So much happening all at once and that goes for the weather too. The fleeting glance of white powder that initially makes everything look beautiful, fresh and clean was the highlight of James life (so far). Snow, I announced and ‘doe’ as he calls it has never been given such a welcome. First he tread carefully eyeing up his prey and then with more confidence poked, prodded and eventually pounced and yes then he ate it!

‘It’s turns to water’ I said as we drove to school singing ‘rumble in the jungle’. ‘No Mummy don’t be silly’, James said. I explained the science behind this amazing stuff quite chuffed with myself in my ability to communicate so clearly. No better way to feel smart than talking to a 2 year old I thought. However my explanation obviously fell on deaf ears as he proudly tells me every day that the non stop rain we are having is actually water. He also tells me this when he’s brushing his teeth or having a bath. I’ve tried to convince him and had to stop myself from weeping and hanging on to his ankles begging him to believe me. Finally he’s come round but I love the innocence of questioning what simply doesn’t seem to make instant sense. We could maybe do with questioning a few things going on as adults sometimes??

I did a detox and came down with a terrible chest infection! Thanks god for my Mother who looked after James and on Sunday bathed him and Monday morning took him to school. I am deeply appreciative also for the Manuka honey and trips to the chemist. Sometimes I honestly don’t know where I would be without you.

I have been receiving more emails about both depression and PND. I found a diary I wrote during my pregnancy and my decline into depression.  It was incredibly hard to read back but it reminded me of a very difficult and lonely time. I’m the new ambassador for the ‘walk in my shoes’ campaign along with Adam Clayton, Brent Pope and Ken Doherty. I’ll be keeping you posted on twitter and through my website and we would love you to be involved. Thanks, Ali xxx

 

 The Hen House Restaurant, Dun Laoghaire have launched their brand new children’s book with proceeds going to the Jack & Jill foundation. The book is suitable for tots to teens with its fun colouring in pages, crosswords, short stories, dot to dots, egg hunts, writing activities, and a whole lot more! The book also features the restaurant’s popular characters, Fonsie the fox and Minty the hen. James didn’t budge the entire meal- a miracle!
It’s €4.95 with €1 going towards the Jack & Jill foundation.

 

These fab T’s from Mothercare are only €6.50 and they will be included in the ‘2 for’ €10 promotion which will commence on the February 12th.  There’s a huge range of T-shirt from toddler up to age 8.

 

ASK ALISON:

Hi Alison,

As a busy Mum I’m looking for a serum that ticks all the boxes. Is this impossible to fight the signs of both aging and tiredness?

Thanks,

Emma, Meath

Hi Emma,

Clarins have launched their brand new double serum. I started using it just before Christmas and have found it very hydrating especially with the heating going constantly and the awful weather we’re having. It targets the 5 vital functions- hydration, nutrition, oxygenation, protection and regeneration. It also has powerful anti aging ingredients and is rich in 20 plant extracts: an exceptional vital reserve from nature where each skin type, regardless of age, uses what it needs depending on its state.

 

FOR MUM

Clarins Double Serum €69.50

 

FOR BABY:

Cosatto Oh So Pretty Moon Unit is great for sleep overs. It also has a high level basinette feature for tiny babies. It’s easy on your back and this especially benefits post-caesarean mums €169.99 www.eurobaby.ie

 

THIS FORTNIGHT WE ARE:

READING Love and the Goddess. I had the pleasure of launching this book for the wonderful Mary Coen who is a true spiritual goddess. It has been referred to as An Irish Eat, Pray, Love meets Sex & the City!

EATING bananas to help us sleep. They contain tryptophan which is the amino acid in protein the body uses to make serotonin and then melatonin. Both calming hormones that slow down your brain and make you sleepy. Eat it on wholegrain toast as carbohydrates help tryptophan access the brain.

