For shits and no giggles

There was a lot of the first but not many of the giggles for that matter! I was on an absolutely sausage roll with my writing then a plague hit the expat estate!! We had the most horrible D&V bug ever which resulted in both the children in hospital requiring IV fluids. Miss C was only in for a few hours and about 20 minutes after the IV infusion started she was bouncing around like a cocker spaniel. LPV on the other hand wasn’t quite so lucky. He had the same the treatment but didn’t respond as well as she did. Now I don’t tell hospital staff I’m a nurse as our Peadiatrician knows and doesn’t treat me like a normal Mammy, he treats me like a colleague and whilst I respect him for respecting me as a professional I am a Mammy first and I haven’t practiced for 10 years! Now I don’t believe I will ever lose all my skills, they’re etched in my brain, I KNOW for a fact I haven’t lost my instincts and I trust them both the Mammy & nursing ones 100%. After a 6 hour infusion and me nagging them constantly to check this and check that. They come to discharge my lethargic  baby boy. I laugh in their face and pretty much tell them they are bat shit crazy if they think I’m taking my child home. After me throwing my toys out of the pram they take a full set of observations and he is admitted overnight and that is where he stayed for the next 3 days.

People who have access to  the NHS do not know how lucky they are, yes I may have had a room which looked like a hotel room but it’s all flounce and no substance. I would have given all of that up for a team of medical staff that understand the term holistic care, that actually have a bed side manner. At one point I was up to my eyes in shit unpleasantries waiting for help, waiting for wipes, waiting for clean sheets. I found the care to be right up there with my poor baby’s symptoms……..I lost my shit, excuse the pun!  on the day before discharge when I had to ask them to recheck his blood sugar, two nurses stabbing him with a needle, he is crying and instead of comfort they tell him, stop crying don’t be a baby, you’re a big boy!! Well…….red rag to a very exhausted bull, before I told them to get out my room, I offered up a little tit-bit on the fact he is only 7 he’s allowed to cry when someone shoves a needle in your arm and I still hate it at the age of 42 so please DO NOT tell not to cry, he’s allowed to cry if he wants too and it DOES NOT mean he is a big baby. After this ordeal, my saviour messages me and tells me to meet her by the lift. I take one look at my bestie holding a cup of tea and the most epic ham sandwich (they hadn’t fed me at all) and burst into floods of tears.

Things picked up slowly and he’s bloods came back normal, we were told we could go home the next day. It’s not an ordeal I want to ever go through again, Cara was my angel, picking up flossy and taking her on playdates etc. The ham sandwich was amazing but it was the love and concern that got me/us through it! It’s very difficult being away from our support network, don’t get me wrong lots of people send love and well wishes and  offered to help that meant so much but it’s the one’s that see through your “I’m ok I don’t need anything” that stick with you!!

Flying survival guide

Ok so I’m not going to sit at my mac, act all holier than thou trying to make out that I know all there is to know about flying with children. I’m not an expert but what I do have is a whole lot of experience. LPV made his first long haul flight at  6 months, do I enjoy flying with children? Umm..NO but it’s a question of having too. On average we make 6 plane journeys a year, 4 long haul, 2 short.  I actually prefer the long haul as you can get comfy, rather than a quick up and down. Now, for someone who has severe aeroplane narcolepsy flying with my kids is torture. The minute I set foot on a plane I want to sleep. Before kids I would sit and  before we had taken off I’d be in dreamland….NOW I have to make sure he’s sorted, she’s sorted, ear phones are working, they’ve eaten, they drank, they’ve been to the toilet (which they usually need the minute I close my eyes). Family holidays we usually tag team as EPD knows I could fall asleep at any minute but when we go on our summer escape I’m always  flying solo.

 

  1. Think carefully about your flight timings

What works for some may not work for you, just because Tarquin’s Mammy (and her 20 million family members she fly’s over to help her on the one journey) fly during the day and they fly direct and that works for them, doesn’t mean it will work for you. I personally hate flying direct I like to know when I’ve finished my journey the folks will be there to pick me up in Brissle and I’ll have a cup of tea in my hand within 20 mins. I prefer to fly via Amsterdam, the kids get a break after 6 hours to stretch their legs, then we are only an hours away from our home town.  No KLM doesn’t have same ring as “oh we always fly Emirates darling” However I can’t fault them, they are attentive and helpful, especially to families.  And they don’t cost the earth either.

