I am Spelling Mum

Phonetics…

Gone are the days of learning the good old alphabet and putting together the words, just because.

Now, it’s all different. And obviously, it’s much more effective. Of course it is. Who am I to question it?

I’m used to it now, but initially when Mini-Me came home calling letters by their sounds, I couldn’t deal with it at all.

Suddenly, dog was not spelled Deee-oooh-Geeee. Apparently now it is Di – oh – Ga. And C-a-t is Ki-aaaaah- Teh.

Now that she has finally started to blend the sounds together, Mammy is excited. I am excited for when she will be able to disappear into worlds unknown, and go on adventures with exciting new friends, all from the comfort of the sofa or her own wee bed. Because to this Mammy, reading is the greatest gift that we can give our children. Without a da-ooh-uh-(silent)ba-ti…

Now, because Mini-Me is learning through Irish, her sounds are slightly different to what I as an English teacher would expect. And never was this more clear that on holidays last week.

“Sah-te-oh-pe….satooopa…stoooopa…STOP!”

“Well done Darling!”

“Oh-pa-eh-nah…ohpehna…OPEN!”

“Yes that’s right! Look at YOU reading all by yourself!”

And then we sat down at a table, on which was screwed a sign. The sign simply said “NO PICNIC”

She got “no”, Noooh bother.
Picnic however?
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“Pii-iiii-ka-niii-iiii-sa”

“No. Try again.”
“Pii-iiii-ka-niii-iiii-ka”

“Almost darling. Try it in two parts”. Clever mammy here covers the first syllable of the word, thinking that if we broke it down, it would be easier for her to decipher.

“Pi – iiii – See… I KNOW I KNOW! It’s PISS!” she screams in exuberance, at the top of her voice, in the middle of the outdoor restaurant.

“Shhhhhhhhhh! No!”

“It IS Mammy look! P-I-C is PISS!” And language barrier or not, every adult in the place, turned to look at the feral Irish child, roaring PISS at the top of her voice, as proud as punch of herself.

Aren’t phonetics phun?
Phuck my Liphe…

I am Some Packing Hacking Mum

Packing for holidays is something I’ve always been good at; enjoyed even.  I am the Queen of packing light, usually packing for both of us in one case.  I’ve been known to arrive in my brother’s in London with just a handbag. Essentials only.  I’m low maintenance when it comes to packing.  As long as I have my lenses, bank card and passport, I’m a “good to go” kind of gal.

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But that in the days BC; Before Children.  If we’re going away even for a night, more effort goes into packing for the girls to have a sleepover in Granny’s than into our own packing. Going on Staycations over the past few years, even minimal packing has filled the car to the brim.

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So going abroad for the first time with the two minions and limited luggage posed its own problems.  And yet, with some great tips from the Mammies on my blog, I managed to make our 4 x suitcase, 80Kg allowance into two suitcases of 39Kg. so rather than 4 big cases and carry-on bags, we had only 2 bags to lug around airports and a small handbag or backpack each.

So here are my top tips for packing for a family holibop.

  1. Plan and List: Yes I am a Listy McListerson. I made a list of everything we’d need; clothes, nappies, chargers, suncream etc.  I planned the outfits to bring for each of us for each day.  I then added 2 extra outfits for the girls because let’s face it, at some point there will be a spillage or a poonami or something.   I set the cases out and as I set things into the room where I was packing, I ticked them off the list. Anything that wasn’t on the list, didn’t go in the bags.

2. Ziplock bags: BEST IDEA EVER from a fellow JimMum. She told me to put everything in clear bags; swimwear, pjs, vests, undrewear etc.  I put each outfit for the girls into wee bags and wrote their initial on the front. I popped underwear/nappy into each bag too, so in the evening  when they were being showered, I simply reached for the bags and their full outfits were ready to go. No searching for things in cases. Easy.

3.Spread the love:  Pack a change of clothes and swimwear for everyone in one of the carryone bags. This way, if your room isn’t ready, you can still go to the pool without having to start rummaging through cases. Another tip I got, which made perfect sense was to spread everyone’s clothes between the cases so that if a case got lost or delayed, everyone still had clothes with them.

