Thursday, April 29, 2010

Attention all women: WE HAVE BEEN CONNED!!!

It has taken me two pregnancies, two babies, two and a half years of breastfeeding, several bouts of blocked ducts, mastitis, milk blisters, engorgement and most recently, two sore and bleeding, so painful, make me cringe when I even think about nursing, cracked nipples, to make me see what should have been obvious all along.

Women's underwear is a giant SHAM!

I spent the vast majority of my twenties picking self induced wedgies out of my bum and then telling myself they were oh so comfortable (really! (pick pick) I can't feel a thing!) all to avoid the indignity of the dreaded “pantyline.” It wasn't until I became pregnant on the snot queen that I discovered the joy of plain cotton bikini briefs and the happiness that is air circulating in my nether regions.

As for bras... Where oh where do I begin?

Is it with the shame and agony of reading about and then promptly failing the “pencil test” of Cosmopolitan magazine fame? For those of you not in the know, this involves placing a pencil under your naked breasts. If it falls out, you have no worries in this life. Your breasts are firm and perky and you will forever be able to wear “pretty bras” made of little more then dental floss and ribbons.

If on the other hand your, “already a D cup at 15 years of age and destined to be a G cup by millenium's end” breasts can confidently hold an economy size can of L'oreal's Elnet hair spray under each one, then you are doomed to a loveless life of “boxed bras” and misery.

No frilly little nothings for you my sweet! Uh uh uhn! The only brassieres you will be wearing will be those of the “industrial strength” variety. The ones which bring to mind the words “granny” and “hospital issue.” Then, when you do eventually find a “pretty” bra to fit your generous proportions, your itty bitty titty friends will prick holes all over your happiness bubble by wearing said “pretty” bra on their heads and laughing at what great hats they make.

But I digress...

Big bosomed or tiny titted, we all share one thing in common. We are told from an early age that bras are an absolute necessity. That on a list of life's essentials, they are right up there with air, water, food and the internet.

You MUST wear them! If at anytime in this life, your breasts are found to be at any point other then mid way between your shoulder and your elbow, BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN.

Then, during pregnancy when your breasts turn into huge, painful lumps, the proportions of which leave your head spinning, you are told that the only answer is to keep them supported 24/7. That's right, sleep in your bra.

Well guess what? I didn't wear a bra to bed and you know what? The only time of day I experienced any relief from the ginormous, painful rocks strapped to my chest was first thing in the morning after 8 hours freed from their cotton/nylon/polyester prison.

However, it wasn't until last week that the penny really and truly dropped. After weeks of suffering with sore, bleeding, cracked nipples (thank you tiny one, mama appreciates your enthusiasm) it was time to take drastic measures. Out came the almond oil, the lansinoh and the breast pump. Off went the bra.

I prepared for the blocked ducts and painful engorgement which generally follow even the merest thought of my not nursing my little darlings on demand, 24/7.

It never came.

Apparently, not being bound up in layers of cotton and elastic agreed with them...

Sorry Victoria, you can keep your secrets... As for me? I'm letting it all hang out.

(Around the house anyway...)

Now, I'd like to thank everyone who submitted poems to the great Cushelle Giveaway but alas, there can only be one winner! Soooooo.... Drumroll please... The winner of the Cushelle Goody bag is.... Eimear! It actually made me cry :) (Jen, please still be my chum!)

Now, I must publish this before the dodgy internet connection that has been so kindly provided to us by the bastards at a certain un-named mobile broadband provider breaks off again as it is wont to do every ten seconds or so. All the best!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pure Joy

The tiny one had her first go in the swings this week. I think that the expression on her face says it all...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I think I've been dumped.

It's been over a month since I was asked to take part in the Reebok Easytone campaign and what do I have to show for it?


That's right. Nada. Zero. Zip. Zilch.

No free runners.

No free gear.

And definitely no new bum :(


On the bright side, the lovely people at Cushelle (formerly Charmin') actually do care about me and unlike a certain lying, cheating, no good sneaker company, when they said they wanted to send me a lovely goody bag (well, two actually, one for me and one for one of you!) they meant it.

Again, the deal was the same. All I had to was try the toilet roll and spread the word about it's softness (it is quite cushy...) and general loveliness (there are koalas imprinted on each square) and then explain how "Charmin" was now "Cushelle" and that the bear (who I had bit of a soft spot for to be honest... especially in the ad where he takes a newspaper and goes behind the tree to do his business) had been given the boot and a new, even cuddlier koala had taken his place.

In return, I would receive a 4 pack of toilet roll, a lovely hand towel (I've been wary of ours ever since the giant spider incident of last summer) and a really cute little Koala soft toy along with one of those key-rings with a trolley coin in it.

The towel is now in our bathroom, the koala has been kidnapped by the snot queen and the trolley coin has already been used at both Tesco as well as SuperValu. The toilet roll however, remains in it's packaging.

You see, I have this thing about nice toilet roll. It really excites me. Being a bit on the frugal side, I tend to opt for the bog standard, single ply, 12 rolls for €1.59 deal. You know, the stuff you can almost see the newsprint on. For some reason, I've always seen luxury toilet roll as being something to one day aspire to.