 

SUPERMUM

The end of my pregnancy

Tuesday Sep 7th: ‘This part of my pregnancy really is exciting now. Any minute of the day I’ll have a son or daughter’

I wrote this a week before my due date and what a week that was. I really think what we do is truly amazing. Creating and giving life and then watching that little person grow up right before your eyes. Having had a difficult pregnancy emotionally I do feel blessed to have James. As a first time Mum I had no idea what to expect and in the days before James was born my nerves were gone. I thought every little cramp or pain was labor. I had given everyone so many false alarms that when it actually was labor I doubted myself and said nothing. I lay in bed, my body aching with splints on my arms, a million cushions and then there were the constant trips to the bathroom. Please come and meet Mummy this time I thought as I felt a story quite like the boy who cried wolf coming on. I was trying to decide how painful it was and what I should do? Eventually I spoke up and we went to the hospital. The contractions were coming fast and strong but I still proudly declared to Mum that I had a very strong pain threshold. My Mum looked at me (after having 5 kids) and told me to tell her that in a couple of hours.

Boy was she right. A few hours later I was teary and tired and begged Mum for the epidural. I slept after that and woke just in time to give birth. The whole birth was amazing. I could actually see him being born. In the week after his birth I was amazed at the range of emotions I felt. It was like my entire pregnancy rolled into one. I had a difficult time trying to breastfeed and really wasn’t prepared for how difficult the first few weeks would be. I find it quite amusing that we prepare ourselves so thoroughly for pregnancy and birth and then we go home completely clueless as to what’s ahead.

As a first time Mum the best advice I can give is sleep when the baby sleeps and don’t neglect yourself. During your pregnancy you’re watching every morsel that goes in your mouth and treating your body like a temple so remember that the person living in that body now needs to mind another little body and to do so needs energy, rest, good food and lots of support, kisses and cuddles. I panicked and rushed back to work thinking that the world would end and we would starve if I didn’t. First of all my family would have never let this happen (I hope!) and you’ll never get that time back again. Children grow up so who cares if your house is clean or if the washing gets done. Sometimes it’s good to stop. Breathe and live in the moment.

MY BIRTH TIPS:
Set your favourite music to play. It can be a great distraction and very calming. A beautiful new CD is called Lullaby Time by Orla Fallon €18.49 www.orlafallon.com

Take some lucozade energy sweets with you. Great for a boost.

Be prepared in case the baby goes early and put an old towel in just in case your waters break in the car!

Breathe into your contractions as it will help you absorb the pain. I did a lot of Yoga and meditation and it helped enormously.

Feme pads to help soothe sore stitches.

Breast nurse gel pads (help soothe tender breasts)

Take Omega 3 before and after birth to help ward off PND (post natal depression)

If you have a birthing plan be willing to alter it and work with the doctors. Mine did not go according to plan and sometimes the baby has a different idea.

If you want to breastfeed be prepared that you might need help and it might be sore to begin with. Ask for the lactation consultant and never be afraid to ask questions.

Make sure you know how to fit the car seat safely and securely for the journey home as 2 out of 3 parents fit the seat incorrectly.

Take arnica in the weeks running up to the birth and after as it will help both heal and prevent bruising.
 

Temporary reward schemes (jellies, I’m desperate), bribary, late nights working, eating crap food, no exercise, washing not done, lost all my accounts on my computer…. You might have guessed it my healthy and organized start to the year has not just gone wrong but completely bonkers off the wall kind of wrong.

James tugs (hugs) and tisses (kisses) are pulling me through right now and as I hold him tight I beg him not to grow up- silently in my head of course or he’ll find out that I’m crazy and its too early for that. He’s obsessed with Elmo’s potty training DVD and no we are not even close to that stage yet. He keeps saying potty, poo poo and pee pee in public and I react like this “James don’t be silly saying rude things” and turn to the person and explain how funny it is as I’ve never heard him saying that before. This usually happens in a bank, post office or anywhere else there is an uncomfortable and deathly silence. Does he know this is a perfect time to embarrass me? On a more serious note I am hoping that Elmo makes potty training easier. James is fascinated and claps ferociously and calls me in to tell me Elmo’s friend went to potty for the first time and they are all so proud of her. He then turns to me and says Mummy are you proud of me? It’s at this very point that my heart melts and I’m reminded of what’s really important in life. Who cares about not doing everything perfectly and I’m never making another resolution, as I was very happy in December!