4. Snack packs: I don’t know about your Minions, but my two eat every 5 minutes. My sister advised me to do up little snack bags for the flights and also for the pool bag and while I initially laughed it off, I am so glad that I did.  For  less than €6, I filled 9 bags with their favourites; popcorn, haribo, raisins, breadsticks etc. And each day, they munched through these and we saved a fortune, only having to buy ice-creams and drinks.

5. Puzzlebooks and mermaid poo:  For a few euro in a Euro shop, I stocked up on colouring books and puzzlebooks, crayons and “Mermaid poo”  These went into my bag every evening and were produced after dinner, proving a great distraction when needed.

6. Downloads: Now, we don’t usually resort to screens outside of home unless we’re desperate for just 10 more minutes to finish a meal. But downloading episodes from Netflix is a must.  Firstly, for the last hour of the flight, where the colouring books are exhausted and secondly, after their shower in the evening to give Mammy and Daddy 20 minutes to get ready. A few episodes of Ben & Holly came in handy.

7. One big carry-on bag: While I had my handbag, and the girls had their backpacks, Him carried a small case.  On the way over, it was pretty empty apart from swimwear, but on the way home, we used it for all of the towels and checked it into the hold. It also meant that we had room for bits and pieces the girls had gathered up while away.

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8. Microfibre towels: This was my greatest hack ever. I picked these up half price in Mountain Warehouse and I’ll be going in to buy some more soon. I brought 2 big ones and one handsized one, and they dried us all for the full week. These things dry instantly and are light and fold up tiny.  So handy and so much lighter than packing loads of beach-towels.

9. Pillow cases: Pack two or three and use them for dirty washing throughout the holiday. Easy packing the night before you return home and easy unpacking when you get back. One of lights, one for colours etc.

10. Swim nappies: While you can get pretty much EVERYTHING you need where ever you are going, swim nappies cost a fortune abroad. I bought packs of 12 at £3 each in Strabane.  They were almost €8 for 3 nappies in the supermarket there.

11. An “incase” bag:  I took a wee bag with Calpol and Nurofen sachets, sachets of diaralyte and a blister of motilium and Imodium etc.  Apart from the plasters and one or two calpol, thankfully we didn’t need these, but if we had, they were in the apartment and we’d have been glad of not having to go searching for a pharmacy.

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12. A sound Splitter:  Probably not the correct name, but this wee thing was a Godsend on the flight. It allows 2 sets of headphones to be  used at once so the girls were able to watch a show together. It was €3 in Penneys.

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If you are packing or yet to pack for your holidays, I hope this helps and I’m not at all jealous…

It goes so quickly. Enjoy every second!  If you have any other hints or hacks, share them below.

And don’t forget to follow me on Bookface .

I am Sexy Cows Mum

My neighbours are cows. Fooking cows. 🐄🐂🐮

Last night they kept us awake from 4am with their shenanigans.

You see, having been separated for quite a while, the cows 🐄and the Bulls🐃 were reunited yesterday evening.

“Moooooh! New Bulls, New Bulls!” the cows mooed at each other on the arrival of the Boyos. 🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃

“Moooooooh! Udders! Udders everywhere lads. Quick! Chests up and strut!” roared Billy Big Balls and his buddies.🐮🐮🐮

The cows immediately began to measure up the biggest boyo, while the bulls, each certain of their own alpha-moo-ness, 🐃strutted around like feckin Paycocks, shouldering each other out of the way, showing off their Bullsiness and trying to make the other Bulls look less Bullsy. 🐂

The Cows flicked their hair, 🐮chewed their cuds seductively and plumped their udders, some standing aloof, pretending not to be affected by the arrival of the testosterone, but watching every member of their tribe of fake BFFs with suspicion and jealousy.

When the human neighbours went to bed, all of the competitors were well behaved and seemed to have settled in to their new surroundings. But somewhere in the field, under the romantic half light of the stars, they found Viagara or Red Bull, and possibly some Benweed, which they mixed to form a drink like Yaga-Bullmers🍷, leading to an early morning Moo-fest. 🐄🐃🐄🐃🐄🐃🐄

Some time around 3.30am, their sir-loins could take no more and they gave in to temptation…

And by the sounds of things, every bull had a go on every cow and then they had a fecking singsong to celebrate their rumps being pumped. 🐃🐄

This morning, all were calm and knackered, possibly hungover from the mayhem of their party.

