Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's 7:36 in the morning (Well, by the time I post it will probably be later but hey! What can you do?) Me and the small one have been up since six, which originally I didn't mind as I thought due to the time change it was actually 7:00. Unfortunately, my partner is more organized then I give him credit for and had indeed switched the clock in the kitchen ahead already so 6:00am it was. Sigh...

Here is my dilemna. I want to go to back to the dreamhouse and continue with the unpacking, but the thought of taking the bus again and actually having to walk up the loooooooooong hill to the house with our beast of a buggy and a small child who's weight seems to increase exponentially as my pregnancy progresses just does not appeal, especially since the sunshine the RTE website promised yesterday has this morning been replaced by gloomy little rainclouds.

My other option is to stay home (old home) for the day and be a sweet little domestic goddess and scrub the apartment from top to bottom in preperation for the viewings tomorrow all by my lonesome instead of doing it together, "as a family" tonight. It would be very nice of me, and himself would probably be reeeeeeeeealllly happy to come home to a spic and span apartment tonight and just kick back and relax with a nice cup of tea and the news after a long day at work. I could even fetch him his slippers!

Or... I could go in and wake up my lovely man and ask for a drive before work. Yeah... that one makes the most sense, and if we hurry, we can beat the traffic!

Enjoy your day!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Today's the day! Today's the day! Today's the day! Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! It's TIME!!!!!!!!! No, not time for the baby, that one has to stay in for another 8 weeks or so please and thank you. Nooooo..... today is something just as messy and almost as exciting (I would say just as, but darling partner would probably not being impressed at my comparing the birth of our second child to unpacking a load of boxes and bags...)

IT'S MOVING IN DAY!!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!! After a month of waiting and a week of packing, cleaning and being bitterly resentful of ANYONE who did not have to partake in those activities, the big moment has finally arrived! Today I get to UNPACK EVERYTHING I spent the last week bagging, labelling, cursing and threatening to burn.

Now, I haven't actually been to the new place since the boys hauled everything up there and I have a feeling that they may not have taken advantage of my labelling system and put each bag or box in it's correct location. However, that's okay as at least it's all in the right house now.

My dream house... Sigh....

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Beautiful Day

It's a beautiful Saturday morning, the sun is shining and I'm sitting on the couch watching the Snot Queen fling hundreds of dvds all over the sitting room floor. I should probably stop her...

I'm also being a very bad mama and have "accidentally on purpose" left the tv turned onto Saturday morning cartoons. Her eyes are turning square as I type. I should probably turn it off...

The sitting room, which we are in the midst of packing up and transferring across town, is in a total state. I should probably continue on with the packing and the cleaning...

If I were to look closely (or in the case of my bombsite of an apartment, quickly glance) at my life, there are probably a lot of things I "should" be doing (and on the flip side, plenty that I shouldn't...)

I should be drinking more water, as in the clear and cold stuff, not the lovely hot, brown, dark roasted with a drop of milk stuff that goes so well with the biscuits I definitely should NOT be eating (Can I help it if the tiny baba craves chocolate chip cookies?)

I should be doing my yoga daily instead of waiting until my hips are a hairsbreadth away from needing surgical separation...

I should be more charitable in my thoughts and less annoyed when I am stopped every ten feet on my walk into town by people in bright jumpers looking for me to support asthma, cancer, the third world, animal rights and just about every other charity under the sun...

I should go to bed earlier so it's not as much of a struggle when the small one wakes up at 6:00 in the morning...

I should eat the oranges in my fridge before they go off instead of waiting for them to peel and cut themselves which, let's be perfectly honest, is NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!!!

I should make more of an effort to be more "green"

I should go and find my phone which has been beeping madly for the last hour or so...

But right now, it's a beautiful Saturday Morning, the sun is shining and even if everything IS a little bit up in the air at the moment, for the first time this week I am relaxed, content and more then happy to let the world just roll on by. Everything else can wait...

Friday, March 27, 2009

AAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!! I AM NUMBER 4 ON THE WEEKLY NON FICTION LIST AT AUTHONOMY!!!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!! Must run and have a shower and then go sign house papers:)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lesson for Daddy number 3465...

Daddy Dearest has just made an amazing discovery... It is virtually impossible to sit down with the laptop and enjoy a plate of biscuits and a cup of tea whilst minding the Snot Queen. She doesn't take kindly to being ignored you see and in particular has a particular loathing for laptops as they tend to divert mommy and daddy's attention from the star of the show, namely, her.

Now, this discovery is not news to me, or indeed to any mother in the known universe. I can't remember the last time I even attempted to enjoy something as decadent as the above scenario without the small one being asleep or still growing inside of me! The frustration it's bound to cause is just not worth the hassle.

Daddy dearest however, is still learning and the horror on his face as the princess upends the biscuits all over his lap and the chair would be almost comical if it wasn't for one small thing...

Namely the sticky little hand now firmly clenched round a chocolate chip cookie. Bedtime just got a whole lot further away...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

First Steps

SHE WALKED!!!!!! My little princess actually walked today! And not just one or two steps before collapsing into my arms either but a full 5 feet or so across the floor. It was absolutely priceless, the look on her face was hilarious. She was sooooooooo proud of herself and immediately looked around to see how many people had witnessed this momentous moment and clapped madly to celebrate her accomplishment:) My little snot queen is growing up...

The Filth and the Fury

Agh! I just can't seem to get it together today! The sun is shining, there is a houseful of mums gathering to eat biscuits and drink coffee just on the other side of town and here I sit in all my manky pajama'ed, unshowered glory on the couch while the baby is nestled snug in her babysitter... I mean high chair, munching away on a gourmet feast of spelt toast, honey, banana and rice cake, half of which is gradually finding it's way to the floor.