What I have realized though is to be in your children’s memories tomorrow you have to be in their lives today and in my opinion that means being present and spending quality time with them. We might not have a lot of it but when we do make it count. I’m starting a new healing course tomorrow; yes I’ll try anything. So my next column will be full of chakras, auras and insightful spiritual knowledge. I think. Watch this space.

 

I love this multi award winning and rather wonderful Sungglebundl, the world’s first baby lifting blanket. This innovative product was designed to help parents move baby from A to B easily without disturbing the little one’s slumber and without incurring backache. It is now available in a new super soft and breathable fabric.
www.snugglebundl.co.uk €47.80

Orla Fallon, an award winning harpist, singer and former member of Celtic Women has just released a must have CD for any new parent. Recorded in Kansas City and produced by Dan Shea, ‘Lullaby Time’ is a project very close to her heart as she was expecting her little boy Freddie when she recorded it. Stunning, a must for anyone whether you’ve children or not! €18.39 www.orlafallon.com

 

Hi Alison,

My baby is 6 months and I recently read I should be giving her Vitamin D still. Is this really necessary and why?  Nessa, Wicklow

Hi Nessa,

This is actually a very common question. Vitamin D is important during pregnancy, for new mums, babies and toddlers. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium. Therefore if your baby doesn’t have enough it won’t absorb the calcium from the milk its being fed. It is mandatory to give your baby Vitamin D for the first twelve months and I would say beyond. Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin so no prizes for guessing why we don’t have enough. Shield Health has recently brought out a pump version making it easy to give the correct dosage every day. Vitamin D is important for the Maintenance of Healthy Bones & Teeth, Immune System and Muscle Function.

 

FOR BABY:

BabyVit D3 Pump €10.95 www.shieldhealth.ie and all good pharmacies

FOR MUM:

This La Bougie candle by perfumer Lucy Hagerty using essential oils and aromatics. ‘Dark Rose & Myrtle’ is a deeply seductive fragrance that has taken eighteen months to perfect. €19.95-€29.95 www.labougie.com

 

THIS FORTNIGHT WE ARE:

STOPPING THE SPREAD of all these nasty bugs by using Cuticura Anti Bacterial Hand Serum for Kids. This school bag/ creche must-have is unlike any other hand hygiene product. Advanced Anti Bacterial Technology gets rid of 99.99% bacteria and creates an invisible, soft-skin glove to prevent re-infection for an incredible 8 hours! €2.99  50ml good pharmacies (pic for this) WATCHING Les Miserables for the 5th time in the cinema as I genuinely think I missed my calling as a musical actress… LISTENING to Omharmonics to meditate for 10 mins every day  www.omharmonics.com

Well getting back into a routine after Christmas has been far more difficult that I imagined. In fairness James napped when he felt like it and stayed up late as I was staying in Mums and he quickly learnt that if I said no, there was always a willing aunty or nana to say yes. Jellies are his favourite word, food, pastime and all round current obsession. If we see a shop or god forbid go into one, a tantrum starting off mild ending quite dramatic is guaranteed. You might say he’s like his mother, on the drama front I mean although I do like jellies myself.

I have come to realize I actually do like a routine and had a very nice one. I have also learnt the art of saying no (admittedly to a toddler) and it feels good. Jellies for 2013 are for Sundays, porridge is for breakfast and from here on in James will sleep in his cot and not on my head.  It has been amazing to watch just how fast kids adapt and take advantage of a bit of leniency. It really proves how important our job as parents are. I struggle with the parent/friend situation, as I really don’t want my two year old to hate me. As I write that sentence I realize how stupid it sounds but I’m just being honest. Dropping James at crèche today was bliss after I set boundaries. He even said thank you for driving me (yes that was weird and made me suspicious). A very wise woman once said to me: your job is to create boundaries and their job is to push them. It’s nice to know that the natural order of things is alive and kicking in our house.

I love January in the same way I love Monday. A time for new beginnings and fresh starts. Your world is how you see it so change your view and how you look at things. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes. Have a great day, week, month and of course year!

