Wigs, Tan and a bit of Blink

I danced for over 20 years and if coerced enough I may still do an olde 1,2,3 so naturally I brought both my kids to try out Irish dancing I feel it’s a fun active sport that you can gain life long friendships from and use anywhere you go.  Only one of my children has taken to Irish Dancing and that’s fine and as long as they work hard when their in class and have fun I’ll keep paying for the classes, I’ll bring her to the Féis and yes I’ll buy her a dress.

But will I put a wig on her?
Will I apply fake tan to her legs?
Apply a face of make-up?
Buy the fancy sparkly dress?
Well yes I will!

Why . . .

Because as long as my child is happy and knows that what she does in dancing is first a foremost about the dancing but that she must also present herself in a clean, well put together package, then I will continue to fund her dancing.
Now before I continue I need to point out Mini Miss is 5.5 years old and only in dancing a year, she has done two Féis loved them and wants to go back ASAP.  But to get to the expensive dresses the tan the wigs and so on Mini Miss has a lot of work to do a lot of dances to win grades to pass a lot of hours to put in.
It seems that those who speak about Irish Dancing don’t realise that it takes years to get to the standard where u kit yourself out head to toe, it takes hours of practice, many many Féis and a love for the sport.  If your child becomes an open dancer then it means they’ve worked hard you’ll not lose out spending the money on the dress or waistcoat as they are striving to be at the top.
Ok so u may be screaming at the screen currently thinking I’m Abbey Lee Miller’s spawn, but nope I just think Irish Dancing is given an awful bad rep. Over the past year I’ve had many a conversation with parents about why wigs are brilliant, that the tan isn’t an issue and I’ll always say one thing you don’t have to put your child into Irish dancing if it concerns you this much and secondly it’s not the only sport that requires a full package.  I’ve done ballet where a tub off hair gel was used to sleek down every last rib of hair and was told I’d loose marks in my grades if my hair wasn’t correct, my seem of my tights had to be perfectly straight and run parallel down the back of legs.  But for some reason when people speak of their child doing ballet lessons all you here “ah isn’t that lovely”.  It is don’t get me wrong but people are naive to think that a refined certain look isn’t expected in many sports.
‘But it should be about the dancing not tan and wigs’, my answer; it is about the dancing the look of the child is minimal marks on the grand scheme of things.  The wigs came into dancing when I was in my teens and they where the best thing as before that I’d have rollers in my hair for days before a big  Féis. The tan I can take or leave and do feel that plastering on young girls is a little much and if or when mini miss wears it she’ll wear one shade darker not ten shades where if you look at her she looks like two halves of a different person. The makeup is again personal choice and can be as much or as little as you and your child feel is needed, Mini Miss currently wears clear lip gloss on stage that’s it.  I’ve being at many a Féis where the number 1 potion spot is adorned with a dancer in a black skirt and top and straight hair, because that dancer was the best because of her football Orkney to her outfit.
I’m not naive to the message I may be sending my child but my feelings towards body confidence is very strong and I feel I can instill a positive feeling towards Irish dancing and all that comes with it.

So is Irish dancing all about the wigs, tan and the fancy dresses NO, but when your child gets to a certain level is the total package taken into account while your child dances YES!  Does it mean Irish dancing is evil and should be banned NO. Do you have a choice if to put your child on stage in full on dance fashion YES.  Will your child loose if they aren’t in a wig, tan sparkly dress NO, Because Irish dancing is a sport a skill a talent that your child has to work on and be dedicated to, to achieve in.

I’ll leave you with this; at a poem reading competition or a singing competition do you not pick out the smartest outfit for your child so as to present them in a well but together fashion to represent themselves and their talent . . .

Alex

So as I’m sitting wondering should I write this will I even press post on it?  Well if your reading this then I went for it.  7 years I’ve thought about writing this and at times felt maybe if I put pen to paper it may help.   So here goes

Abortion – no I haven’t had one but was offered one by Galway University Hospital.  Firstly I’m going to say where I am personally on abortion; my body my choice your body your choice it’s me and every other women that has to listen to their inner voice and be content with their own choice, the one that is best for them in their given situation.  And until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes or another’s don’t judge nor give your “advice, views or comments.”

