When the Lottie Dolls came to stay

The twins and their Toys

My twin boys are your regular 6 year old, very wild couple of kids. They play with the usual toys, Lego, dinosaurs and cars. I have always been firm in not allowing them have toy guns, I just don’t see the need to “play” with something that in the real world can kill someone and does kill people. Slowly though in the last year or two a odd toy gun would appear in the toy box.

Their play would be rough, wrestling, shooting, someone getting killed or under arrest. I have often seen a nice friendly play with their Fire Man Sam characters end up with someone getting violently eaten by a T-Rex! I was not worried in the slightest by this type of play, but I just reckoned I would love to see how they would play with life-like characters very similar to themselves. I remember when Chloe was their age, she would play happily and gently for hours on end.

Sammie and Finn

I had heard about Lottie Dolls but I wasn’t aware that they did boy dolls. Lottie very kindly send the twins a doll each to play with and see what they made of them. So Sammi and Finn arrived to our mad house about 5 weeks ago! I wondered how they would take to the doll but they were delighted with it. I thought there may be a bit of “but dolls are for girls!!” there wasn’t even a mention of anything like that. Jamie took Finn the Kite Flyer and Cian was delighted to have Sammi the journalist who wrote for the school paper.

lottie dolls, sammi doll, finn doll,

That evening I let them play by themselves and apart from telling Cian what a journalist does, I had zero input. First impressions, they couldn’t get over how the dolls had the same shoes as them, the same clothes and had cool accessories. They played on the mat with the dolls and I was amazed how gentle the play was. Not at all like them, and neither Sammi nor Finn got kidnapped, murdered, was put under arrest or eaten by a T-Rex the whole time!

It took I would say 2 hours before the investigation began to see what underpants the dolls had on, when it was established they did not have any underpants and they had “Bums” there was a lot of giggling!!

 

lottie dolls, bed, kids bed, books, kids book, sammi doll, finn doll

I let them play independently with the dolls for a couple of weeks. Then I went investigating where they were. These were my findings!

How the Lottie Lads were Settling in

 

 

toys, doll, register, dinosaur, kids toys, colours, colourful, zebra

 

So I found Finn in amongst the toys, he seems to be working as a sales assistant now and has left his kite flying days behind him, oh ya he’s also naked, not a stitch on the poor chap and him working a full time job. I asked Jamie where Finn’s clothes were, he told me there were in the wash. Can’t argue with that now can?! Sure enough I found Finn’s clothes in the laundry basket! I dressed Finn and gave him his kite and his dignity back.

Then I went hunting for Sammi, I searched all the toy boxes, bags, underneath couches, under beds, in beds eventually I found him here…

doll, car, doll in car, toys in car, toys

 

Can you see Sammi? Yep that’s him on the floor of the car, in a basket amongst some other toys and books. He looks like he may have been involved in Finn’s new supermarket job and maybe he’s doing the deliveries? I asked Cian what was Sammi doing in the car and he replied “He’s getting a lift!” I didn’t ask any more but I am sure wherever Sammi was coming from or going to in the car was going to be interesting! And if nothing else, at least this chap has all his clothes on!!!

 

doll, basket, car, toys in basket, pencil

 

The Future for Sammi and Finn

The boys are very fickle when it comes to their toys, they have never LOVED a toy so much they would play with them constantly. Most toys they get are rarely played with to be fair, but I do notice Finn and Sammi is getting played with a lot more than I expected after a few weeks being here. Finn had an incident with his kite and it got caught up in the laundry with his clothes (again!) so I have to get him a new hobby! So my next purchase will be accessories for Finn and Sammi. I’ll let the boys decide what accessories they want to get for each doll…this should be interesting!! I know they have their eye on the scooter set and fishing set!

So that is how my twin boys got on with their Lottie boy dolls. I am delighted with how well and gently they are playing with them. I also love the fact they have their own individual dolls because it must be nice having something that’s uniquely yours when your an identical twin!

Here is some info if you are thinking about purchasing a Lottie Doll for your little one and there may be a cheeky competition to win a Lottie Doll, keep reading!!