The house is a tip and I have serious concerns about the damage this is doing to my mental health. Everywhere I turn is another task just waiting to be completed. I packed up our clothes the other morning only to belatedly realize that half of our wardrobe was still in the wash.

Everytime I manage to fill a bag with our various bits and bobs, my tiny helper is right behind me ready to unpack it. It's a very fun game you know. As a result, the detritus of our lives is scattered merrily about and the apartment is looking more like a student lair and less like a family home with every passing second. Every time I go to shower, I half expect someone named "Jonesy" or "Baaaazzz" to be hot boxing the bathroom. It's diving me nuts!

WHAT HAPPENED TO MY HOUSE?!?!? Why is packing so difficult? If everything we owned, barring of course the laptop, disappeared tomorrow I would be perfectly fine with it. I am at the point where the most helpful items I can think of for getting the job done are a packet of matches and a can of gasoline.

Then of course there is the list of things that needs to be done before we move. Doctors to see, Addresses to change, broadband to transfer, letters of recommendation from employers and the like...... AGH!!!! It's doing my head in!!! All I want to do is drop everything, grab the baby and run very far, far away....

To a little house on the other side of town, one filled with mums about to sit down to coffee and biscuits and loads of chitter chatter.

Of course, first I need to shower, dress and clean the baby, maybe scrape the toast and honey off the floor.

I don't know if I have the energy...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I am in LOVE!!!!!! Wow oh wow oh wow oh wow! While trawling through the other books on offer at authonomy.com in the hopes of finding support for my own (which is now 12 on the non fiction list there! yayyy!!!!!) I came across the wonderful poems of Nicky Jones (please note my fabulous rhyming skills.

Now, I am not normally one for poetry. Even though I occasionally write my own, it wouldn't be something that I'd actively go out seeking, "Oh My! It's time to go an buy another poetry book!"

Of course, philistines like me are the main reason that modern poets have such a hard time scrabbling out a living. Then I stumbled upon Nicky Jones (and her wonderful poems) and my heart just about melted. I figured I'd give her a quick go as she seemed to be gaining quite a following and I admit, a part of me was hoping to jump onto her bandwagon so I could enthrall the other wagoneers with my own fine offerings....

Within a few minutes I was completely and utterly enthralled. the words tripped and danced all over the page and made my fingers itch, wanting desperately to hold the book itself and flip through the pages to my own favourite pieces. I wanted to keep it in my purse (nappy bag) to pull out on trains and buses or anytime really that the babs was sleeping and I'd a minute to myself.

Which was when I made a wonderful discovery.... Unlike the bulk of us fledgling authors on Authonomy, Nicky Jones has already been published and her book is available on amazon (lucky cow!) Needless to say, I have ordered a copy and cannot wait for it to arrive. As I'm a complete book fiend, I just wanted to share this with you all. If you want to check out Nicky's book, you can find it here. Yum!

Oh, and just to let you know, she has no idea that I'm plugging her book here, so please don't think that I'm about to turn my lovely blog into a giant Flog. although that being said..... If the price is right baby! I'm anyone's:) lol!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Packing for Pachoderms

Oh God. I've started to waddle. I have officially hit the lumbering, uncomfortable, "Could somebody please help me with my socks" phase of pregnancy. Once again, it caught me unawares. You'd think that having done this before, I'd know the drill, but no, unlike dolphins and those dogs that help find missing children, I am not one of God's brighter creatures. At the moment, I am relating more with my bovine sisters, happy to graze all day and snooze when the mood strikes.

Of course this had to happen during moving week when I have exactly five days to pack up everything we own and clean our entire apartment from top to bottom. In fact, up until this very instant, I've been greatly looking forward to this week! My nesting instincts, which go wild during pregnancy, have been in full swing since before the stick turned blue (well, purple actually) and the thought of filling up boxes and (sigh!) labelling them with colour coded markers and then scrubbing every square inch of the place has had me salivating for months!
The excitement I felt when buying a new cream cleanser the other day was practically obscene and I almost had to leave the grocery store for fear of embarassing myself!

Now suddenly, tiny babs has nestled itself snugly into the lower portion of my uterus causing me to spend half my life slowly making my way to the toilet, and the other half peeing for Ireland. Bending over is becoming nigh on impossible and the distance from my home I can comfortably travel on foot is rapidly shrinking.

Add to that the fact that Big Babs (a.k.a the Snot Queen) has decided to once again forego napping in favour of being a demon child and my Awesome Plans for Organisation are being threatened before they've even began!

I'll keep you posted...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Incredible Employment Oppurtunity

It's great to know that even in the middle of a recession, some jobs are always open:

Position Available: The successful candidate needn't have any prior experience, but a willingness to learn and the ability to think outside the box would definitely come in handy! Patience is a must as your boss can be quite demanding at times and will expect your complete and utter devotion.

You will be expected to fill a variety of roles, including, but definitely not limited to the following;
Chef, entertainer, chaffeur, (verrrrrry) personal assistant, groomer, stylist, housekeeper, nurse, teacher and general dogsbody. The ability to kiss it better is essential.

The hours are long. In fact, you can expect to be on call 24/7 and in the early days, most of those 24 hours will definitely be required. You will learn to function on little to no sleep and will become accustomed to being covered in someone else's bodily fluids.

There are days when you will have neither the time nor the inclination to shower and /or dress and when you do get around to it you will have to ensure that your boss is safely stowed and entertained for the thirty seconds you will most likely be allotted to rinse yourself off.

