My son turned three last month and we took him to Panda Play Cafe so he can have fun..
My son turned three years old last month. Sometimes, it feels surreal to realize how time flies. Of course, hard parenting times are there – especially without having any form of support system from relatives because we live abroad. But just to see my son grow before my eyes make me emotional sometimes.
One of the reasons why there are times I feel bad for my son are milestones such as birthdays. Throughout my childhood, I celebrated this day with cousins and neighbors. They were also the same persons whom I consider as my close friends while growing up. But for him, it is hard to organize such events without spending a lot of money. Doing it DIY (to save a bit) is not an option either as we don’t have space to cater for guests at home.
2016 is about to end. And just like the past years, around this time of the month, I file for my unused annual leave dates before it gets forfeited when the New Year comes. Surprisingly, I still have A LOT of annual leave dates left. I bought a lot of “extra days” for this year because, from experience in 2015, I can’t have too many leave dates since there are A LOT of external factors that will require me to use them (ie nanny not coming to work) apart from me actually taking a break. But then, we didn’t really do much traveling this year. So, that was a reason why I only use the leave days now.
Some personal time-off during the Black Friday weekend in Dublin..
Last weekend was one of the days when I get to have a little bit more time for myself. I booked an appointment to go to a hair salon (Toni and Guy) at Clarendon Street to get a haircut and highlights done. I still did the groceries in the morning but made sure to go through the aisles I need to be and don’t spend a lot more time checking out the specials.
After the groceries, I went home quickly to grab some lunch and placed the groceries where it should be. And because my son wasn’t home (went to a play area with my husband), I finished everything quickly, too. I even had spare time to watch TV and prepare the vegetables to cook later in the evening!
This is what happens when you bring a toddler inside the CHQ Building
One of the things I “learned” after relocating to Dublin in 2012 is to make the most of every opportunity to go outdoors. Not really for myself but for my rapidly growing toddler. I think of myself as mostly an introvert anyway. So in most days, I am happy spending the day indoors. However, I notice the more my son grows, the more he “craves” for outdoor activities or the chance to play outside.
It wouldn’t have been an issue if the weather is ALWAYS nice. But now that autumn is here, it is a little bit more tricky to strike the right balance to let him enjoy outdoors and prevent him from getting sick at the same time. I do allow him to have a quick walk outdoors so long as it’s not raining or too windy – to catch some fresh air!
Before 2016 ends, I have to use a couple of annual leave days before 2017 arrives. So I planned to take a day leave starting October until December to use the days sporadically. And on those days, I’ll get the chance to enjoy (really?!) some time with my son, too!
On the first day I took the time off, it was surprisingly sunny. Not warm, though. But at least, there was no hint of gray clouds around. So I took my son for a quick walk outdoors. I thought it was a good chance to have a change of scenery for myself as I’ve been working from home, too.
On that day, I decided to take him to CHQ – same venue as the recently concluded Oktoberfest. I ditched the Luas and walked to get there to enjoy some breath of fresh air. I think my son also liked the scenery as he was so excited pointing at cars on our way there.
When we got there, I let him run a bit outside the CHQ Terrace. We arrived at the area around 2 PM. Unexpectedly, it was STILL slightly busy. There were some heading to grab a quick lunch while others on their way back to work.
After a few more minutes, I decided to take him inside the CHQ building – it was a little bit cold. At that moment, the dining area was still slightly filled with people. I’d probably consider going here at a later time to make sure most have finished their lunches and on their way back to work.
After we got inside, my son hurried to a small art gallery exhibit located at the back of the CHQ building. I didn’t have the time to check which exhibit it was for – I was too preoccupied running after the little fella! Luckily, there was nobody around when he stormed inside – we had the entire room for ourselves!
We didn’t spend much time inside but it was a good chance for me to catch my breath. I think my son liked the photos on display, too. He was too busy checking everything out!
As I am stuck at home with no traveling plans (yet) for the rest of 2016, I thought I’d write about the local trips I had for this year. It’s not as if I just sobbed miserably at home. I didn’t. I just wished I could’ve taken more international flights before the year ends.
The first local trip we had this year was a visit to County Meath at the Dunboyne Castle. Continue reading “Review: The Dunboyne Castle, a weekend at County Meath” »
Last weekend, we missed the Luas to go to Dublin city center. And because the sun was shining brightly, we decided to go for a walk. Before my son was born, my husband and I rarely use the Luas – especially during the spring/summer season. And since my son is no longer a baby and the weather still warm, we decided to use our feet to go to the city center.
It was great. We used the time walking to chat and appreciate the refreshing breeze outdoors. Apart from that, we also noticed that preparation for the Oktoberfest is now ongoing. Booths and food stalls (I failed to take a photo of, too busy chatting with my husband, 😆 ) are already setup. In case you are interested to know more about Dublin’s Oktoberfest celebrations, watch out for my article on ExpatPost tomorrow (16 September 2016) about it!
We went to mass at the St Mary’s Pro Cathedral located at Dublin city center. As usual, my husband and son stayed inside for the first half of the celebration. We were lucky we were seated beside the candles for prayer offering – allowing my son to keep still longer than usual. But that didn’t prevent him from running around the Church ( 😐 ). So eventually, my husband took him out and I was left inside to finish the mass.
After the mass, we have to wait a couple of minutes till the shops open at 11 AM. We decided to drop by a local Starbucks shop to wait and grab a bite, too. On our way to Starbucks, I had to appreciate the fantastic weather outdoors and snapped a couple of photos of some attractions at Dublin city center! Continue reading “Spending the weekend at Dublin city center” »
Last Saturday was totally crappy. It was raining so hard – I had to drag myself out of bed so I can go on with my errands for the day. Saturday is “grocery shopping day” and unfortunately, it is also a day when most of our important commodities run out. There are days when I move grocery day to Sunday but then, we already made plans – I don’t want to delay it. Not to mention that if I missed grocery day on Saturday, it also meant that cooking our meals for the week will also get delayed. Oh well, adult life. Parenting life. No matter what you call it. When the weather is crappy, it is only called crappy day!
Since Saturday weather forced us to stay indoors, Sunday was the only day left for a family day. My husband and I both work. And I am blessed to be able to work from home. But even if I technically stay at home to see my son the entire day, it is not the same as spending time with him. Continue reading “Random thoughts: The result of change” »
It is a beautiful day today. After yesterday’s awful weather, I really thought that summer is officially over. Add up the fact that there are yellow-colored leaves already rotting along the side streets in this month. It doesn’t feel right, to be honest. To see these early (super early) signs of autumn when other countries are still basking in the sun and celebrating the peak of summer.