Who or What is Lottie Dolls

The developers of the Lottie Dolls (Arklu) recognised how short and precious childhood is. Childhood has changed even from my generation 30 years ago. It can be a pressurised environment for a child. They wanted to strip back the stress of being a child in today’s world and just let them be a kid again, with no complications, feel safe and let their imagination run free. Along with this Arklu have made dolls that belong to an inclusive place where every child belongs regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability. The first doll they made took 18 months as they researched every area they felt was needed, including retailers, child psychologists, nutrition experts, parents and of course children themselves. The doll’s bodies are in proportion to that of a 9 year old child! The dolls are based on real kids, girls and boys and they even urge you and your children to submit any ideas you have to help them create the next new Lottie Doll!

Whats more this company is Irish. Now I can’t help but be biased towards an indigenous company creating such ingenious little dolls. They are based in Co. Donegal and have a myriad of awards to prove the team up on the North West of the country of Ireland know what they are doing, simply because they have a passion. Protecting Childhood.

The Finn Doll is one sale right now and along with his kite accessories, there is a fishing set that can be bought for him. The Sammi doll is a brand new boy doll that is a junior reporter. I love the fact his accessories isn’t the usual ball or bike! The dolls are available to buy on the Lottie Dolls website. Finn is €19.95 and the new Sammi Boy Doll is €24.95. There are some gorgeous girl dolls available also of course.

You can join Club Lottie and avail of some fab offers, from discounts to promotions.

You can buy directly from Lottie or shop their stockists here. They ship internationally so Lottie Dolls would make a fabulous gift for a little one you know living abroad.

If you would like to be in with the chance of winning a Lottie Doll please enter by filling out the contact form below I will be sending on the details to Lottie as they will pick the winner, but your information will not be shared with a 3rd party.

Have your little ones got Lottie Dolls? Whats your thoughts on Lottie Boy Dolls?

Let me know here or on my Facebook page, thanks for reading, Tracey xx

Keep up to date with Lottie Dolls Social Media Facebook Instagram  and Twitter.

8 years married today…

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31st July 2009

I was probably taking to the floor for our first dance this time 8 years ago. We shuffled along to Etta James’s “At Last”. I say shuffle because moving left to right was about as much of a waltz as I was going to get out of my husband! Some people have two left feet, my hubby dances like he has concrete shoes on!

Anyway 8 years…quite a long time. Something to celebrate you might think… maybe. Yes my wedding day was an amazing day but not just because I was marrying himself. We never needed a ceremony to prove anything between us, we knew from day one how strong we were as a couple and the ivory dress, vows and speeches were fantastic but they didn’t make us any stronger or more solid. It was life and its ups and downs that strengthened our relationship.

It was a natural progression to get married, it was the next expected step. Well to be fair, we did do it arse-ways, we had the baby at 19, mortgage at 25 and married at 27, but for us it was the natural next step!

A Big Party

It was the only day I had nearly every single person I have ever cared about under one roof it was a full day of catch ups, dancing, laughing, crying and photos and more photos. It wasn’t an overly romantic day, I don’t think I spent more than 10 minutes with hubby after the meal! We enjoyed the fact everyone we knew was there for us.

The memories from our wedding also makes me sad, there are so many people in the photos or in the wedding DVD that is no longer here, most especially my dad. One of my favourite moments of the day was waiting on my wedding car in my home house and everyone had already left. It was just me and daddy, we had a glass of prosecco (cheeky cigarette) and chatted away just the two of us.

What really matters to me

Whats a lot more special to me than our wedding is the day we became a couple because if I had not asked him to out with me…yes I asked him out!! The last 17 years and the adventure we have been on would never have happened. To me our relationship is much more important than a marriage. We have been through some tough times and some unbearable times that no couple should have to go through, but we did it and we did it as Kieran and Tracey, not Mr & Mrs. We did it by laughing (even in the most sad situations) we have always made each other smile. We have had amazing times together. We have created this little family of ours together. We have supported each other’s ambitions.

We have fought, we have cried, we have shouted we have gone days without speaking to each other. I have hated him and I have driven him up the walls.

And so to the future

There are 2 anniversary cards on my mantle piece tonight, one from my sister and one from my mam. We didn’t buy each other anything or exchange cards. We don’t need to celebrate the day we signed a piece of paper to prove we were a unit or solid. We became a unit and a team and a force to be reckoned with the night the DJ played “Fairy Tale of New York” in December 2000.