We always fly at night too, a freaking nightmare for some? Yes but for me I now have a wee routine , kids go to bed at 6/7 we wake them up to leave for the airport, they run around like looneys at said airport, board the plane, watch a bit of TV/ipad for 30 minutes then they sleep for 4-5 hours. Yes I get odd looks about kids walking around in their PJ’s but I don’t care, If I could wear my pj’s on a plane I would.

2. Food Glorious Food

If you have fussy eaters like I do  it’s best to pack your own snacks. I usually bring cereal bars, croissants, bananas, few treats and have plenty of water. This also helps if you’re delayed, as airport prices are not exactly cheep. There’s no point worrying if they’re eating junk all night, you are not going to be able to control it so just don’t try. Mine usually get some sort of treat fast food meal at the airport, this also mean’s I don’t have to disturb them if they are sound asleep. Oh and another positive, you can also steal the snacks too….

3. Be comfortable

Like I said, my children wear their pj’s on the flight. You sleep better when you’re comfortable I think, nothing worse than the button of your jeans sticking right into your tummy. I personally still do wear my jeans, cos ain’t nobody wants to see Mammy  in her joggers!! I usually bring a one of Miss C’s wee pillows as the plane ones are like thin pieces of card, children’s bedtime friends are a must too, especially when flying at night. If you have a “sleep routine” in the words of Princess Anna “let it go, let it go” It’s not going to happen. If they don’t sleep?……….Well that moves me on to the next point.

4. It’s all about the entertainment

There is no denying that Emirates do have the better inflight entertainment but  hey ho, what can you do! There is always something on that they’ll watch. Invest in a pair of decent, volume control kids headphones. That way you won’t be trying to clip a pair of standard earphones on to tiny ears right in the middle of the crucial part of your movie. Fully charge ipads, nintendos, and phones. Have a mix of games that will work without wifi as only certain airlines have it. Sticker books,  dot to dot and some lego men. I will be bringing a couple of our favourite Roald Dhal book for our impending journey to Australia. The kids will sit for a good while to listen to those. A favourite game is dobble (we have the Star Wars one), small enough for your handbag, you don’t need masses of space and it’s fun too.

5. Alone

The last one I can’t stress the importance of enough. I like to pretend I’m on my own plane in a non asshole type way If you worry about other people around you you’ll drive yourself insane. Yes it’s a nightmare when baby is screaming and you can’t stop them, yes it’s upsetting when you see people shaking their head, tutting and judging. However…take a big deep breath and think up yours!! You’ve paid just as much money to fly, just because you have children with you doesn’t make you less entitled to be there. This is their issue not yours, if you get anxious then baby/child/children will follow suit then the only thing that will happen is you rocking in a corner of the plane with a bottle of vodka. However on the other hand, If your children are behaving behaving badly, correct their behaviour!!! As your letting the rest of us parents down!!

Just remember its only a small chunk out of your life and once you get to where you need to go, it’ll be grand!

So wish me luck for our 14.5 hours to Sydney next week!

Twenty Questions: The Mummy tag!

The lovely Mum of three boys: The three musketeers has tagged me in the mummy tag, I love a bit of juicy info about someone., don’t you?

Well…..you’re not going to get that here 😉

1. Are you a stay at home mum or a working mum?

I do both, I mainly work from and then one Saturday out of the month I go to work or I may pop to the office if I need to or need a change.

2. Would you have it any other way?

Umm, that’s difficult to answer. Yes & no, I’d love to be a position where I didn’t have to work but I could also fill my time doing courses or classes. I’m liking having me time at the moment.

3. Do you co-sleep?

No absolutely not, have you ever shared a bed with a toddler or baby. Too many kicks to the head, the only time they sleep with us  is when they’re sick

4. What is your one must-have item for your baby?

Oh now this is a hard one, so many products have been completely useless  and other are fab. I would have  to say a decent changing bag. Only now have I found one, I can fit a whole manner of things into it. I’m like a walking pharmacist, toy shop, clothes shop, supermarket so as long as I can fit all that in I’m happy.

5. How many kids do you plan on having?

I always said I wanted three children, two boys and a girl. However we have one of each and that is a such a blessing, I love being pregnant but I DO NOT love the gestational diabetes I get, nor do I love injecting insulin 4 times a day. Life is starting to get easier now with our two children and traveling is almost certainly easier with two. However I’d never say never 😉

6. Date nights. How many do you have per month?

Since moving back to Dubai we are in a situation where we are guaranteed a date night each week. However we don’t always take these opportunities, I’d say we average about two per month.