It’s Great Being Little by Nita Fitzgerald

‘I don’t want to be little,’ Susie tells her granny. ‘I want to be BIG.’

‘What?’ says Granny. ‘But It’s GREAT being little. Why, you can do all sorts of things …’

A charming, beautifully illustrated story for little people who just can’t wait to be big!

€7.99

 

The Boob nursing and maternity wear range is made from organic cotton making them incredibly soft. They also have a clever design with a double layer of fabric over the bust which can be easily lifted with one hand allowing for discreet and comfortable nursing making Boob one of the best selling breastfeeding clothes brand in Europe! www.cherishme.ie nursing hoodie €69

 

ASK ALISON:

Hi Alison,

It’s the new year and I would like to get fit and healthy. I have just had a baby so what would you recommend? I have also had issues with depression and I’m nervous with the January blues that are inevitable can I do anything to help prevent those sad days.

Thanks Aine, Dublin

Hi Aine,

I’m delighted you started that question off with the word healthy. Healthy should always be your goal for body and mind.  A great way to do this is to do Mom and baby Yoga to bond with your baby and prepare your body and mind for motherhood. Mom & Baby Yoga will focus on gentle exercises to restore your shape and physical well-being after child birth, teaching you fun ways to turn exercises into infant engagement and infant stimulation. Mom & Baby Yoga will also strengthen your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles and teach you breathing techniques to help you stay calm and present in new situations. Danielle Donnelly  is currently doing these classes in Dalkey. She teaches pranayama (breath work) and meditation, incorporating her passion of chakras and energy work. Danielle’s classes are uplifting and balancing, getting a good mix of relaxation and rejuvenation. Now I think that’s just what the doctor ordered for the January blues.  danielle@yogaenergy.ie

 

FOR MUM:

This Akin eye day gel to help with post Christmas dark circles! €25.40

 

FOR BABY:

Love this Mothercare much loved playmat €64.99

 

THIS FORTNIGHT WE ARE:

Going to see Tuesdays with Morrie in the gaiety and if you haven’t read the book it’s a must read also KEEPING a journal of five things we’re grateful for every day. Try it for 21 days and watch what happens?? TAKING the kids to see Rise of the Guardians for anyone who believes in the easter bunny, the sandman, the tooth fairy, jack frost and of course Santa in their fight against the boogie man cleverly named Pitch Black! BOOKING a stand at a www.babybaymarket.ie to sell our old baby goods to declutter and make some extra cash after Christmas.

 

“I” love Christmas. I love the magic and bribery Santa brings.  As I don’t like doing things by halves, I have a giant Santa on our wall who watches everything especially dinners and bedtime or clean up time or whinging.. Well you get the picture. I took James to see Santa at Hamley’s and it was a very special day. We did lunch with Santa and the kids got to colour, have lunch and spend quality time with the man himself. My cool as a cucumber son just said Hiya as if he was someone he saw every day. He asked him for nion ting DVD (The Lion King), Books and a digsaw (jigsaw) Luckily I was on hand to translate. Also out in Hamleys Claphandies are doing 30 minute sessions. Here the kids can sing carols, create little Christmas trees and have some fun! It’s a great idea if you’re standing in the queue and the little ones are getting impatient. Let one adult go to claphandies and the other stays in line. This year at Hamleys they’ve really thought of everything.

Christmas for me is a time to be grateful for the year we’ve had and look forward to a new year with new beginnings. I have so many plans for the New Year. One of them is getting fit. I’m also going to enroll James back into Rugby Tots as he just loves it and spends all week talking about it and then cries when we leave. It’s great exercise for him. He spends most of the time running in circles announcing to me that he’s the winner! (There is no one else competing against in these particular races but hey who am I to burst his winner bubble)

I would like to thank everyone who has supported me this year. To all of you, who read this column and take the time to get in touch. Your kind words and support mean a lot. Finally thanks to my family without whose support and help with James I would not be able to work and build my life again. I had amazing team on my shows this year so thanks to all of you. Hard work and perseverance pays off. Stay healthy, happy and positive and believe in miracles. Miracles are the ordinary things that extraordinary people do for you every day. 2013 here we come!!!