I also felt that I needed to tell my story because I’ve being shouted at and ran after by pro life campaigners and I feel their nativity to what is already going on in our hospitals need to be highlighted.
So as I mentioned seven years ago this was my story and my partner at the time who has since gone on to be my husband.  This time in our life will never leave us.  My period was late so I did a test – two lines, it was mixed emotions as it wasn’t planned but we’d always wanted children and sooner rather than later and for me I don’t think there’s any perfect time for kids.  

So fast forward to GP visit all good early stages and all that jazz, but all looking good.  A few days later the GP called looking for details and I happened to mention I was feeling some pains but sure isn’t that normal? The GP seemed concerned and asked me to come into the surgery, a few hours later I was in Galway University Hospital for bloods and a scan, after hours there as it was late in the evening we arrived so things took even longer,  but we were sent home and asked to come back in for more scans and bloods over the next few days.  When your pregnant your blood normally doubles evenly so for example 20 goes to 40 then to 80 and so on but mine where always missing a few counts but I was told numerous times that this isn’t always the case and that they could even out properly and all would go fine.  Also my scans which had to be internal scans were showing a sac that looked good.  So we were told I was OK and to go ahead with my pregnancy and come back if I had any pain or bleeding.  A week or so later I still had niggling pain but the books said settling pain was normal and having gone through two more pregnancy sense, I can say hands down the pain was the same at the beginning of my following pregnancy and I also bleed with both my following pregnancy and went on to have two healthy children.  But Galway University Hospital decided when I was referred back with the pains that they were keeping me in and I may be having an Ectopic pregnancy.  Please note here I had no other symptoms was feeling well, the pain was not sore at all just like very mild camps, like at the start of many pregnancies.

I spent a week in hospital then just sitting in bed being asked was I feeling pain every time my answer was the same “no, no pain”.  I felt fine and hated sitting in the bed I’d have scans, internal ones every time there was a sac but they still insisted I may be having an Ectopic pregnancy, so they suggested surgery a laparoscopy.  I hands down said no way I didn’t want this and the Doctors themselves differed in opinion.  At one stage two doctors, female stood at the end of my bed and argued about who was the correct.  My parents arrived and the doctors told them that they could decide for me I was discussed at 27 years of age I was able to make my own choice but they scared my parents and partner into convincing me to go ahead with the surgery.  I didn’t want to I knew I was not having an Ectopic pregnancy they just wouldn’t listen to me I wasn’t in pain I just wanted to be left alone to grow the baby inside me.  And guess what ? following the surgery they told me no Ectopic the baby was where it should be.  I felt so shit i’d being poked and dissected, the tiny cells in my womb had being through so much to I just wanted to be left alone.  

The following day after the surgery I’d another scan and the two ladies where so nice and they showed me the little heart beat the feeling of relief was amazing, there was no mention of my bloods doctors seemed to not be bothered at all with this.  But before we left we had to go speak to a doctor who handed me a prescription I was puzzled I though it was pain medication, no it was for the two pills you take for an abortion to occur.  I said I didn’t understand the Doctor said look yes their is a heartbeat but how things have gone so far with your bloods, cramping and the suspected Ectopic, the pregnancy wasn’t going to last,  but I said it could there is a heartbeat, she looked blankly at me saying the prescription is there.  Neither me nor my baby where being thought of here we were specimens faceless emotionless things, I just said no please leave me and my baby to go home let me rest take things in let the baby settle and grow itself without the outside world interfering. 

I was heart broken that they just wanted me to swallow a pill and puff gone there was still a heartbeat a chance, growing a baby is an amazing thing and we as humans are amazing why couldn’t my baby be one of those who at the beginning went through so much but came out the other side of things happy and healthy.  I wasn’t told 100% it couldn’t happen so did I not owe it to myself, my partner the baby my family to try and let things be . . . 

Three weeks later I started to bleed, it wasn’t to be. It could have being but not this time, why?  That I don’t know the hospital didn’t help at all for the week I was kept in put under surgery internally scanned so many times and then handed pills before anything had stopped.  I believe the baby tried so hard but with it’s unfortunate treatment of both it and me it just couldn’t.  My womb is mine and should have being left alone for me to decide not for doctors to argue over like I didn’t exist. 