7. Your child’s favourite show?

LPV LOVES Thomas, Ballamory, Tree fu Tom and dinosaur train, he actually really likes Doc McStuffins too, which really surprises me. I don’t put the TV  for Miss C but I’m sure she’ll love all the things I consider to be my worst nightmare….Peppa pig, tinkerbelle & anything with princesses in

8. Name one thing you bought before the baby but never ended up using?

It was a ridiculous spoon , that you squirted the food into and dispensed small amounts at a time. I thought I would be great for travelling but it was just as easy with a Ella’s pouch and spoon

Just buy a pouch and squirt it onto a spoon!!

Just buy a pouch and squirt it onto a spoon!!

9. Your child’s favourite food?

I ‘d have to say LPV’s is “Henry Pancakes” I just make normal pancakes and add spinach *sneaky*! Miss C loves veggies and will hoover up a roast dinner in 0-60 secs. I try to give them a balanced diet but I do let LPV have the odd McDonalds *hears gasps around the world*

10. How many cars does your family have?

We have two cars at the moment, mine is a ford EDGE, I need a 4×4 to get about this place, EPD has a hire car at the moment but has his eyes fixed on a jeep wrangler

11. Weight gain – before pregnancy, during, after and now?

I was fat before my kids, when I was pregnant was the probably the healthiest I’ve ever been due to the diabetes diet, I gained just baby and nothing else.However I’m still very overweight for my height, I just want to get healthy for the kids now, so I’ve signed up for boot camp classes with a friend and she kicks my butt. I would love to be one of those people who “eat whatever” but I’m not I have to work at it and it’s really hard! Im a bit of an emotional eater so having PND was just a nightmare………

12. Dream holiday with your kids?

I think it would have to be Disney land, I never got there as a child so I would love to go and experience with my children. I just want to see their wee faces. I think they’re still a bit young for it but it’s a definite for the future….I want to get a Mickey ears hat!!

13. Dream holiday without your kids?

I’m not sure whether it would be without kids but my dream holiday is to drive across the states in an old style covert-able ford mustang! I guess if the kids were there though it would have to be in a winnebago! In actual fact, I’m sure we have this holiday planned with our bests from home at some point!!

14. How has your life changed since having kids?

To state the obvious first, I drink a lot less, don’t go out as much. I can’t remember the last time I slept past 10am in peace and quiet. On a personal level I’ve become less selfish, less fixated on myself, on my needs and whether I’m the centre of attention. Now I don’t care to be the centre of attention, it makes me uncomfortable.

Not just having kids but getting married changed me. My children and EPD are my life, when he goes away I’m lost. He always offers for me to have a few hours off but I want the four of us to be together as much as I can. I suppose being a mammy has made me more morbid in a sense I think about the unthinkable a lot and it scares me beyond belief.

15. Finish the sentence, ‘it makes my heart melt when …’.

LPV tells me I’m his best friend, when Miss C puts her wee head on my shoulder and pats my back, when I see and hear them giggling at each other. You just seriously can’t explain that feeling or rush of emotion to someone who doesn’t have children, I always think my single friends think Im a looney! I made these two wee little miracles, its a pretty amazing achievement and feeling.

16. Where do you shop for your kids?

Here in Dubai I shop at Carters, Osh Kosh and then Baby shop for the stuff I don’t care about getting stains on. In the UK I like Next, baby gap, and some supermarket clothing. In Ireland Its got to be good old Dunes stores!!

17. Favourite make up and skincare products?

My Favourite make up is Bobby brown tinted moisturiser (anything to save time), benefit and Mac. Skin care anything from clarins to Nivea, depending on the budget or if were in duty free!

18. Huggies or Pampers?

Pampers would be my first choice but Im using a lot more huggies out here

19. Have you always wanted kids?

Yes, I always wanted to be a mammy

20. Best part of being a mum?

Gosh, what a question! if you would of asked me yesterday I would of said “not a lot”  but today and everyday, I love the newness children bring to my life, no day is the same which can be tiring but exciting at the same time. I love to take care of people so having these wee people that depending on me for EVERYTHING keep me going. The love I have for them is like no other, it brings out a side in me I never knew existed, the mother bear protecting her cubs. The copious amount of cuddles I get is awesome and the sense of satisfaction when I see them grow, accomplish and develop is mind blowing

Now to tag 3 other mammys

Life of an expat parent

And three to go

The blackberry boys