So Happy Anniversary Mr. Smith… 6205 days together… 2920 married and a life time yet to come xxx

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Pestle and Mortar’s Hyaluronic Serum…the truth.

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Why I Chose Pestle and Mortar’s Hyaluronic Serum

It was one of those products I kept eyeing up…for months I kept saying will I buy into the hype? Or is it just an expensive serum? I had been just getting over a bout of dermatitis on my face and I was genuinely anxious about using a quite active product.

My First Impression

The first time I used the Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum I was surprised at how fast it soaked into my skin. The serums I had used in the past, sat on my skin and even the next morning my skin was still greasy. I woke the next day and my skin (no joke) looked better. It was more even and so so soft. I continued to use the Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum for the next few weeks at night. At the weekend I rarely wear makeup so I would lash it on in the morning also.

Every day I noticed the little changes and improvements to my skin. It was so much brighter, the redness around my nose reduced, that greyness and almost blue toned tinge to my skin had improved massively. One of the main differences I noticed from using Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum was how well my foundation sat and lasted. It created a perfect blank canvas for my base.

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I was delighted with how well it was working. There was no doubt I was going to re-purchase the Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum.

Then I stopped Using It…

Last Thursday my Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum rolled under my locker and every night I was too lazy to get it, so I used another product I had at hand. On Monday 3 days after I hadn’t used the Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum my skin was patchy, uneven and and the redness reappeared around my nose… I put it down to being out at the weekend and the copious amounts of vodka I consumed, along with the copious amount of carbs I shovelled the following day. But yesterday I looked at my skin in the afternoon and my makeup was flaking around my nose, my pores were like craters. It just looked crap.

This is when I knew 100% that the Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum was a game changer for me. I was impressed before, but now I could actually notice the difference when I stopped using it. That was enough for me to be even more convinced of how good this product actually is. There is a reason it’s always out of stock, people know!!

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One bottle of this magical potion…sorry Hyaluronic Serum lasts about 3 months. It costs €43.00 and I purchased mine from Molloys Lifestyle Pharmacy.

I like to change up my skincare every few months. I believe it is pointless sticking to one routine all year round especially when the climate changes, diet changes, environmental changes all can have an effect on our skin. While this may be true, the Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum will remain a constant.

Have you tried the Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum? If so what did you think? Let me know!

Eskimo 3 Kids Review

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About 4 months ago I started the boys on Eskimo-3 kids. It was purely by chance actually. I was working at one of our stores Grand Opening when I spotted a large display of the Eskimo-3 products. I had heard of its advantages especially the fish oils for concentration before, but apart from that I didn’t know a whole lot about the product. So I got talking to the rep that was there on the day and she explained some of the benefits the Eskimo-3 Kids has. Keep on Reading!

An Open Letter to my Kids

The last few weeks has got me thinking about your futures and the world ahead of you all. The world has become a scary place and even though the beauty of  your youth shelters you from a lot of the hatred or evil that is happening in the world I can’t help but think your generation has a lot more stress and worry than any generation before.

I know there is no rule book for growing up and even if there was, lets face it, those rules would not be followed at the best of times. But there is advise or suggestions that me as your mum would love if you could try and remember throughout your life.

The boys are still very young and hang on my every word but there won’t be many years left that they will do this. Chloe you are heading towards the stage of your life that you will think I am the most unfair and unbearable mother who wants nothing more than to make your life miserable. But I promise I am only looking out and after you and the ironic thing about it is, you won’t realise this until you are much older. It is hard to watch that little girl who played with her Sylvanian Families from morning to night grow up into an independent young woman who needs me less every day.

 

So if you’ll allow me, here is some words to remember…

 

Boys right now your career aspirations are as varied as an astronaut builder to a pirate. As you grow remember to keep that creative and eclectic side to your career aspirations. Hey! who knows if they find life on another planet there could be room for a building company to take up the tender!! Whats NASA’s number??! There is so much more to life than a 9-5 job, right now age 6 you have no reason to doubt your ability to be anything in this world…remember that in 20 years, because as you grow older life will try and suck that invaluable confidence from you.

Chloe you are thinking of a career as a midwife, I think this says so much about you as a person. A caring, selfless young girl who loves to bring joy in to people’s worlds…on a good day 😉 My advise for you is the same, whatever you choose to do make sure it makes you excited to wake up on a Monday morning for work, that’s a good starting point.