I had to return to the Galway University Hospital the day I started bleeding to confirm I was beginning to miscarry.  It was horrible but at one stage me and my partner were ushered to what I can only describe as a broom cupboard and a senior nurse with my file in her hand and she said to us – do you want to bring a case against the hospital?- she continued to say she had read my file and felt that I wasn’t look after properly at all and that things that went on shouldn’t have.  The nurse said she would leave us to think about it but for now they’d ensure I was looked after and asked if we’d any request my only one was that their was a certain doctor I didn’t want near me. That was sorted and although I didn’t ask for it the following day I returned for the DNC I was given a private room and was cared for so well.  That day, the day before Christmas Eve a little piece of me broke I wasn’t listened to I was divided. it was my womb patient number one then me just patient number two supposed to do what the doctors said.  
This is My Story, My Life, My Body – Repeal the 8th 

This story is written from my point of view of what happened and in no way a slur on the hospital the staff or others involved.

5 things that say your kids are growing up

We all do it wish away each stage, well at least I do and at times I look at my two with a huge sadness to know that that’s the last time i’ll make a bottle, that’s the last time i’ll change their nappies but as your doing these things you never stop and realize that that actual time is the last.  While i’m not overly sad about the stingy nappies there are other things that i look at with a heavy heart.

1    Both my two can now dress themselves and I miss that interaction you have with them as you dress them.  One of them even goes up to the bedroom to get dressed.  Mini Miss still lets me choose her clothes but that wouldn’t last long.

2    Toys, toys, toys; my sitting room always looked like an aisle out of a toy shop but after this Christmas I seen a huge dent in the mess, while good, still very sad.  Little Red Head and Mini Miss are getting more more into playing in their own bedrooms.

3    Plastic, while yes this is a good thing giving the issues our planet is having with plastic, but to see my cupboards emptying out of plastic cups, plates cutlery and the like just highlights yet again how my two are growing up and can be trusted with the “good delph”. 

4    The dreaded changing bag is now no longer, gone are the days of a change of outfit for both children, drinks, bottles, wipes, dummies, toys the list goes on.  Now its simply one pair of knickers in my handbag and wipes in the car; for the mucky hands and face.

5    Walking, you know when they were around one and all you wanted was them to walk well now I just want them to sit in a buggy.  Little Red Head is to old and Mini Miss is just out of sitting in the buggy and to be fair she has only sat in it a hand full of times in the last year, mostly when id be rushing.  The buggy was like my security pushing it in-front of me was like a shield protecting me, its gone now.

Independence is an amazing thing and growing up learning is a gift that not everyone has. I am grateful that both my kids are growing, developing and moving on in life, but goodness its hard sometimes.

Children’s Events – Ballina Salmon Festival

Children’s Events, Ballina Salmon Festival                    
                                        
With the weather heating up a little and the snow drops popping up the plans for the upcoming summer are beginning to start.  With two busy children who are always asking “what are we doing today, Mammy?” I’m always on the lookout for events taking place and keeping in mind things we did last year.  One date I’ll definitely have in the diary is the Ballina Salmon Festival, Children’s Events.  My two kids had a ball last year, every day there was different fun, engaging and activity packed events.  From paid workshops to many many free events the choice was endless.  All the events where well run, professional and I knew and felt my children were safe.  Children are to the for front of what the events were about,  all involved were happy to help and encourage the children to get the most out of the events. 


Each event we attended had its unique theme from learning Martial Arts, Fun & Splash , Dance workshop to Drumming workshops the possibilities where endless.  My sons favourite activity  was the Reeling in the Year’s Workshop, with The Jackie Clarke Collection.  Little Red Head got to amerce himself in the excitement of a newsroom setting where he created a newspaper, cutting pasting and writing.  He came out buzzing with all that was from years gone by, and he continued his newspaper at home making sure it was accurate.   Mini Miss enjoyed the fabulous Birds of Prey on the infamous Heritage Day, but her favourite event was the Disco in the Stephenites sports ground, where she boogied for hours meet up with her friends, made new friends and her favourite part, came home with a massive goody bag filled with treats and gifts. 