FOR MUM

I love this Juicy Couture Beau watch €249.00 www.arnotts.ie

FOR BABY
Babies love these soft Alphabet Cubes from Mothercare €16.20

This Trike is amazing for kids with special needs. It can be adjusted to grow with your child by raising the seat post and handlebar to suit. The Musketeer comes with a freewheel as standard allowing your child to be able to coast without the pedals going around if you wish to use a parent handle. It is possible too change to a fixed wheel so that when the Trike goes forward or backward the pedals will go around with the Trike. Can be useful for children with lack of power in their legs as the forward motion helps keep their feet going around. Prices depend on adaptations required but start from €295 Age 2-6 yr Available from Adam and Friends

I love this fluffy blue instaria jumper €34 Cath Kidston have a great range of scarves, hats and jumpers that are warm, fun and very festive but also can be worn well into the new year!

 

ASK ALISON

HI Alison,

I was at one of your shows and you were talking about the importance of communicating. I’m quite bad at talking. Have you any tips for helping me express myself better?
Thanks, Lisa. Galway

Hi Lisa,

I’m always saying that words are not the only way to communicate. You can express yourself in so many different creative ways. Arts and crafts are always good. I recently just did a four part parenting series for my website with Joanna Fortune and she discusses some of the techniques she uses. My favourite is “The balloon Technique” which shows you how to express emotion and this could be a great one for you. You write your feelings/problems down. Then you roll the piece of paper up and put it into the balloon. You then release the balloon and let your problems fly off with it. The video on my website will explain this better. I hope it helps!

THIS FORTNIGHT WE ARE:

Doing things to make us feel good READING Caroline Grace Cassidy’s new novel ‘When Love Takes Over’ this Christmas €9.99 This is a feel good, funny, laugh out loud book from all good bookstores LISTENING to Christmas FM we love singing along to all the songs in the car and the best part is the proceeds go to the ISPCC. EXERCISING to balance the guilt of eating and drinking REMEMBERING those loved ones not with us and thinking of all the happy memories we have with them.


If you’ve read this column before you will know what a crazy emotional being I am. My sister got married last week and it was an amazing day. She really was a dream bride. They had a wonderful day and are so happy. We’ve all had a bit of a rocky road and it was for this reason that I kept saying the mantra in the church ‘please don’t cry’ throughout the entire ceremony. We all miss Dad so much on days like this. How great would it have been for Laura to have him by her side? I find great comfort in the belief he was there in spirit with a big smile on his face. I can still remember what it felt like to hug him and when I feel really sad I close my eyes and try to feel that hug as it was so comforting and you always felt safe and protected.

James was a pageboy and wore a tux and was so delicious I wanted to eat him. Black Tie saved the day 24hrs before the wedding as the tux James was supposed to wear was too big… long story!! Thanks so much to black tie who altered a mini tux in 2 hours and gave us precious memories we’ll have forever. James gave me precious memories in the church too. Playing his cars and saying over and over ‘Laura marry Ronan’ and saying Hi to everyone. At one point he had me laughing so much I felt like I was back in school in a fit of giggles I couldn’t stop waiting to be given out to by the priest.

On a more serious note I really hope the government leave children and the less well off alone in this budget. Most days I genuinely don’t want to get out of bed recently and on these days I thank god for James who always manages to put a smile on my face. People can’t take much more and if the government lived in the real world they would know this. I will be posting more information on my site about this from both Barnardos and Stay Strong.