Keep hold of your good friends, when you are older your oldest friends will be like family. Good friends especially school friends will know you inside and out and you can be yourself around them and if you are anything like me that means you can be as weird and as daft as you like!

Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you and allow you to shine and be you. Grow up at your own pace, if you are not ready to do something or something makes you uncomfortable that is your gut telling you something. Listen when your gut is telling you something, its like me ALWAYS USUALLY RIGHT!!

In your life keep some traits with you, be empathetic, have genuine concern for people, be kind, be conscientious, try not to procrastinate to much (a little is okay), be as creative as you can, be open with others and most especially with yourself and always remember your brain is the same as any other part of your body, if you think at any stage of your life it feels off or something is broken, talk to someone and try and heal it. Always remember its okay not to be okay sometimes, but what you need to do is as simple as this…talk.

If I could ask you to make sure you did one thing EVERY SINGLE DAY it would be this…to laugh. To have a genuine belly laugh at least once a day, I promise it will do you and the people you are with the world of good… but remember to involve the people you are with in on the joke because well, you will be seen as a bit of a weirdo sporadically breaking out in tears of laughter everyday!!

Travel, feed your soul with travel. Travel the world’d most mystical, concealed and far flung places that’s not listed on any travel books. Fill you life with adventures and not things. There is a quote that goes:

“Travelling, it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”

Remain close to each other as siblings, Chloe tell your brothers all about their Granda Dessie they never met. You are the only one who can tell them what he was like as a Grandad and the funny traits and memories you have of him. Remember to always think of your sister who watches over you, remember you are all very lucky to have a guardian angel like Grace looking and watching over you. Keep her memory alive long after I am gone. Look out for each other, you are family and family means being there, whether you want to or not, its just about being there.

Always keep your heart open and your mind open. Chloe remember you will kiss a lot of frogs (well hopefully not too many) before you find your prince, but if you need a benchmark for a good man, look no further than your dad. That song by Picture This “Take my Hand” when he says “I’ll treat you like your father treats your mother”… I love that line because if you find someone who is even a quarter the man your dad is you are on to a winner.

 

Boys, try and not upset too many girls (or boys). If you say you are going to call them, please call them! Don’t play games, be a gentleman. Its always important to hold a door open, pull out a seat, give her your coat. It may seem like a bit of craic but do not pretend you are your brother (they are identical twins for readers who do not know!) if you are going on a date. It will not be hilarious I promise you! Oh and always, always, always, put the seat down!!

So that’s it! Just a snippet of advice for you as you grow up. I don’t know it all nor do I declare to (that’s a lie!), but if you find you are ever lost or needing guidance take a peek at this.

Finally, and this is very important. Throughout your life if the occasion ever arises or you just feel the need to say it, these three words are so important…

 “MAYO FOR SAM!!!!”

Love you lots

 

Mum

xxxx

Thank you for reading and if you liked this post…I would love you to share it! Tracey xx

 

 

 

 

 

My Love: The Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk

I rarely buy high end beauty products, I think the first product I purchased back in the day (aka Celtic Tiger) was Dior’s Airflash foundation, I thought the fact you sprayed your foundation on would make the make up process a bit quicker for me (this was pre-makeup obsession!!) and let me make you wince a bit more…I didn’t have a brush to blend it out…I used my fingers! Its true in 2007 the only makeup brush I owned was the one I got free in my Rimmel Quad!! It looked like this… Image result for rimmel eye shadow applicator sponge

Fast forward 8 years later after the birth of my 5th baby and my beauty addiction was settling in nicely. Every time I popped into the chemist for “shower gel” the hubby began to sweat, he knew I wasn’t going to come out with a small paper bag, he knew within his heart the next time he saw me emerge from the pharmacy I would have have handles on my paper bag and maybe I would have two of them, he often said he could hear our debit card cry and my loyalty card laugh! He had a word with Santa and he kindly left me a very fat gift card for Brown Thomas! He thought (poor hubby) that I wouldn’t have to pop into the chemist as much if I had expensive makeup…I know, I know.

I have bought some other high end brands since then and I would recommend some of them but a product came into my life completely by accident last February and I adore it, so much so that I ration it!

I was in Dublin and I was walking past Arnotts when I spotted the Charlotte Tilbury stand, I wasn’t up to shop but curiosity got the better of me and I walked out of there with a Lip Cheat and Legendary Brows! It was Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk.