Some people look forward to the day when they own their own home, I look forward to owning soft toilet roll with pictures on it.

Having prematurely come into the possession of said luxury item, I'm loathe to open it and use it all up. Instead, I've been keeping it in it's carrier bag, wrapped up tightly, waiting for the day when all is quiet and I can go to the toilet in peace and truly appreciate it's lush, quilted, koala imprinted softness.

As luck would have it though, my good friends and neighbors also happen to be loyal "Cushelle" users so I've been able to try it out without having to break into my own little cache.

Life, my friends, is good. And soft, with little koalas printed all over it...

Now for the fun part...


Yup, once again, it is time to reach deep into your soul and let the world know what "softness" means to you.

The winner will receive a Cushelle gift bag complete with Toilet roll, hand towel, cuddly toy and trolley coin. For the rest of you, the Cushelle site is giving away THOUSANDS of little koala bears in an attempt to spread the word about their change of name. Good Luck!

Mammy x

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cookie Monster

(stands up. shuffles nervously from side to side and speaks.)

Hello everybody. (coughs a little)

My name is Maria and I'm a cookie a holic

(Crowd Replies as one) HI MARIA!

This is my first time coming here, but it isn't my first time admitting I have a problem. I've known this about myself for a long time now but something happened this morning that made me realize I need to get help.

This morning, I ate cookies for breakfast. Not one or two, but four. Four delicious morsels of chocolate chippity goodness all gulped down before 9:00am.

I made scrambled eggs for the kids and I meant to eat them myself as well. Really! I did! but as I filled the kids plates, I realized I'd made too small of a batch and would need to make more for myself. The trouble is, I didn't make more eggs, I ate the cookies instead.

The cookies I'd sworn were for guests. The cookies I wasn't going to touch. The cookies I'd baked yesterday (the second of two delicious batches.) The cookies which have become the mainstay of my diet.

Later in the morning, I took the girls to a friend's house for a playdate. One of the other mums had thoughtfully provided a box of homemade cookies. I didn't even count how many I ate.

I tried to stop! Really I did! For awhile there I was really good! I had things under control. But then, the unspeakable happened and my local supermarket put their leftover easter eggs down to fifty cents. It was the same week that they marked the Fox classics bars down to a euro a packet.

It started with the bars...

Then suddenly, I was filling my basket with easter eggs, eggs that would later be broken and made into more cookies!

I told myself I would only make one batch...

I lied.

Six days and as many batches later, I can feel my waistline expanding as yet another batch of hot, melt in your mouth morsels of so easy to make it's criminal cookies comes out of the oven. I have even been keeping a spare batch in the fridge in case of emergencies!

But no more!

Because today I hit rock bottom.

It was one thing to have cookies for lunch, another to enjoy them with my evening meal, but cookies for breakfast?

Although, when you think about it...

It's not really THAT bad, I mean, there's eggs in there, and they're like a breakfast food, and flour! There's flour in bread, which is in toast which is again... a breakfast food! And my husband is forever drowning his pancakes in golden syrup which is basically just sugar... and then the butter, again, a breakfast staple, vanilla's not that bad... just adds flavour...

So technically, cookies really aren't that bad of a breakfast! In fact, they're a darn tasty one!

Maybe I don't have a problem after all!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

To My Tiny One...

Dear Tiny One,

I am so proud of you for learning a new skill this morning. While your old trick of flinging your porridge bowl to the floor (porridge and all) was impressive enough, your new ability to DETACH THE TRAY FROM YOUR HIGH CHAIR is simply phenomenal! The clatter it made as it hit the floor and the subsequent nerve damage caused to your dear old mother only added to the achievement.

The fact that you learned this skill the morning after the night of NO SLEEP only makes me all the more proud. Most babies require 10 -12 hours of solid zzz's a night to bulk up the old brain machine, not my little petal! No sireee!!!! What good would a night be after all without an hour long chat smack dab in the middle of it? Almost as good as a night where you do not use my poor battered breasts as a chew toy whilst desperately fighting sleep's siren call.

I would also like to take this moment to thank you for teaching me a lesson yesterday morning. Silly old mama thought that she'd give you some nappy free time and let the air get at your sweet little bottom. You'd think I'd know better by now, wouldn't you? You sure are a good little pooper! And such a fast crawler! Well, in fairness, the kitchen floor did need a bit of a scrubbing anyway...

You've also been good for my waistline. It sure isn't easy to eat a full meal with a ten month old clinging to your leg and screaming blue murder, let alone enjoy it!

Oh my little tiny one, how I love you so! However can I thank you for all the gifts you've given me? Perhaps in future, you could learn to share your gifts with others...


Mama x

Monday, April 12, 2010

Plastic Fantastic!

Thank you Irish Mammy! You have jump started my Blogging Mojo (and quite possibly my other Mojo as well!) with the Plastic Joy Award. This award is all about those character's from the world of fiction that you so would... you know...