FOR MUM

I’m addicted to Rimmel London’s lasting finish 1000 kisses liptint. This 2 step application, one side a precision lip pen and the other a balm that seals it is a must for any busy Mum. Comes in 6 shades €7.45

FOR BABY


Having tux trouble for little ones well look no further
€5.95 NAME IT stores

Sally Go Round the Stars
A beautifully illustrated collection of favourite nursery rhymes known and loved throughout Ireland. Includes Sally Go Round the Moon; Diddly, Diddle, Dumpling; Two Little Dicky Birds; Are Ye Right There, Michael?; Half a Pound of Tuppeny Rice and many more
€14.99

Sensational Kids recently hosted a special in-store event to celebrate the launch of its new Christmas toy collection at its toyshop in Kildare. The new Christmas collection is now available to purchase in-store and online and there is no delivery charge for orders over the value of €50. All proceeds raised through the shop go towards providing subsidised clinical services for children of all abilities including those with special needs.  The Farm Blocks Play set costs €25 complete with 36 pieces, including a colourful barn, fences, stable, trees, tractors, and animals, suitable for ages 3 and up.  www.sensationalkids.ie

 

ASK ALISON

Hi Alison,
There are so many good causes to give too around Christmas. Do you know of any special ones I should consider giving too?
Louise,
Dublin

Hi Louise,

Christmas is a time for Children therefore I would always prioritize children’s charities and hospitals. Unfortunately some children have to spend Christmas in hospital but this year Temple Street aim to make time spent in hospital less distressing, for both patients and their parents. They’re asking you to ‘help light up a child’s life’ this Christmas. To brighten up the lives of the many children who find themselves in their care, they hope to light up their Christmas with over 1,500 sustainable light-bulbs. They are asking for your generous support to help them light up their special hospital and provide state of the art care to their wonderful patients and their families at a time when they need it most. Visit www.templestreet.ie or call 01 8784344 to make a donation or purchase specially designed Christmas cards. 

THIS FORTNIGHT WE ARE:


We’re continuing to buy 1 pack of pampers = 1 vaccine to help eliminate Maternal & Newborn Tetanus (MNT) in the world’s poorest countries. To date Ireland has donated over 14 million vaccines to the campaign www.pampers.ie for more info Shopping in JoJoMamanBebe, which just arrived in Ireland. Welcome and congrats on your 50th store. Everything from pregnancy and beyond! VISITING www.facebook.com/0totoddlershow page to keep up to date on all our competitions and news.


Clocks back used to mean an extra hours sleep after a great night in a club. I’d treasure the extra hour and justify my hangover, as I would be getting extra rest! How times have changed. An extra hour has caused chaos. I’ve tried to explain to James about waking up later. Yes I tried to reason with a two year old and then I resorted to bribery. Things like “you can have a bar for breakfast” or “You can play cars in Mummies bed while she rests”. None of the above worked so I have spent a few days now in foul humour feeling sorry for myself. Sounds childish and stupid I know but sometimes pity parties are needed.
The pity party ended today not because James woke any later but because I went to bed at 9PM and felt better. Now, I’m back again at the same place with the same issues which are work/life balance. Staying up late working makes life even more difficult when you’re already tired and your child wakes early. Throw in the fact that there is no one else here to get up with him other than me and I decided it was time to have a stern talk to myself. I’m now trying to value my time, prioritise and be smarter. I’ll keep you posted!!!
On the topic of sleep I have been doing research recently as it came to my attention that sleeping with all our animal friends is not as safe as we think. I used to have James surrounded but now I realize its better to be safe than sorry. I have a solution though Hoppy and Patch are two new sleeping buddies made from safe breathable fabric invented by the same lady Louise that invented the cot wrap.

FOR MUM

MEDCOLL Boost your collagen in a natural way!! €39.95

FOR BABY

The soother tree from Clevamama. Only 60 seconds and you’re done!! €9.99

HOPPY AND PATCH – Safe Dreams have designed Hoppy and Patch to minimise the risk of suffocation from tots sleeping with a soft toy and enable the unique bond between baby and cuddly toy to flourish.The 100% soft cotton toys are made from Airmesh with a 3D structure and stuffed with Hollowfibre; a hypoallergenic filling, which has been air, pumped into each fibre during the spinning process. The toys also contain absolutely no loose parts, are fully machine washable and are suitable for tumble drying. €18.70 www.safedreams.co.uk , Jojo Maman bebe, Wicklow st.