Your breaks will depend on if and when the boss takes a nap.

At this point in time, the position is for the most part largely unpaid, unless of course you count smiles and laughs and sticky faced kisses as currency. However, if hired, the job is yours for life and comes with an incredible benefit package including (but not limited to) the unconditional love and devotion of your boss and the type of job satisfaction for which there are no words.

Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Foolproof Parenting

I don't have much time. The small one is halfway through tearing all of the wipes out of the package and only has another forty or so to go before she hits bottom.

This is part of my fabulous new parenting strategy. I call it the "Do what you want so long as it's not too dangerous, doesn't permanently damage the apartment, you do it quietly and let mommy get her work done" plan.

So far it's going rather well. In the last twenty four hours I've managed to finish editing another four chapters of "The Book" (which you can read a few excerpts from by clicking here) and all I've had to do is allow my 14 month old daughter free reign of the kingdom.

So what if the sitting room looks like a bomb hit it and there are no longer any clothes on the drying rack below the three foot mark? Who cares if a few rolls of toilet paper got shredded or ended up stuffed down the toilet? Or for that matter eaten! It's fibre.

And speaking of eating, I'm pretty sure that a few raw potatoes and kiwis with the skins still on never did anyone any harm! Sure, she's broadening her culinary horizons is all!

My plan after all is nothing if not healthy! She gets plenty of exercise and fresh air crawling in and out onto the (glassed in) balcony, the door of which is left open for easy access, and her foraging skills are growing by the day!

All in all, I'd recommend this plan to anyone with things to get done and no time to accomplish them. All you need is an open minded view of just what constitutes "neglect" and of course, a steady supply of baby wipes.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Achy Breaky Hips (The New Hit Single)

(To the tune of "Achy Breaky heart," Don't pretend you don't know it!)

(chorus) Oh my god! My hips, my achy breaky hips,
They don't seem to like it when I stand!
If I bend to reach the floor, or try to walk right out the door,
They just seize up and hurt this mam!


I don't like it one bit, I used to be so fit
I could pull my leg right back over my head
But now my body's F*cked, ever since I got knocked up
I can't even get comfortable in bed

I can't take it anymore, can't even make it to the store,
I can't even reach my toes to tie my shoes,
My love wants to get frisky but I think I'd slip a disky
and I feel about as sexy as a moose


I know this ain't forever, that one day it will get better
Like kidney stones and Gallstones "this shall pass"
And I know that I look funny but don't make me giggle honey
cause I pee a little every time I laugh!

So listen up and learn, if you don't want your joints to burn
every time you do it for gods sake use protection
and I'm not talkin' bout withdrawal or else you're guaranteed to fall
into a little place known round here as conception

Oh my god! My hips, my achy breaky hips,
They don't seem to like it when I stand!
If I bend to reach the floor, or try to walk right out the door,
They just seize up and hurt this mam!


(Repeat Chorus)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Give me a break...

It's official. I'm all used up. The well has run dry. There's no room at the inn and whatever other metaphors you can think of for being completely and utterly worn out. Even my typing skills are failing me. So far, in this blog alone, I've had to correct about ten different typos already (ironically enough, I misspelled typos as tpos and had to go back and fix it.)

Maybe it's the giant baby I'm growing inside of me that is now resting deeeeeeeep within my pelvis causing me to pee a little everytime I sneeze. Maybe it's the hips that seize up every time I walk more then 5 steps. It could be the teething baby who has rediscovered her love of my "empty since the stick turned blue" breasts and has made dry suckling into an artform. Maybe it's waking up with said baby at 5:00am yesterday morning and again today at 4:00am.

Then of course there's the apartment that seems to dirty itself everytime I turn my back and the seemingly endless list of things to do before we move into our dream house. The drunks that line the river and try and reach into my buggy everytime I walk past definitely don't help matters. Nor does the ridiculous amount of dog poo that people feel free to leave in the footpaths which inevitably ends up on the wheels of the buggy.

Mix into all of this the guilt that I feel when I snap at my partner or feel as though I'm being less then the perfect mother and girlfriend (bullshit I know, but hey, you try controlling your feelings when you're seven months pregnant and then get back to me) and that constant battle between wanting to do more and knowing that if I even try to add another item to the list, my already stretched sanity will snap completely and everything will come tumbling down.

It just seems as though all of my time is taken up doing the the things I have to and that as hard as I try, there never seems to be enough time for the things I want to. Or maybe today's just one of those days...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St.Patrick's Day!

Holy God! My legs are about to fall off and thanks to my ever loosening hip joints, this is not an exaggeration. Pregnancy and parades do not go together. No chairs, no toilets, no deal.

We took the Snot Queen to the St. Paddy's day parade today, thrilled as only new parents can be at the thought of watching our little girls joy as the floats and fancies strolled on by. Of course, being new parents, we were ignorant of some very basic facts, the main one being that if you want to get a good viewing spot at any point along the parade route, you may want to consider camping out the night before and not showing up ten minutes late when even the tops of the phone booths are covered in a dense carpet of children.

Secondly, there ought to be a law against selling whistles to small children. In fact, all forms of noise making equipment should be banned from use by the under 21's and even then limited to private use in your own home, well away from the ears of the general public.

Overall though, we had a great day. The sun was shining, which is always cause to celebrate and the snot queen was happy out for at least twenty minutes before expressing her distress at not having been fed in the last hour (seriously, the kid's a chowhound!) which thankfully coincided with my hips giving out and daddy dearest wanting a bite to eat (see? She comes by it honestly)

St. Patrick's day is definitely a different affair when you're 7 months pregnant with a family in tow...

