residing in your home, having a light summery etc dinner, STILL requires Mammy to go inside to COOK IT. And going for pizza would require gettinto the car again… nope! 😭
And so begins the END of the “pottering”, and the beginning of ARMAGETTIN…which is where you forcibly remove the suncream clad, slippery, sun stricken, cranky, exhausted and very fecking happy wobbler from the sunshine, by grabbing her in your ARMS and (trying to) GET IN!  

Armagettin. πŸ˜…πŸ˜…
Let us then rejoice in the fact that Iggle Piggle is working his blue bottomed magic in the corner and let us spend the next hour feeding the kids who are two fecking HOT to eat anyway and looking longingly at the sunshine that you can’t get out to, and watching the clock, wishing it to be bedtime so that we can steal the last 30 minutes of sunshine for ourselves.
Let us love this weather, but let is not fool ourselves.  

Stepford Mammies we are not.
It’s not all pottering and gleefully finding bugs in the “gawden Dahling”.  Sometimes it’s a suncreamy, slippery, cranky sesspit of overheated mayhem, that will ultimately lead to 2 sticky, smelly and happily knackered minions CRASHING from a combination of sunshine and heat, and the need for all the bedsheets to be washed in the morning. 

(Trust me, THAT is easier than trying to bath these two tonight! 

Feral I tell you…πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚)
And THEN, let us sup on cold grapes and enjoy the not so sunshiny, but still quite lovely evening, in the suncream free company of my boychild. πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

Have a good one Lovelies. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I am Stupid o’Clock Mum

​Some of the things Mini-Me said last night between 11.30pm and 3.21am…
β˜†”Hulk is under my bed.” (Note to self…kick The Him if/when I get back to bed. Fecking stupid Avengers movies.
β˜†”I need bainne.” (Milk) (Nope because then you’ll be even more awake ANDneed a pee.)
β˜†”My room needs tidied.”  (Reeeeeeally? At 2am? THAT’s when you acknowledge that this room is a mess?)
β˜†”Look at theshapadiswoom!” followed by an eye-roll and a pretty impressive Tut tut. (And yet you still won’t clean it in the morning, which is nearly FECKIN HERE ALREADY!) 😒😒😒
β˜† “The Sky’s awake, so I’m awake.” (If I ever get my hands on the prick who wrote that shit…it’s NOT SO ADORABLE AT STUPID O’CLOCK.)
β˜† “I need water!” (“Mummy can’t go up to the kitchen when the alarm is on pet.” 

TAKE THAT MINI-ME!!! 

“Der’s water beside your bed Mammy.”  

DAMMIT! 😑😑😑
β˜†”I hear FOR!” (THOR) “He’s outside my window!” (No, he isn’t Sweetheart … as much as Mammy would LOVE to meet Thor and his hammer in the dark… πŸ˜‚ 😈😈😈)
β˜† “I’ve alweady been to sleep TWO TIMES tonight!”  (Seriously…her logic and debating skills would make a politician look as useless as a chocolate teapot…)
β˜† 3.20am “You can go back to your own bed now Mammy, I need to go to sleep.” 

(Are you serious?)


Then at 8am, (🎢singing🎢)…”Good Morning, Good Moooooorning, we’ve slept da whole night fruu!” in the hallway, just loud enough to ensure that Princess joins in with “Mamamamam!”

(Are you shitting me?)
 S-Mum kicks The Him πŸ‘€, who I know went to bed last night assuming it was his turn for a Sunday morning sleep-in.
S-Mum growls and hisses like a rabid badger, offers some obscenities and expletives about getting EVERYONE OUT, followed by “I only got to bed at 3.45…pleeeeeeeeease…I just need another hour!” 

(Why I still feel the need to exaggerate the time, necause 3.21am wasn’t late enough, I don’t know!)
And so, today, I’m knackered and SHE is like a bag of feckin rattlesnakes, coiled up and ready to attack ANYONE who dares speak to her. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
How fun…πŸ˜…
Thank you to #glammymammy Nicole for sending me this image.

Enjpy the last few hours of the weekend S-mumblies. Xxxx