For me while I did enjoy my children’s favourite events, I’ve got to say my favourite was running around the picturesque Belleek Woods, at the Pirate Treasure Hunt. We looked for clues and made sure there were no pirates lurking around.  Little Red Head and Mini Miss got so involved and ran the length of the woods without even realizing, always a plus for Mammy; tired happy children equal happy Mammy.  Like many of the Children’s events there were drinks and treats at the end of the event.  I feel I need to say here that many of these events where free but always came with goodies. 

While the Mardi Gras isn’t on the Children’s Event  calendar it is well worth keeping the children awake for, what’s one late night . . .  For the past two years my then 3 and 5 year old loved the parade and last year they loved it even more.  As the anticipation build “Mammy will it be as good as last year?”  It didn’t disappoint I love seeing the look of wonder and pure happiness on my children’s faces. 

We all know that once the children finish up school towards the end of June we will be scurrying to find things to keep our kids busy.  
The Ballina Salmon Festival is a must, for the Children’s Event, I would advise on popping into the tourist office to book the workshops as they do fill up fast, but as mentioned  there is many free events and this year I don’t doubt that the Children’s Events calendar is going to fun filled and exciting.

Camping in Cork

We set of on our journey, it should have taken about four hours, it took a little longer – “where have the signs for Cork gone?” ah husband we are on the way to Dublin turn the car, sigh!
Once we arrived and only mildly irritated, the question “are we there yet” was asked quiet a few times! We got to setting up and we were delighted to see such a fabulous camp site – 
The site is so well manicured and cared for, pegs went into the ground easily and the size of the sites were excellent, no issues having our car next to us.  Once the kids jumped out of the car they were off across the extra large green and into the play area which had a lovely wooden play set swings, slide and climbing.  We stayed for three nights four days and the kids used the play area all the time and went for many adventures in the little wooded area situated in the middle of the site.  The wooded area was tiny but perfect that we didn’t have to leave the tent and go with the children they were able to explore together and with the other children on the site.  We could also see the swings etc from where we were pitched which was so handy, and this would be the case for 80% of the site for the tents.
The facilities in the site firstly were so clean kitchen area and bathroom areas alike.  Obviously camping meant we were in the toilets at many different times throughout the day and night and they were also clean and stocked with toilet paper and soap.  The kitchen had all you could need and rows of picnic benches to sit and eat at if you choose.  While I didn’t use the washing facilities they looked good only downside was one person used the three washing lines for all their clothes, this wasn’t the fault of the site just selfish campers.  The bin area was always clean and there was adequate bins for rubbish hence no bugs or mess.

We were lucky enough to have a very good friend who got us into Fota wildlife, which is only 20 mins drive from the camp site and well worth a visit the kids loved it.  We had planned to go to Blarney Castle but at €15 per adult we felt this was overpriced.  On Sunday we went to Cobh and we walked around ate candyfloss and had a relaxing time together.  I would recommend the Titanic experience there, but we’ve previously being to it so we didn’t go again.   In the Blarney Caravan and Campsite there is an 18 hole pitch and putt attached to it, there is fee but it’s worth doing as it takes about an hour and half and the kids loved it, Daddy not so much he spend more time next to the tress.

  

 Not always an important thing as I’m sure like many when camping technology takes a back seat, but the camp site had free WiFi which was great and we were able to watch the Mayo match.  Its fair to say that this may not be the case if the site was very busy but we were lucky it wasn’t to busy so not alot of people using the WiFi.  A small issue which only started on our last night (Sunday we arrived Friday), the planes flying into Cork Airport. noisy and low it didn’t hinder us much as the noise was quick but the planes go throughout the night but like I mentioned its quick and there isn’t alot of planes.

The rates on the site while a little more than up our way, was worth paying, facilities where brilliant, the kids were catered for, the ground for pitching were excellent.  The four hour drive was well worth it and the sun shone the entire time we were there.  The kids made friends and spent little time sitting, they slept no bother even sleeping in two mornings. 
We would recommend this site!