Its just a liner you may say, but its not. It completely changes the shape and look of my lips. I have naturally thin lips and I had I have to be careful not to over line because I look fekin ridiculous to be honest.

Pillow talk goes with most of my nude lippies but to be honest if I am wearing it I usually lash it all over my lips!

The consistency is so creamy and not at all dry on the lips. The colour is a beautiful blush pink nude that compliments my skin tone. I say my skin tone because the beauty of this liner is, the colour changes on each different set of lips! I had thought about posting an image of it on my lips but honestly the colour is so unique to each person it would be pointless!

I have been teaming my pillow talk with MAC’s Mehr lately and it is a match made in heaven for me. The raspberry tones in Mehr makes my green eyes pop and the liner gives Mehr the perfect canvas. This is an image of this combo…

 

If I had to give Pillow Talk a bad point and I really don’t want to!! It would be the consistency it is very soft and you would only get (if your lucky) 3 applications before you need to pare it. But I can live with this as the buttery creaminess on my lips makes up for this! Now you see this is the reason why it is rationed!!

As I said the Liner was €22 in Arnotts and I am definitely going to purchase the Pillow Talk Matte Revolution Lipstick soon, I just hope it lives up to the liner! You can purchase both from the Charlotte Tilbury website and if you do let me know what you think…I am thinking you will love it!!

Til next time,

Tracey xx

 

The Evolution of my Snap Chat Timeline

The beginning of Snap Chat:

The first person I followed on Snap Chat was Suzanne Jackson back in 2015, I hadn’t a notion how to use the fekin app but somehow I managed to install it and add her username, from there on I began to add more and more bloggers. Then the MUAs began to snap. After a while random Snap Chatters became popular like James Kavanagh who had no blog to plug or tutorials to show, they just snapped their daily lives and I was obsessed!!!

My daughter had Snap Chat and used it years before it ever became massive like it is now, but she only ever used it to message her friends. Now its like another form of entertainment, its right up there amongst Netflix and YouTube. Its a micro-entertainment platform.

I 100% became obsessed with it, I couldn’t wait to go to bed at night and stick in my ear plugs and see what these “celebs” got up to every day. I learned a HUGE amount about makeup and I bought more from snapchat reviews then any million euro advertising campaign!

The Change:

Then the day came (last September) when I began this blog and I knew that having my own snap chat channel would be the next step!

Something changed for me and snap chat over the autumn and winter, well first off Gilmore Girls was launched on Netflix and I became obsessed with binge watching that every night so I neglected snap chat. But not only that I began to become bored of watching the same old snap chat stories, same old #spon #ad on every second snap. Snap chat stories started to become a personal advertising space for products.

Sharon Leavy was always a favourite of mine, she was a blogger but a completely normal human! Her snaps were so relate-able and from her I was introduced to other normal people who snapped for the craic, like myself! Then Sharon left snap chat and I have had to fill my timeline up with other normal snap chatters (usually mums) who come on snap chat just to have a rant, a chat or just blather on about anything that pops into their heads. I love this! I do it myself, I come on to talk about something and then I end up talking about the price of cabbage!!

Instead of a backdrop of Jo Malone candles, IKEA drawers and perspex makeup holders (which I will have in my beauty room when one of my kids move out!) I was watching ladies at lunch time, hair unbrushed, kids napping and a coffee in hand to have a chat. I had been a stay at home mum for 7 years until 2 months ago and honestly these ladies on snap chat got me through many a hard, sometimes lonely day alone with the kids… I laughed at Kelly’s (My Little Babog) little gang running circles around her, I loved to watch Karen’s (bliss bakery) foodie adventures, I found Katy’s (ktk2) body painting so relaxing!

There’s been so many more that I have been so glad to have found along the way, I don’t get the time to watch every story every day anymore with my full time job and the full time job I get paid for!! But I still look forward to climbing into bed watching my snapping mammies and I’m so lucky to call many of them my friends now.

The future of my Snap Chat:

I love the fact as mothers we all have flaws, we all roll our eyes when we hear MMUUUMMMM for the millionth time that day, we cannot enjoy a hangover in peace anymore, we are all just muddling through as best as we can, we all have issues, dramas, history and we are all getting through being mams as best we can while having a fekin laugh at and with each other…

This is snap chat for me 2 years after I began watching it, a completely different timeline of people! Real people, no shit, just real life.