Hope you all had a good one!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lazy Lady's Update....

Right, my brain is a bit all over the place this week with all the good news I've been receiving, so I thought that as it's all slowly starting to sink in, I'd share it all with you (some of it for the second time!) in what is basically just a lazy excuse for today's blog.


Yes, yes, yes.... I know I already told you this, but it's really only just now sinking in, especially since we found out today that the owners have accepted our haggling and reduced the rent by €75.00/month which means I won't have to sell a kidney and I can still afford to buy the baby a new pair of shoes.


In other good news, after almost a year of wrestling with the Dept of Justice and Immigration, my lovely Canadian bottom has FINALLY been granted leave to remain in Ireland meaning that myself, my Irish partner and the magical mixture of our genes we call the snot queen (apparently you need to be married in order to be recognized as a "real" family in Holy Catholic Ireland, sharing your DNA just isn't enough these days...) will not be separated anytime soon and thus are free to live happily ever after, or at least for the next three years when my status once again comes up for review or until my darling J makes an honest woman of me, whichever comes first...

This week was also a good one financially as yet another pillar of the Irish Political System, this time the Department of Social Welfare, capitulated and gave in to our mad and unreasonable demands. Meaning of course that 14 months after her birth to an Irish Father and his pesky Canadian piece of fluff, the Snot Queen, an Irish citizen in her own right, was finally granted Child Benefit and Early Childhood Supplement. Please do not get me started on the innate sexism of the system and the archaic laws which give unwed fathers NO RIGHTS WHATSOEVER to their children and only limited ones at that to those who petition the courts for equal status to their supposedly more responsible and morally superior female partners (ummmm... last time I checked, I was the former illegal immigrant with a dodgy Canadian credit rating and no qualifications to speak of...)

Aaaaaaaannnnnnd..... To put the icing on the top of the fabulously wonderful, sinfully delicious cake that has been my week.... Today marked the end of Phase One of Operation "Get Dream Buggy To Ireland!" At 2:07pm today, according to the lovely folks at Amazon and UPS, my Chariot of Dreams was delivered to an address somewhere in Indiana where it will be collected by the extremely thoughtful friends of a friend who are currently in the states on business and who kindly offered to bring back my Terrific Tandem as part of their Business Class Luggage allowance.


Sigh, Life is good indeed.....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Misery loves Company, but hates Stale Bread...

Damn you Mammy Bloggers!!!!! I was all set to sit down and write a scathing review of all the things that are currently stressing me out (finances, teething, state of the government, really expensive bread at the petrol station that's set to go off in two hours...) but then decided to have a quick read of what some of my favourite "Other Mothers" had been up to first....

ArtyFeminist was busy being vomited on by her daughter.

Jen's Rantings were filled with mourning for the loss of her "clarity of thought" due to baby brain.

had gotten herself a lovely new bag which met with the approval of a "petite, Italian, Homosexual"

and xboxfornappyrash and his wife were given the all clear for trying IUI (intrauterine insemination) and then given a lesson in injecting mad dutch hormones into her thigh.

By the time I finished catching up with everyone, my rage at the world had diminished somewhat. It wasn't that anyone had written anything particularly uplifting, I mean, come on! Having your hand VOMITED into? EW! But somehow, reading about their own trials and tribulations (and cool new handbags!) had me being a little more chilled out about my own.

I'm still having panic attacks at my self imposed impending deadline for finishing the book and finding an agent (10 weeks Tuesday! Baby's a coming!)

The Snot Queen's ongoing battle with the tooth fairy continues to threaten my ever more delicate mental health.

I am becoming more and more frustrated with the overweight, bloated buffoons who are in charge of cleaning up the nation's economy when in fact THEY ARE THE PROBLEM!!!!!

And the thought of what's going to happen when my partner's current contract runs out makes my panic at meeting my self imposed deadline all the more fierce (and no, not the Tyra Banks "Pout your lips and squint your eyes" kind of fierce)

I suppose it's true what they say, misery does love company, or at least the knowledge that we're all in this together.

Although I'm still pretty pissed off about the bread...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Learn as I go...

I am sooooo tired. I don't know if it's the lack of sleep from all the teething this week (still going strong! B@stard molars!) or if it's just the third trimester hormones kicking into gear, but I'm finding myself increasingly emotional these days and feeling everything just a little bit deeper...

Take my friends for instance. Just the other morning, I was doing my usual routine of procrastination before setting down to work (in the middle of that now actually...) when I came across a new friend's photos on Facebook. Nothing out of the ordinary mind you, just a typical album of family photos. No starving children or abandoned animals just loads of shots documenting the first year of her older son's life.

As her little boy is 3 now and I've only known her since the birth of her second baby, these pics were new to me. They showed me a side of this woman I've never seen before.

Of the mothers I know, she is the capable one. The one who's done this mothering lark before and who seems to have it all together. She is the one who's eyes say "I've been here before" and who's hands know what they're doing. She is the one whose lap was made for curling up in and whose arms are filled with strength and comfort. She has the husband, the kids, the house, the dog... Her life, from my perspective at least, seems solid.

When I looked at her pictures though, I saw another side.

I saw a woman, heavily pregnant on her first baby, her dark eyes filled with hope. Looking out at the camera with the smallest of smiles, as if to say, "Is this really happening?"

I saw a new mother, her baby clinging to her chest for warmth and security, her eyes still tired from the birth but her entire person suddenly alert and filled with a new life's purpose.

I saw the mama bear, who would die for her cub before letting any harm befall him.

I saw her oldest boy brand new again, looking so much like his younger brother and yet different enough that you knew it wasn't.

