Day Ten to Twenty: What’s Elf been up to?


Beside been flung around the place and generally disrespected as a messenger of Santa’s?  Well he’s doing very nicely actually, he’s mostly better behaved than the boys that live here, so I’d be tempted to make him a year round house member.

IMG_5158Today Dominic spent most of the morning telling me how good he was being, asking me “amn’t I being very good?” and shockingly, actually being very good.  Having had delicious hot chocolates in their Uncle & Auntie’s house yesterday, I offered this morning to take them to a cafe for some hot chocolate. It’s been a damp and blustery day, and the thought of sitting down in a cafe was appealing to me more than a playground. So off we set on the promise of hot chocolate. The morning started off well, as I swung into the car park directly into a parent and child space. Win! When we settled in the cafe they choose juice and a smoothie instead, so there was no burning/spillages from mugs to deal with.

IMG_5270Just as my coffee arrived, Dominic spied the toilet and decided he needed to go.  He loves to explore a bathroom area so he does. I relaxed for approximately 16 seconds with my medium-hot coffee after that diversion before the boys were finished their drinks.

And then it was time for the supermarket, always a joy, with a buggy and a basket and a very nearly five year old.

Dominic was very good.  He didn’t mither his brother, or ask me to carry him.
He didn’t run away in the supermarket, or beg for stuff that wasn’t on the list.  IMG_5293He did roar “BAGELS” in the bread aisle loudly and repeatedly but that was em, charming!  He suggested that he’d have soup for lunch instead of a boiled egg and generally was a little angel. Two women told him so too, and for once they were right.  So off we went home, where he duly ate loads of soup, then released his inner demon.

IMG_5369-0The afternoon was slightly more trying and all of us have bumps and bruises to show for it (mine are emotional).  Suffice to say, the elf isn’t used as a threat in our house, just a little bit of Christmas fun.







Just for more special appearances for Mr Old Elf before he’s whisked off back to the North Pole.  I wonder what he’ll get up to?

Seasonal healthy eating for kids. Not an easy task.

At a premiere, y’know, the usual.

We had no less than four events in the calendar for young people this weekend. We visited Santa as a family in the Phoenix Park.  We attended a kids movie night in my son’s school.  We went to a Netflix premiere (swit swoo) and finally, attended the local GAA club’s Christmas Party.

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Elf is back. Why do I do this to myself?

IMG_5111.JPGNow in his second year of visiting, Mr Old Elf had been knocking round for the past ten days. He hasn’t wreaked any major havoc but he’s keeping a close eye on the Jordan lads. Dominic appears at the side of our bed by 6am each day in December pretending he needs a wee. It’s an entirely transparent ploy to get us up and sure why don’t we have a look at what elf is at on the way back to bed (if we’re lucky). You know what? I’m not going to fight it, the eye-rolling four year old (who claims to know absolutely everything) eyes light up when he sees what Mr Old Elf is at. IMG_5112.JPGExcept for that night I came home after a few glasses of wine to my husband asleep on the sofa. Off I went to the scratcher, oblivious to Mr Old Elf’s whereabouts. 545am the next morning, I respond to Dom’s arrival and a sudden moment of clarity by kicking and hissing at my husband. “Where’s the flippin’ E. L. F., find him!” I went downstairs, where Dom turned to me in the living room after a thorough scan of the room. I was sure we were rumbled. He shrugged his shoulders and pointed at the fairy door…”Mr Old Elf must be still in Santa’s North Pole.” I start to correct him that Santa doesn’t actually own The North Pole, then realise that’s terribly pedantic and I’ve gotten away with it. IMG_5113.JPG We set off up the stairs and he sees the light on in the office (er, box room), and there Elf is, looking at Lego online. He had been retrieved from under a sleeping two year old, FYI. High five husband, high five. So we’re doing okay.  He’s just as popular a ritual this year as last, I just really have to watch out for weekend wine interruptions.

Here’s what he’s been up to so far:

IMG_5115.JPG IMG_5117.JPG IMG_5119.JPG IMG_5122.JPG IMG_5123.JPG IMG_5127.JPG IMG_5131.JPG

Strong Women on your Tellybox.

I don’t get much in the way of lady conversation round our house.  My only attempts to converse with a female are met with a faint meow by way of response.  The Bechdel Test will not be passed within our four walls, but fear not solo-female-household dwellers!  I found a bunch of things to watch on Netflix that do.

To pass the Bechdel Test, the film or show must have two or more named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.

So I have to do my bit for the sisterhood, and counterbalance all the testosterone on the telly with my very own not completely comprehensive Netflix Strong Females list.  Just so the small men of my house know there’s plenty of kickass women out there besides moi.  My husband is well aware of this fact, I wouldn’t have married him if he wasn’t.

Just a note,  in picking out what is and isn’t suitable for kids, I’ve found the website Common Sense Media really handy.  When you’re watching TV the channels are generally themed by age, but on Netflix there can be a bit of a mish mash of content within the Kids section.

So without further ado:

Orange Is The New BlackOITNB

The big daddy, sorry, mommy, of female driven character ensemble pieces, and also, a Netflix Original.  The main character Piper started to annoy me a bit in series two but the back stories of the other women make for an overall more interesting second series.

The BridgeTheBridge

Swedish/Danish original version obviously. This Scandinavian crime drama is amazing, and Sofia Helin’s character Saga Noren is the reason.

The Good WifeTheGoodWife

Alicia and Kalinda are fierce.  End of.  My husband prefers this show to me. Good character development is good character development, regardless of gender.

Frances HaFrancesHa

Frances Ha is like if the tv show Girls had a feature film cousin with an even messier life.

Arrested Development


Oh I’m not entirely sure about the conversations in this, and whether it strictly passes the test across the multiples series.  But I love the three generations of women in the Bluth family: Lucille, her daughter Lindsay, and Lindsay’s long suffering daughter Maeby Fünke.

And for the kids (as well as you):

The Hunger GamesHungerGames

J-Law rocking a bow and arrow as well as some top notch style.


Merida and her mum kicking ass and taking names. Of course, a young lady can be kick ass without resorting to weaponry.

Powerpuff Girlspowerpuff

No weapons, but they can fly. Seriously cool sisters here – I discovered these girls when I was twenty (I worked in a Warner Brothers store). Now I enjoy Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup  with my four year old boy.  Don’t let their cutesy names fool you. 


All images courtesy of