Until next time!

Tracey xxx

Image credit: Snapchat

  p.s. now it would be rude for me not to out up my snap chat handle!! Continue reading

Mum’s Getaway

One of the girls is getting married at the weekend. My group of school friends are going to be together again for a whole weekend! Myself and the hubby are heading away for TWO nights, count them TWO nights in a beautiful hotel to spend TWO days with some of my best friends, oh did I mention we are going to be kid-less, yep its gonna be Kieran and Tracey minus the three Ts aka the teenager the twins and the toddler!!

I am so bloody excited! Have you ever watched a woman prepare herself for a few nights away on her own? Especially a woman who has kids? Its a thing of beauty…

Image result for prepare to be amazed

She has mentally laid out everything she wants to wear for the weekend, the outfits she has planned are probably not in her wardrobe yet. They are probably hanging on a gondola in Penneys or River Island or in her cart in ASOS.

Image result for shopping cart online

She has sorted out what she is wearing for the journey, she has maybe purchased some new mascara or foundation. She has definitely gone out and bought new pyjamas, that goes without saying!! I mean you cannot take off for a few nights without sporting some new striped pjs with a cute quote blazoned on the top…right? I mean I think it may be a law or something!!Image result for penneys pjs with quote

All the appointments have been made, the plucking, the waxing, the tanning, the hair and the makeup… all timed with great precision around who may be available to watch the kids for those much needed hours.

Eyebrows become sisters again, as opposed to conjoined twins… lips are made bald, eyelashes suddenly grow an inch…you name it, if it grows its plucked and if it doesn’t grow enough its extended!! and they say women are complicated??!!!

The car journey to wherever the destination might be is another exciting factor. To those who are without offspring yet, a simple car journey might not seem like an exciting thing. BELIEVE ME from a mum of 6 year old twins and an almost 2 year old (the 15 years old is car trained now, she sticks in her headphones and tunes out *lucky her*) having a car journey with your other half or friends or even alone, is BLOODY BRILLIANT!!!! Its not just the fact you can listen to whatever music you want, no, its the simple fact you can listen to a song from start to finish without pausing it to shout at whoever is over on whoever’s side that they shouldn’t be. Or sort out who’s turn it is to have that feckin Super Mario Brothers game…or push the toddlers head back when he sleeping (now to be fair the teenager can do this, but she’s usually pretending to be asleep), or looking for a garage because someone really has to do “A POO MUMMY!!!” Oh the wee wees are grand, find a nice bit of road to pull in and open the doors and away with them, the poos, well the poos are something else. PANIC STATIONS to find a petrol station… mums you can all relate right?!

So having the peaceful car journey belting out the hits from 1999, being frizz free and tinted to within an inch of you life…what else… oh yea being yourself. There is nothing quite like being the person you were before you had kids, or a job or responsibilities…being around the right people will always bring this out in me. The belly laughs, crying from laughing, having a good gossip and just been genuinely carefree for those 48 hours. I adore getting away with the hubbie and its been years since we got away on our own, but add in being with the girls from school and its the perfect weekend for me. I will be Tracey again for a couple of days, not mum, not a co-worker, but Tracey, me, myself and I. Sometime you lose sight of being “you”, being so busy with kids, work, caring for parents whatever it might be, so to have a couple of days in a year where you are you is so bloody important. For you, but especially for your kids, you need to re-charge too. (I don’t know how this turned motivational!!)

Anyway back to preparing for your weekend away, if you are like me you know exactly what time you will be hitting to road at and you have whoever is lucky enough to be childminding for you aware of this time…in fact you may not need to head away so early but who needs to know this??!! You will have carefully packed everything neatly, your new clothes including but not limited to some new knickers and pjs, toiletries, makeup in a cute little makeup bag, brushes, straighteners, hairdryer, heels, trainers, pumps, extra tan and an extra 3 pairs of jeans and 4 tops cos…you never know!! Everything is done the night before leaving out your toothbrush and light makeup for the journey.