Prince Eric from "The Little Mermaid" : Yes, I know, he's a cartoon and he's only 16 with a mildly disturbing desire to find the right girl and get married NOW, but I mean hey, look at the guy! He could totally pass for at LEAST 25 and the way his muscles ripple through his torn shirt as he tries to gain control of the sinking ship... Not to mention that the romance in his soul is enough to fill a library full of Mills and Boon novels...

Sawyer from Lost: So help me god, I'm a sucker for the hot con man with a heart of, if not gold then at the very least, lightly tarnished brass. The hair, the eyes, the accent and the fact that there's always some sort of comedy in his scenes all add up to someone I would have no trouble spending time with on a desert island...

Hugh Grant in ANYTHING!!!! Let's be honest, there's really no point in trying to pick one of his movie roles in particular as he plays the SAME CHARACTER EVERY TIME! But boy does he do it well... Floppy haired, posh, up himself yet slightly clueless Englishman with a penchant for dirty, Hollywood Blvd hookers (hmmm.... that part, not so hot) I'd personally be torn between him as The Prime Minister in "Love Actually" (ooooooh, the power...and when he stands up to the pres of the United States? yum!)

Johnny from "Dirty Dancing" : Probably my first movie crush ever, even if I was too young to understand what was going on half the time. Ignoring the fact that he was about thirty, had dropped out of high school, was paid for having sex with rich older women (They're shoving diamonds in your pocket and they smell so good!) all the while falling in love with and taking the virginity of 16 year old "baby" and wore the same outfit day in and day out, there was something charming and strangely innocent about the little gigolo... "Nobody puts baby in the corner" indeed!

Paul Rudd, like Hugh Grant, in anything: Nobody does "Slightly weird, intelligent, offbeat, hot with a great sense of humour kind of loserish guy" like Paul Rudd. Add to that the fact that he bears more then a passing resemblence to my husband and hey! What's not to love?

Honourable Mentions: Russell Brand. His wit and sense of humour are second to none, and when I read his words or listen to him talk, I'm completely mesmerized beyond belief. But as far as fantasy lovers, I think we're better off as friends...

Liam Neeson: Yummy, yum, yum... Unfortunately though, the term "lover" tends to imply that clothes will be coming off and I just can't get past the thought of "old man skin." Soft and wrinkly anyone? Ditto on Harrison ford and Sean Connery.

Niles from Fraser: I had more then a passing attraction to him in my early twenties. If you turn the sound off and take away the whiny, uptight attitude, the guy's got something going on!

Thanks to Irish Mammy for helping me get my blogging Mojo back! Now, here's the fun part: I'd like to pass this award onto the following fab, mommy bloggers...

Looking for Blue Sky
Autism: The king and I
Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip
Arty Feminist
Living in a Toy box

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Just add Vinegar...

I have no idea what to write about.

That in itself probably means that I should just leave it be and try again later, but I've been doing that all week with the end result that my poor blog has grown a thick layer of dust that would take a sneeze of monstrous proportions to clear. You would then be left with the aftermath of said very large sneeze (yuck!) and the whole cycle of blog cleaning would have to resume again.

Therefore, I will stick to the tried and true method of mentally wiping things down with some vinegar and water on an old cloth. Much simpler.

Things are going well here. In theory, I have had loads of blogworthy experiences these past few weeks. There was the trip to Dublin which I spent squashed between two large car seats with one boob permanently exposed and on offer to the tiny one whilst I sang several vigorous verses of "Twinkle Twinkle little star" - actions included - with the Snot Queen.

This was the same car journey on which both girls decided to go for the record of "Who can stay awake the longest" (They both fell asleep as we pulled into our destination) and where we forgot to bring snacks and so had to stock up on a lifetime supply of Nutri Grain bars (of which there is NOTHING nutri about!) to help in our quest to calm the beasts.

There was the trip to the pharmacy where the Snot Queen decided to try out her shoplifting skills which resulted in me returning red faced with a bag full of burn relief cream and chap stick and the trip to the health food shop where she lifted three containers of that reeeaaalllly expensive deodourant.

I even had a lovely lady write and ask me to review toilet paper for god sake! (Which, by the way, I am very tempted to do...)

Seriously, aside from the occasional case of the "lazy can't be arsed's," I have no reason not to be filling both sides of the blogging page every single day of my life. But I haven't been. The stories are there, they just haven't wanted to come out, or else, when I start to put them down, I re read what I've written and decide that it's crap.

Me thinks t'is time to do a mental spring clean...

Dust off the cobwebs, shake off the dirt and start fresh.

As Scarlett O'Hara was known to say, "Tomorrow is another day."

Friday, April 2, 2010

And the winner is...

First off, let me say that I loved all of your poems, they were absolutely great and I got a real kick reading them. In the end, I put them all into a hat (well, your names anyway, and it was more of a shopping bag then a hat) and am pleased to announce that "Phoenix family fun " will be joining me on the freebok journey.

Don't despair though! As you all put so much effort in to your entries, I have a small prize for each of you. So if you would be so kind as to send me your mailing adresses, I'll get your gifts in the mail on Tuesday. Cheers!