I saw a family in progress and a mother in the making.

I saw the past that had shaped the present I know.

But most of all, I saw a side of my friend that I'd never seen before. One that had the tears filling my eyes and rolling down my cheeks. It was a softer more uncertain side that looked out and grabbed at your heart and made me want to pull her into my lap and wrap my arms around her, offering her what strength and comfort I have. And when she was wrapped up safe and snug I would stroke her hair and tell her stories of the future.

About the most capable mother I know.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Notes from a Tiny Tenant

My belly is jumping. I am hiding in my living room while my baby sleeps in the bedroom, quietly watching the show being performed by the tiny acrobat who has taken up residence in my body.

Biff! Boom! Zap! Pow! I wish I had those spinning signs from the old Batman show. I'd make them appear every time the tiny babs splashed out into his or her daily workout routine.

This little one is a lot more active then the snot queen was when she was on the inside and I can't help but wonder - with more then a small amount of guilt - if it's the new baby's way of saying "I'm here! Notice me!" A premature bout of sibling rivalry, if you may, a taste of what's to come.

There's no denying that this pregnancy has been a completely different experience to my last go round. Last time, it was all brand new and I had all the time in the world to obsess over every last detail of my pregnancy and the little life that was growing within. I was that most revered of creatures, the first time mum.

I would spend hours lying about feeling my baby move and imagining the watery world they inhabited. I religiously did my kick counts and laboured for MONTHS over what would be included in my birth plan. I signed up for pregnancy yoga as soon as I was able and stopped work at six months so that I could thoroughly relax and enjoy every second of the experience.

I worried about every move I made and how it could possibly effect my child. I took notice of every tiny kick and swirl she made, and if more then a few hours passed without my feeling her, a panic greater then anything I'd ever known would consume me and I'd rush to lie down until she started her dancing again. For nine months my world shrank to a tiny little bubble - population two.

This time around, the bubble is a little bigger and my days are spent running around after the snot queen, watching with wonder the seemingly endless stream of milestones she accomplishes. Seeing her go from sitting to crawling to pulling herself up to standing. I am in awe of her abilities and of the tiny clock that only she is aware of that tells her when it's time to learn something new. I could sit and listen to her chatter for hours. She amazes me.

So involved am I in her little world that I often forget about the watery world that exists inside of me and the tiny tenant who inhabits it.

And then there are moments like now when with a single, solid kick, my big, round belly leaps to the side and I am reminded once again of the little person within. A person who is not their big sister and who may very well come out not baldy and fair but with a thick head of dark hair. A person with a mind and personality of their own. A small little someone who one day soon will come out into the world and change the dynamics of all our lives, forever.

For now, all is quiet, and for the moment at least, my world has once again shrunk to the tiniest of islands - population two.

Song of the Snail

Welcome to three a.m... Well, 3:17 to be precise. Having been granted an hours sleep while my partner took the first shift, it is now my turn to sit up with the increasingly alert baby who switches between being the most miserable child in the universe to being suzy sunshine herself. At the moment she's happy, and has rediscovered her musical snail roy whose song sounds much louder and almost obscenely cheerful at this ungodly hour. Oh, look at that! She's found out how to make the music play, again and again and again......

We are sitting out in the living room waiting for the kettle to boil as my hips - as well as the rest of my joints - have chosen tonight to do that lovely pregnant twitchy thing where it feels like someone is constantly tickling you in a not fun way and you would pay exhorbitant sums for some magical person to come along and snap them all back into place...

We've added percussion in the form of a tablespoon to the snail's song. She's keeping time by banging it against the table, the floor, any hard surface really. Look mom! Loud noises are fun! Yes dear.... Especially at 330 in the morning...

Mmmmm.... the kettle's boiled. Must run and fill up the hot water bottle. It might not be the same as the joint popper inner, but it's magic is still strong nonetheless. Note to self; Invest in a set of plastic spoons. Much quieter... Easier on the nerves.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Teething: Day 3

I am quickly reaching the end of my tether. I don't know how much longer I can go on. We are nearing the end of day three in the war against teething and entering the third night. Aside from the odd foray onto our balcony, and a late night run for teething granules, I haven't left the house since the battle began.

I'm exhausted. The house is a mess and so am I. What the hell is wrong with our species? Why are we born without teeth? Can anyone else think of a single other species that has to go through this torture?

I'm sick of reaching into her hot little mouth and feeling a smooth bulging gum where a giant molar should be. I hate seeing her in pain and just want that giant, beast of a tooth to finally poke through and give us all some relief. If I could pull it up myself I would!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Teething: Night Two

Well, it's night two of the teething fairy's visit to our humble abode. She arrived last night with a bang (and a bucketload of drool!) We tried to explain that we really don't have the room for visitors at the moment (come back next month when we're living in our DREAM HOME!!!) butshe wouldn't take no for an answer and set about unpacking her belongings and making herself at home.

Lil was in bits. You see, her and the teething fairy have a rocky relationship, their history is marked with pain and suffering (and yes, even more bucketloads of drool) and the second she realized who our house guest was, she raised the roof and wailed the house down. All. Night. Long.

I pleaded with the fairy to find alternate accomodation, I even pointed her in the direction of friends of ours, but no, she was adamant. She wanted to stay with us.

This morning found me bleary eyed and tired having spent the night comforting my inconsolable daughter. She was showing signs of wear as well, her eyes were bright and her little body was burning up with fever. Her red cheeks could be seen from space and her chin had developd a lovely rash from yes, the bucketloads of drool.