Hitting the road time, you say your goodbyes and give your littlest ones kisses…then the first pangs of guilt appear, “oh look at their cute little faces!! I’m gonna miss them so much!”, then one twin sits on the other twins face and all hell breaks loose…yep those will be the tyre marks from mummy and daddy screeching out of the drive…”See ya in a couple of days!!bring you back something niiiiiice…byyyeeeeeeeee!”

The funny thing is when your weekend is over and you are heading home there is nothing nor nobody you want to see more than your kids…”oh my cherubs, I have missed them so much, they probably cried for me every night…” now 60% of this is probably the nerves being gone from the copious amount of white wine consumed over the past few days and some of the fear lingering in your soul. There will be big kisses when you walk in the door…2 minutes later the tales start…Jamie said a bad word, Cian was cheeky to nanny…then someone sits on someones face and guess what its the sitters tyres that are now screeching out of the driveway while shouting “see ya next year!!”…

Welcome home mum, but hey at least your still hairless and somewhat tanned *in patches*for another couple of days right?!

*mum frantically searches diary for the next wedding or event*

p.s. Happy Wedding Day Jacinta and Tom xx

 

Grace’s Story

On the 19th of March 2014 I spent 12 hours with my 4th baby, my 2nd daughter and the person that would literally change my life. 

I was 22 weeks pregnant when we found out Grace was terminally ill, she had, after many,  many examinations by professors of fetal medicine, thanatophoric dysplasia. This condition meant her long bones were measuring short (at 23 weeks Grace’s week measuring 12 weeks) the fatal part of this condition causes the chest cavity to not grow enough for her heart and her lungs. So ultimately upon birth when babies try and inhale for the first time, my baby girl would die immediately from respiratory failure as her chest cavity would crush her lungs. I’m sorry if this upsets anyone reading but unfortunately you cannot pretty up this condition. 

I couldn’t bear this to happen my baby, my dad died 2 years previous from lung cancer and I watched him take his last breath. How could I watch my tiny baby struggle to breathe and then pass away… I couldn’t. 

I asked when I would be induced and my consultant sympathetically told me they can’t induce early if there is no risk to the mother as its against the law in Ireland. My baby was dying, her movements were weakening and she would inevitably die from respiratory failure but this wasn’t enough to stop her hurting anymore. I had to be at risk. I was at risk everyday that I met people asking if “I had my bits bought for the baby, how long have you left, the twins must be excited for a baby brother or sister…”  I nodded and smiled knowing the baby in the bump they were admiring was not going to be in the pram I had my eye on or sleeping in her brother’s moses basket. I spent 4 weeks nodding along to people’s excited questions. 

 I was slowly losing my mind. 

Because of the fact I couldn’t be induced at home with my family around me I had to go somewhere where they understand what me and my baby were going through… We travelled to Liverpool on Paddys weekend amongst hen parties and revellers… We arrived to Liverpool women’s hospital where the midwives took over my care, they were angels to me and my little girl. I remember saying  to my husband that morning before the final scan to check Grace, they may have made a mistake in the two hospitals we were in in Ireland, we might get good news, her chest may be growing and allow her organs to grow. 

The professor scanned me for over an hour and he confirmed the diagnosis along with the devastating news that Grace’s lungs were no longer in her chest cavity, he couldn’t find them so they were either crushed already or just didn’t develop. I knew having an early inducement was 100% the right thing to do for that tiny baby at that moment. 

After 36 hours of an agonising labour, pain I would gratefully repeat over and over again… Grace arrived silently into the world at 4.45am, she was stunning the most beautiful little angel with a button nose and chubby cheeks. She had dark hair and gorgeous plump lips. Her face was perfect and her body was tiny, she was so peaceful. I have never experienced feelings like that before, I was holding my child and felt content but she was never going to look into my face, or yawn or cry for food. She was still. 

We held her all day long and talked about what life she would have had. A priest came and gave her a little blessing. We named her Grace Saoirse because she was free. We had a nap that day with her beside us and dressed her in a beautiful outfit the midwifes gave us… The outfit I brought was way too big. She was wrapped in a teddy her sister gave her and a teddy Grace gave me… 

At 5pm we had to leave her, we were booked to fly out the next morning. The hospital had  a little nursery made up for Grace, it had a cot and a dressing table, teddies and a beautiful mural of angels on the wall. After we said our goodbyes, last cuddles and kisses to her we placed her in her cot all wrapped up cosy with her teddy.  My midwife came in and took over looking after her. 