ADEN and ANAIS serenity star – A multi-tasking must for every nursery, the serenity star is an electronic feeding and sleep system designed for both baby and parents. It’s the first system to combine an electronic feeding diary, room temperature indicator, sound machine, nightlight and clock—all in one. Might help with changeover!! €75.00 www.cherishme.ie

 

ASK ALISON

Hi Alison,
I’m expecting my first child and have had a tough first trimester. Its also coming into winter and I wanted to give myself a glow. What fake tan would you recommend that’s safe during pregnancy?
Eilish, Dublin

Hi Elaine,
Nutrition and nourishment from the inside out will always be the best way for long-term health. I recently started taking Medcoll which is the latest innovation in nutritional skincare and anti ageing. It’s a supplement with a 95% absorption rate and has been hailed as an excellent preventative as well as corrective treatment for those wanting smoother more youthful skin. It helps rebuild the body’s network of collagen and connective tissue as well as promoting cell renewal at every cellular level throughout the body. It can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and also has reputed health benefits for relieving rheumatoid and arthritic joint pain, which can get worse during the winter months. For more info www.thecollagencompany.com €39.95 from pharmacies and health food stores

THIS FORTNIGHT WE ARE:

LISTENING to Andrea Hayes on Sunshine 106.8FM on Friday evening where I do a weekly parenting slot from 6-8PM STARTING rugbytots.ie as outdoor play is key and essential for social skills, health and wellbeing USING TRILOGYS ultra hydrating hand cream for all those Mums with hard working hands (product shot €14.95 WATCHING MY 4 PART parenting series with Joanna Fortune on my website in the ACTV section.. Enjoy..


If I wrote a book no one would believe it. They’d call it fiction based on the sheer amount of unbelievable things that happen to me on a daily basis. Every day I wake up and start with a blank canvas and attack the day just as it is: brand new. I’m quite pleased I do that and here’s why. The day I was moving house crèche rang to say James had chicken pox. It was also a week when all my family were away and I was at my busiest and most babysitters I called hadn’t had chicken pox and then the new house flooded! What’s great about all this is that now I know I can get through anything after getting through that week.
Thankfully my itchy scratchy son is better. I felt so helpless as a Mum. He couldn’t sleep and was driven mad with scratching. He was rubbing his back against the couch, bum on the floor and really became quite inventive in his struggle to itch those hard to reach places. If it weren’t so sore it would be funny. I discovered Silver Sense clothing with Silver woven into it…the silver is antibacterial and has healing benefits. In fact silver is used in hospital garments to help heal various wounds. The pyjamas helped make James nights a lot easier and more comfortable.
I’m so delighted to be in my little cottage. It was sad leaving mums after the past two years but I feel like a grown up again. However, I realized that a lot of things I used at home didn’t belong to me. My first morning in my cottage, I realized I had no hairdryer and had to do Midday on TV3. I ran home to blow dry my hair but that afternoon went shopping. Anyone with long hair like me will appreciate my new dryer as its 30% faster and when you’re juggling kids, work and life this makes a huge difference!

FOR MUM

Look healthy this winter with TanOrganics €19.99 www.tanorganic.com

FOR BABY

The lodger wrapper will become your most indispensible piece of baby paraphernalia €99.00 www.cleverclogs.ie

 SILVER SENSE PYJAMAS Silver Sense clothing is made from a unique blend of natural cotton and silver fibres which help to heal skin and reduce the irritation of skin conditions such as eczema. Designed with both healing and style in mind www.silversense.co.uk €49.00

HAIRDRYER: I love my new Remington Stylist TURBO 2200. It has 2 turbo fans that provide optimum airflow and temperature and makes the daily chore of blow-drying a joy! €49.99

ASK ALISON

Hi Alison,
I’m expecting my first child and have had a tough first trimester. Its also coming into winter and I wanted to give myself a glow. What fake tan would you recommend that’s safe during pregnancy?
Eilish, Dublin

Hi Eilish,
Congratulations and the worst is over! I suffered very bad morning sickness and it can be very draining. I recommend TanOrganics as it’s the worlds first and only eco certified tan after recently gaining accreditation from the well-known Ecocert group. It is 84% Aloe Vera based and with no parabens, preservatives, alcohol or fragrances it will give you a beautiful natural looking tan without all the chemical nasties.