After a day spent cuddling on the couch, an emergency run to the pharmacy was in order to pick up a packet of teething granules. The princess is in bed now, as is her daddy. I'm off to join them but first must find the fairy and have a little chat. I'd like to know exactly how long she intends on staying for...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Call Me Neurotic

Okay, I'm not going to panic... Just because I can't get ahold of the estate agent dealing with the possible rental of our dream house is no reason to get upset. And just because when I called the office to enquire as to whether or not the owners were considering our offer no one knew, does not mean that we have been lost in the shuffle. Oh lord, Pregnant hormones are getting the better of me! Tears are imminent!

We can't lose this house, we can't! I've already mentally moved in! I've made plans for this house!!! I will sell my SOUL for this house!

Update: Okay, heartbeat, return to normal. Breathing, sloooooooow down. Pregnant hormones.... Well, there's nothing I can do about those. They'll have to settle in their own sweet time. I just heard from the letting agents, the owners will settle at 50 above what we offered which will be a bit of a stretch for us, but definitely manageable. Oh god, my stomach's still in knots. I hate stress! I hate dealing with things over the phone.

I am definitely more of an "in person, perhaps over a cup of tea" type of woman. Frankly, the phone terrifies me, which I know, is not the most attractive quality in someone a hairsbreath away from turning thirty (oh god, here comes the vertigo again!) That, combined with the fact that I am most definitely NOT a natural born haggler, means that I probably wasn't the best person to send out property hunting in the first place.

The phone is just so impersonal! You can't make a proper impression over the telephone. It's a noisome, intrusive part of people's lives. You have no say as to when or where people call you so they invariably try and contact you at the WORST possible moment or just when you have no desire to speak with anyone.

I always feel like I'm interupting people when I call them which immediately has me apologizing left right and center, which means it takes even longer for me to get around to the point of the call, thereby maximizing the interruption to their day that my phonecall is already causing. My stomach is in bits just thinking about it!

Texting on the other hand is much nicer. You can read a text, take time to properly digest it and then decide whether or not to reply immediately. If you need to take time to properly formulate your thoughts, you can do that. Not so with a phonecall where the person at the other end of the line has other things to do and needs an answer now and has no time or patience for your hemming and hawing. As I am a very good hemmer and hawer, this does not bode well for me.

If I were ever to take a job in Telemarketing, I'd be dead from stress in a week. Make that a day. Asking people for money makes me ill.

Soooooo..... it looks like our dream house is ours for the taking. Once my nerves have settled, I'm sure I will be very happy indeed:)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Peanut Butter Breakfast

I am pretty sure that peanut butter cookies do not constitute a healthy, balanced breakfast, no matter how tasty they may be. Although somehow, at 8 in the morning on an empty stomach, after having had said cookies for dinner the night before as well as for a midnight snack, they somehow don't taste quite so good...

It's morning here and after a good night's sleep (yay!!!!) the queen is sitting on the potty taking care of her morning business which, having the pleasure of sitting downwind of her, I can proudly say she is doing quite well at!

She actually slept quite well last night, as did I. I was afraid that the opposite would happen as daddy was away and I was dreading having to do battle with the snot queen on my own. But after a lovely day spent with the other mummies watching the animals at FOTA (we saw some particularly ummm.... lusty oxen as well as some giraffes who found it completely okay to drink each other's pee, BLECH!!!!) and chilling out with some peanut butter cookies, my gorgeous girl was sound asleep before ten and slept solid until almost 8:30! Maybe she likes the extra space?

Daddy, you may be on the couch when you get back...

I still can't fully believe that I'm going to have another one of these little people in less then three months time. To be perfectly honest, I still have moments I forget I'm even pregnant, which, considering that I am now in my THIRD trimester, is no mean feat!

I'm finding that pregnancy the second time around is a lot more relaxed. Chasing after the Snot Queen all day, I don't have nearly as much time to obsess as I did before. When I was pregnant on her, I could tell you down to the second how far along I was at any given time. This time around, I actually have to stop and think about it, or just give a rough estimate, 6 months as opposed to 27 weeks, 5 days, 4 hours, 3 mins and 26 seconds along....

I don't baby myself as much either although yes mom, I do take care of myself and make sure to eat and drink loads and get as much rest as I can!

When in comes to baby supplies, I now know that less is more and that despite what the "experts" will tell you,"second hand" does not necessarily mean, "death trap." Did you know that women have been having babies since long before Johnson and Johnson came to town? And that it's possible to breastfeed without a support pillow and a whole new wardrobe? And speaking of wardrobes.... even though infant denim is super cute beyond belief, your 2 week old baby is just as happy in a sleep suit, which, by the way, doesn't need to be changed with every nappy....

In short, I've learned that experience and your own baby are the best teachers out there, and that the occasional peanut butter cookie before breakfast doesn't necessarily spell the end of the world:)

Happy Sunday! Spend it well.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Oh God, oh God, oh God!!!!! I am now in the third trimester!!!!! Where is the time going?!?!?!?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Four Beds and a Sleeping baby

Oh God. I have found my dream house.... In my head, I have mentally moved in already. I have washed the dishes in the utility room whilst watching my clothes dry in the breeze out back. I have had the other mums and babies over to play and they've been able to find parking OUTSIDE MY HOUSE instead of ten miles away down a dark and dingy side street and get this, they don't have to worry about being clamped!

We can sit in the sunny SECOND SITTING ROOM drinking coffee and eating the biscuits and bread I made in the most cheerful, spacious, kitchen known to mankind just that morning while the small ones run in and out of the patio doors to the garden. As this is a fantasy, I have overlooked the fact that only two members of our group are walking yet and that one of them has a phobia of the ground after a bad experience involving an uphill climb... I have also made all of their little hands and feet dirt proof so as to prevent any of them transferring the great outdoors to the even greater indoors.