I sometimes can’t believe I actually had to do this, I had to leave my baby in another country. How cruel it is that we had to do this, it actually leaves me speechless. 

We arranged Grace’s funeral from the prayers right to the music I wanted played. It took place in a church in Liverpool and the priest who blessed her did her funeral and a midwife attended. We couldn’t go because we simply couldn’t afford to. I has to wait 3 weeks for Grace to come home. Her ashes arrived by courier… A man knocked at my front door with my daughter’s remains waiting to be signed. Again I say I find it hard to believe this is something parents have to go through, did I actually have to sign for my daughter’s ashes like an order from ASOS… 

The next few months were a blur, I can still feel the pain and darkness of those months. The feeling of drowning and anger… I can still feel them because I still go through these feelings but I’ve learned how to control them and cope with them now. 

Grace’s ashes sit on a shelf in our living room and we bring her to our bedroom at night, there are photos of Grace in every room of our house. I sleep with her teddy every night, I actually brought her teddy away to a hotel before callum was born and he was taken to the laundry with the bed sheets, I was getting into bed at home when I noticed he was gone, the hotel found him in the laundry and posted him home from Athy! 

Grace is very much part of this house like any of the other kids. Unfortunately due to the cruelty of this country none of her family could meet her and say goodbye. 

She blessed us with callum almost a year after she passed… She gave me callum when I didn’t even realise I needed him. She’s my motivator, my gut, my soul, my heart, my courage, my bravery and my eyes… She’s changed the way I look at things. I’m not the same person I was before Grace, I miss that Tracey but I’m learning to love the one I am now. 

This is Grace’s story she was with me for just 28 weeks but she left me with a lifetime of love. Losing her could have been the reason I stopped living… But having her is the reason I get up every morning. 

If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever xxxx

Mum’s Next Chapter…

Today I went back to full time work! The 10th of December 2010 was the last time I punched my card before heading off on a very much (unplanned) extended maternity leave with my twins. I had planned to head back to work when the twins were about 9 months, my Dad had told me when I was pregnant himself and my mam would help look after the twins if I wanted to go back to work part time. Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer when the twins were just 2 weeks old and he passed away less than 9 months later, so obviously any thoughts of me going back to work were forgotten about. My mother moved in with me for a while after daddy died and I was busy making sure she was okay as well as looking after my three kids.img_20170224_161521

So I begrudgingly became a stay at home mum, not a title I relished nor wanted to be honest. I was never one to stay in the house, I was always out either working, in college, in my parents house or meeting friends, so being housebound with twin babies was a shock to the system! You may wonder why I didn’t leave the house, well I have written about this before  you can have a nosey here.!

I set my alarm this morning for my first day at my new job, marketing assistant for Molloys Lifestyle Pharmacy, go on have a nosey at their fab offers, when you are finished reading mind!!I was about to head out the door this morning feeling a little emotional and my toddler shouted “MaMa!” Bear in mind he hasn’t many words yet and bar calling his nanny (“NA”) ,his brothers (“DA”) , wow (“WAH”) and “Oh No!” he has never said my name, so perfect timing Callum, lovely, throw a bit more guilt onto your already wobbly mother why don’t you!!img_20170212_192037

That being said I actually feel no guilt for going back to work, yes I have become accustomed to being a sahm but I feel proud and very lucky that I got to spend so much time with my kids. I spent every day of their lives with the boys and now they are in senior infants needing me a little bit less every day. I was at home for my teenager, I got to be there for moments in her young life that she needed her mum for. Then theres Callum my rainbow baby, he is almost two years old and adores his auntie who I am lucky to have minding him.225995_10150182943968595_5580244_n

So because of the time I have clocked in with the kids, I don’t feel guilty going back to full time work, in fact I believe I will be a better mum, I will appreciate the time we have together and do more with them, have more fun, because sometimes being with each other 24/7 fun can get diluted a little at times. fb_img_1482442715646

So at the grand old age of 35 years and 2 months I have began my professional career, yea I am about 10 years behind most people but ya know what I was busy making and rearing my family. Now I see this as my time, of course the boys are still young but I think we are all ready for the adjustment.

So here is to my short spell as a stay at home mum, it was the best 6 years I never wanted.

Love Tracey xxx

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