Tonight, they’re ready for another session and are already shoulder pumping and stomping.

It’s like they’ve never seen a Moomber of the opposite sex before. And with the heat on, the bets-ies are off.

It’s like an episode of Love Fecking Island here. They’re just not quite as orange. 😂😘

Cows next door? Never a bull moment…

I am Spin & Rinse Them Mum

How often do you do your washing then?

And by washing, I mean your kids?

Are you one of those Mammies I envy who can manage to wash their Minions every night? With a peaceful and practiced routine which includes fluffy towels, Pink skin amd Smiling cherubs?

Or are you like me?

The shameful excuse for a Mammy who gives them a deep clean once a week and sometimes throws them in for a rinse and spin midweek if there’s a chance that social services might be called as a result of the spud-growing levels of soil which could be ploughed under their Nails…

For whom the thought of wrestling the two skinnyarses out of the bath, (getting them INTO it is never a challenge!), Screams at the hairdrying regardless of how much conditioner is used and the general BOMBSITE into which the house descends, are enough to make Mammy consider grapes at 5pm…

The Mammy of the kids who are the OPPOSITE of the angels who get tired by a bath at bedtime? The kids who absorb the energy of the feckin water through their pores and end up BOUNCING for 45 minutes after being exorcised… sorry extracted, from the bubbles. (Yes even the lullaby-ing lavender-y Spensive bubbles).

Regardless of which of these you are, as long as they’re happy, does it REALLY matter how dirty they are?

And really, a dirty child is a healthy child yeah?
And the smell of a clean minion is short-lived anyway isn’t it?

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And really, how often we do our washing is the same amount of other people’s business as how many times a day we fart, is it not? 

 

Have you found me on Bookface and Instagranny yet?

 

I am Sleepover Club Mum – a Review

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The Sleepover Club is a new company set up by Letterkenny Mammy, Stevie Kleine. She brought her beautiful sleepover service to my girls recently and what a fablis service it is.

 

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How beautiful!?

Stevie arrives at your home and creates a stunning sleepover set-up; Handmade teepees, personalised with the names of the kids who are staying, trays, fairy lights and goodie bags for each child.

Everything is thought about and then she returns the next day to take everything away again.

The teepees are beautiful. Cath Kitsonesque patchwork with beautiful material and detailed stitching. They come with mattresses, pillows, sheets and little cushions. The teepees are joined with pretty bunting and fairy lights and each teepee has a little chalk board with names on.

Stevie has thought of everything. Trays, lanterns, LED candles, bottles and straws for their drinks, little colouring books with stickers and pencils, sweeties, a face cloth, a toothbrush and gorgeous eye masks. She even includes little boxes of cereal with a pink spoon tied to them for next morning.

 

 

 

On a serious note, the admin of The Sleepover Club is so professional. She arrives with a detailed legal contract for the hirer to read and sign. And her Child Safety guidelines and social media permissions are thorough and up to date. It’s clear where both parties stand before Stevie leaves the home. And obviously, it is up to the Hirer to inform the company about special requirements and to return the equipment in perfect condition.

 

 

Is it worth it? Well it’s not free obviously, but the magic that your little ones will experience is hard to explain. The Teepees are exquisite and there is a lot of work put into making your experience as perfect as it can be.  However, she can’t guarantee that the kids will sleep, but she can guarantee that they’ll feel like the most special princesses in the world.

My two LOVED the whole experience. Princess is still very little but she was beyond excited when they discovered the teepees set up. She’s been looking for them since Stevie collected them!

 

 

 

For a group of kids, aged 5 or 6 and up, this is a special and memorable way to celebrate a birthday, or even create memories. I would have had her cousins down for the night but it didn’t suit them, but it’s definitely a service I shall be using in the future.

Mini-Me and Princess had an evening of magic and memories. I’ll never forget their wee faces when they saw them set up… and THESE smiles the next morning are real.

 

 

You can get information on The Sleepover Club their Facebook page. They are also on Instagram and their email is thesleepoverclubdonegal@gmail.com

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My girls enjoyed this experience as a treat from The Sleepover Club, but as always, my reviews are honest and I am under no obligation to promote the service.