My own fear of bugs has completely vanished as I have planted the backyard with several of my favourite herbs and possibly a few veg as well! Back inside, my own paintings hang on the walls and the many shelves are filled with our books. One of the FOUR bedrooms has been turned into an office/music room and another will serve as a guest room when my mother comes to visit after the new baby arrives.

The baby will obviously be good natured, a good feeder and will sleep through the night from the start and nap when his or her big sister naps as well, thus allowing mommy, who, after a few weeks pushing a double buggy up that blessed hill, is a slim and trim size ten (remember folks, this is a FANTASY!!!) plenty of time to work on her second book, her first having been accepted for publication by a well known publishing house for a staggering sum shortly after moving into fantasyland.

As a final touch, Mr.Cowen will reverse the pension levy and take his fat, sticky hands out of my partner's wages. Perhaps then we can begin to make our dreams a reality...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Recipe: Irish Spelty Fruity Soda Bread

Good Morning All!
Just up having a lovely breakfast and watching the newly well slept lil (touch wood!) playing away with her toys. The rule of thumb in our house is that she eats first. No matter what. This will not prevent her from eating half of your breakfast as well, but it will mean that you can avoid the major temper tantrum that will ensue if somebody else DARES to eat before she does.

Eating is something my daughter does very well. She may be unsteady on her feet (but sooooo cute when she does her wobbly standing!) and her vocab may be more gobbledy gook then shakespeare, but damn, the girl can eat!

As such, it always helps to have something healthy on hand that she can munch away on and as I tend to go on mass baking sprees when pregnant, it was only a matter of time before I turned my hand to making things lil could enjoy as well.

The following bread is an adaptation I made of a traditional Irish Soda bread. Instead of wheat, it's made with spelt flour, it's also yeast free, dairy free, egg free and instead of sugar, I use molasses or honey. She loves it and so do the rest of us! I hope you do too...

Now, I'm off to have a quick peek at what the lovely mimi charmante is up to and then it' s
off to get dressed and out the door!

Irish Spelt Fruit Bread


  • 1-1/2 cups white spelt flour
  • 1-1/2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup ground flax or oat bran or anything really that takes your fancy!
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-3/4 cups soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey (I prefer to use molasses)
  • Loads of fruity bits, raisins, sultanas, dates, whatever you like!


1. Heat oven to 375°F. In bowl, combine all dry ingredients and fruit. If you sift the flour, it will keep you from getting uncooked pockets.

2. In small bowl, mix soy milk with honey/molasses (hint: if you add a drop of boiling water to the honey or molasses, it blends easier with milk. also, if you drizzle a bit of molasses through the dough you get yummy sweet pockets!) Add liquid ingredients to flour mixture (You don't have to use it all if the gloopiness starts to scare you. Feel free to leave a bit back); stir to combine.

3. This will not be a smooth dough, it will be sticky and mushy and kind of scary. If you oil your hands it makes handling easier. Turn dough out onto floured surface and shape into a circle. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

4. Bake 30 minutes more or until the bread sounds hollow when you tap it. Let cool 20 minutes.

5 down, 15 to go...

Right. The Snot Queen is throwing a tantrum. It seems that either she's ridiculously over tired and desperately needs a nap or else she's been possessed by demons whilst my back was turned. Either way, according to her at least, her little world is ending and it's all my fault. Even just looking at me can bring on a bout of head and body thrashing rage which can only end in tears as she invariably accidentally whacks herself on some random surface.

Whatever happened to my lovely, placid child with the ever present smile who loved her mammy and spent her days doling out kisses and napping for Ireland? Who is this squalling, crusty nosed imposter with the red face and angry eyes who fights sleep like a seasoned warrior, her battle cry ringing out loud and clear as her willful eyelids attempt to drift closed?

We are now well into day three of the napping strike. My nerves are shot and my patience is wearing desperately thin. I'm developing a small twitch and just yesterday discovered a grey hair in my thick, dark mane that had not previously been there. My work is falling by the wayside as my poor brain is even mushier then normal. Just yesterday, I caught myself about to put the Orange Juice into the cups and mugs cupboard instead of back into the fridge where it belongs.

The nights are just as bad. Tired beyond the point of reason, the enfant terrible cannot settle down and so wakes reglarly to rage against the universe that has so forsaken her. Myself and my partner take turns trying to soothe the infant overlord who in turn rejects our overtures with a mix of scorn and derision.

Of course, this sudden hatred of all things sleep related is not without reason. I see the flushed cheeks and the drool soaked pajamas. I can't help but notice the frequent nappies and red, rashed chin and it is this which helps me to keep my last shred of sanity intact.

My baby is teething. She's not being deliberately horrible, she's in pain and has no other way to show it.

As a friend of mine frequently says, and indeed, this phrase has gotten me though more sleepless nights then I can count...

"This too shall pass"

And in my limited experience, it always does.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I am completely and utterly disgusted with myself that I have absolutely nothing to write about tonight. OH WAIT!!!! ACTUALLY!!!! Yes I do. After over a year of backing and forthing and toing and froing (my god, spell check is having a field day with this!!!) with the lovely people in the department of Social Welfare, our Child Benefit has FINALLY come through.

Dream buggy! Here we come!!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cleaning Up the Economy

Woo Hoo! Victory is mine! The shampoo was a success and a half, leaving my hair clean, shiny and smelling loverly:) As an added bonus, not only was it ridiculously easy to make (If you can grate cheese and boil water, you can make this shampoo) but at a cost of only €1.65, my frugal side absolutely shivered with delight as I filled not one, but TWO good size bottles with my 100% organic creation.