 

THIS FORTNIGHT WE ARE:

GETTING some sleep advice from Niamh O’Reilly www.thenursery.ie WATCHING Olly The Little White Van, which just launched on TG4. This cartoon is all about inspiring young children to follow Olly’s lead by having fun whilst helping others and reinforces a variety of positive parenting messages. (Pic here of OLLY) www.ollyslittlehelpersclub.com LOGGING ONTO www.mummypages.ie for any unanswered questions from bump to birth and beyond


I love the age James is at. Terrible twos? Well not this week. I’m thoroughly enjoying the chats and the fact that it feels like he’s 22 and has been around forever. He was touching my hair the other night and I asked him if he liked it and he said no and then turned around and laughed and said ‘Joke!’ I nearly fell over laughing.
We have been trying out our new strider bike and fighting to get his Helmut on. Last Sunday we walked for about an hour but he walked beside the bike and refused to get on. He was so happy I let it go. I’ve slowly explained that you’re supposed to actually get on it and we’re getting there now.
I bought him a strider bike because as I’ve learnt from one of the experts on my 0 To Toddler show Ollwyn Moran, the development of the balance system is incredibly important from birth onwards. “Balance is not something that happens to us, rather, it is something that we do and must work to develop. Having a good balance system is of paramount importance for healthy brain development. Good balance is achieved through repeated movements on a regular basis.”
The Strider bike promotes good balance because the child is safely getting to understand what movements they must make in order to stay upright on the bike and by repeating these movements they ‘wire’ the brain and promote muscle development which helps the child to gain control over their body movements. Good co-ordination and gross motor skills are also promoted as a result of these movements.
The stages of creeping and crawling are the most important stages in brain development and it was when Ollwyn’s own children were at the crawling stage she realised that it was actually a very difficult task for them to do on wooden and tiled floors. Knowing the importance of the crawling stage on healthy brain development lead Ollwyn to the ‘brainchild’ that is the Creeper Crawlers suit.

FOR MUM

Youth, boxed! For all the tired mums out there: NeoStrata’s Comprehensive AntiAging Regimen, €76.50 at pharmacies

FOR BABY

Hear the soft bear talk about its hand, foot, nose and tummy when you press them. For babies from three months, €21.60 at The Early Learning Centre

THE CREEPER CRAWLERS SUIT gives baby extra grip on those wooden and tiled floors, whilst also promoting healthy body and brain connections. It’s that simple. To purchase a suit or to find out more about healthy neurological development check out www.creepercrawlers.com or visit Creeper Crawlers Facebook page.

THE STRIDER BIKE is great for learning steering and balance without stabilisers. It also develops co-ordination and confidence. Great for toddlers 18mths-5yrs €105.99 www.striderbikes.ie

 

ASK ALISON

Hi Alison,
Halloween is around the corner and I was wondering do you know where to get good costumes for all ages?
Sandra, Meath

Hi Sandra,
I love Halloween. It’s actually one of the biggest holidays in the States where I was living for 8 yrs. Dressing up is great for encouraging imagination in kids which in turn increases self esteem and confidence and I think Mummy and Daddy should get dressed up too!! Tk Maxx have a fantastically ghastly selection of children’s costumes that will send shivers through the neighbourhood with up to 60% off! Adamandfriends.ie have a fab selection and I’m dressing James is their fireman outfit. Mothercare are great for babies and have cute pumpkin suits for our newest arrivals. Enjoy and have fun. Oh and don’t eat too many sweets!!

 

THIS FORTNIGHT WE ARE:

Listening to Classic Hits 4FM who have supported me all Summer long and also had the Jeeps and fab girls at my 0 To Toddler show in Swords last week! Supporting The Cow & Gate Spooky Smiles for Crumlin appeal. To get involved, just plan a sponsored Halloween party and Cow & Gate will send you on a party pack to help you on your way and as a thank you for your donation. www.smilesforcrumlin.ie (pic of me and James) Putting a magnet on our fridge from the poisons information center of Ireland with the helpline number on it. Keep your kids safe and say no to poison www.poisons.ie