Oh yes.... I said organic! Because you see, the reason this shampoo was so easy to make was that I cut just about every corner in the book, read a few online recipes and then did it my own way. Now, before you get turned off at the phrases, "cut just about every corner" and "did it my own way" and run screaming to your nearest chemist for an emergency bottle of Pantene, Let me explain a few things.

1. This is not my first attempt at making my own homemade personal hygiene products. I have made, with varying rates of success, several different types of shampoos, body washes, lip balms and household cleaning products. Partly in an effort to reduce the chemicals I use on myself and my family, but mainly because I am notoriously tightfisted when it comes to spending money. The word frugal doesn't begin to do me justice.

2. For awhile there, I became particularly adept at making a lovely olive oil based shampoo, which, while being both highly effective and extremely nourishing on my hair, also had the unfortunate byproduct of having both the look and consistency of pond scum, much to my partner's horror and disgust. He refused to use what he dubbed my "phlegm" shampoo to clean himself with and promptly armed himself with a trusty bottle of good ol' head and shoulders for his morning ablutions.

3. While highly effective, the phlegm... I mean, olive oil shampoo, also involved quite a bit of "this and thatting" by which I mean I was constantly adding bits of this and that in the hopes of making it more appealing to my other half. I tried using herbal teas to mix it with instead of plain water and drops of essential oil to hide what he called the "hippy smell." All that happened was we ended up with a bucket or so of Lavender scented pond scum. Mmmmm....

For awhile, I considered buying a proper bottle of ready made, organic, horrible chemical free shampoo at the shop. But everytime I got close, the exorbitant price tags had me gasping for air and getting a serious case of what in olden times was known as, "the vapours."

EIGHT EUROS FOR A BLESSED BOTTLE OF SHAMPOO?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Over my dead body! And off I'd march, my head held high and my finances intact, off to make another bottle of the green stuff. And then something happened. I had an epiphany....

It happened while I was making my crazy easy laundry soap. Realizing I had no idea where to procure the medieval sounding "BORAX" as called for in the recipe, and with an overtired, squalling one year old at hand, no inclination to pound the pavements in search of it, I did what any sensible woman would do and grabbed three bars of multipurpose "Household Soap."

These powerfully pink coloured bars of carbolic goodness promised to cleanse and disinfect anything and everything. Good enough for me! That, along with the baking soda would do me just fine. And that's when it hit me....

Why not do the same with shampoo? Instead of making up pots of herbal teas and combinations of essential oils, why not just buy a bar of organic soap that already contains all of these things? Which is how I found myself standing at the counter last night grating a bar of Faith in Nature's finest Lavender soap into a pot, adding 4 cups of boiling water from the kettle, and stirring until the grated soap had dissolved. I then left it to sit and by the time bedtime rolled around, it had turned into a lovely, albeit slightly thick for my liking, gel. In future, I'll try it with six cups of water instead.

The lot of it filled two big shampoo bottles and made over a litre of shampoo which, as stated above, left me with hair a pantene girl would be proud of. Not bad for €1.65

Mr.Cowen, if you need a hand with those cutbacks, you know where to find me.

Adventures in Household Wizardry...

Speaking of all things slippery and slimey... I made my own shampoo last night and am off to try it out. If it's a success, I'll write more later and maybe even divulge my recipe for laundry liquid while I'm at it. If it's not, we shall never speak of it again and any and all mentions of this experiment shall be stricken from the record!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tots and snots

The Snot monster has once again invaded our home. For what seems like the 8 millionth time this winter, my lovely little girl is covered in a thick layer of wet, gelatinous, snot. She isn't upset by it, why would she be? It's become her default setting. The slimy darling would probably be lost without the slippery trail she leaves behind her. How else would she find her way from one room to the next? How else would she know EXACTLY which of her blocks she'd already played with if the used ones weren't coated in crusty, dried on, mucous?

I swear to god, this has been the most infectious, disgusting winter on record. Everywhere we go, there are children coughing, sneezing, oozing, vomiting... basically just excreting vile and infectious fluids from any and all orifices and I for one am sick of it. (Yes. For your information, that pun was completely intentional.)

I am sick of family, friends and strangers alike giving her "concerned eyes" every time she so much as sniffles whilst looking at me as though I have "negligent parent" stamped on my forehead. No, I do not neglect my daughter. Yes, I dress her warmly when we go out. No, I do not fed her junk and yes, I know that cleanliness is next to godliness.

She is a baby. Babies get sick. It is a fact of life. Their immune systems don't mature until they are somewhere in the vicinity of two years old and getting sick is how they strengthen and build it. Rationally, I understand this. But being pregnant and the mother of a child who in her thirteen months of life has spent more time in quarantine then out of it and who regularly covers my breasts as well as my favourite wardrobe items in snot before spreading her disease to the rest of the household does not lend itself to rationality. Especially when I am the one left holding the disinfectant whilst "baby plague" morphs into "man flu" in the blink of an eye.

She has had sniffles and coughs and colds and flus. When she was about 6 months old she got the "baby measles" and at 10 months caught the real thing. She's had more fevers then you can shake a stick at (though what good shaking a stick would do I've no idea!) and regularly causes shares in Kleenex to fly through the roof. The vomiting bug spent it's Christmas holidays with us and just recently recommended us to it's good friend the rota virus.

I thought that with the coming of the good weather, we might get a bit of respite and indeed, for a week or two there, things were looking good... And then, on Saturday morning, she sneezed.

Oh well, at least it's not green.