Saturday, May 30, 2009

It's SUNNY!!!!!

It's Sunny! It's Sunny! It's Sunny! IT'S SUNNY!!!!!!! After the last three days of sitting under a grey Cork sky while the rest of Ireland basked in the first glorious rays of summer (I saw that sunburnt man on the late late show last night!) The sun has finally arrived in Cork City and the surrounding area (apparently it was already in North Cork and West Cork and it's just us urbanites that God hates so much)

Either way, I refuse to waste what could be our only day of partially cloudy skies with temps above 18 and NO RAIN TO BE SEEN sitting indoors on a computer. Check ya later Alligaters!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Double Trouble...

I don't know how I'm going to do it. As I look around myself at the never ending mountain of chores and my tiny housekeeping assistant whose main skill seems to be creating chaos wherever she steps foot, I am slightly scared for the future.

Today is not turning out to be a great day. It turns out that cleaning bathrooms and unclogging drains with a toddler in tow do not make for light work. When I wasn't busy keeping razors and cleaning fluids out of reach of the snot princess, I was chasing her down to remove coins from her mouth (god knows where she finds the things but she does) and pick bits of mangled toilet roll out of the just hoovered carpets. She found a roll of the stuff and had it half destroyed in the time it took me to waddle across the room after her.

I am considering giving up on feeding her indoors at all and simply throwing food at her in the back yard as I feel as though I spend half my life wiping out that bloody high chair and the other half picking oatmeal and peanut butter out of the Snot Queen's various crevices whilst she screams the house down.

Our floors have accumulated a constant cover of grass clippings and dirt as she insists on bringing half the garden indoors with her on her clothes after every outdoor excursion making sweeping the floors an excercise in futility which I stupidly plug away at anyway. Add to that the fact that she is ridiculously tired and crying at the drop of a hat but refusing to go down for a nap and you could say that it's been a difficult afternoon.

How the hell am I going to manage two?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Because They're Worth It...

It's not that easy to paint a toddler. In fact, if I'm perfectly honest, it's downright impossible to get the results you desire when your canvas won't stop wriggling and squirming and trying to see what's going on!

The idea was brilliant, A shot from behind of the snot queen with the P.A.C.U.B (Protest Against Child Unfriendly Budget) logo printed on her nappy and "I'm Worth it" written on her back. Simple, right? WRONG. Apparently, the snot queen has no desire to be mama's blank canvas in the fight against child related budget cuts... Which brings me nicely to the point of this blog.

PACUB MADE THE COVER OF THE IRISH INDEPENDENT!!! Yes, that's right, thanks to everyone who joined the facebook campaign, signed the online and paper petitions, distributed posters, sent their nappies and protest letters to Leinster House and in general spread the word, our voices are being heard. You can read the full text of the article here.

Now, for an interesting fact to ponder whilst you read about the governments plan to take our children's money (we must ALL tighten our belts you know!)

Did you know that the starting salary for a TD is just over €95,000? Don't worry though, only a handful are on such a paltry wage. The majority make quite a bit more with the average TD salary being somewhere in the neighborhood of €122,000 per annum. And did I mention the daily expense accounts of about €300 per day? Now, assuming that's only on week days, that comes to about €78,000 a year which when added to their wages makes for a princely sum of €200,000 per TD (there are 166 at present in the Dail) per year. Oh, and this is before you work in the free phones and paid for mobile bills, travel expenses, money for staff and office expenditures etc...

That's quite a lot when you consider that the average Irish family income is €40,000. One fifth of a TD's earnings.

Apparently, they think their worth it...

Now, I'm off to put the snot queen down for her nap. In the end, I went with painting the bump instead. Much less wriggly, for the moment anyway!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I am sitting here watching the snot queen coat herself in yoghurt. For someone who hates having her hair washed, she seems pretty darned determined to rub as much fruit and yoghurt into it as humanly possible.

If I was a reeeeaaallllly good mother, I would stop her little hands from mashing breakfast all over herself and maybe take the bowl away from her.

Meanwhile, the dishes somebody else said he'd do last night are still sitting on the kitchen counter next to the sink.

If I were a reeeeeeeaaaalllly good girlfriend, I would get up and do them myself.

What I am though is pregnant past the point of reason and in desperate need of a) a good night's sleep and b) a holiday from being "needed." Therefore, the snot queen can dump the whole bowl over her head if she so pleases so long as she stays happily occupied thus giving me a partial break and the dishes can wait for someone else to do them.

I'm no martyr.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Swept Away...

Is it weird to be jealous of someone for getting an internal examination? To answer my own question if it was being asked by anyone else, "EW!!!! YES! And more then slightly creepy as well!"

However, as I read through the posts of the other "mums 2 be" on rollercoaster, I can't help but be just a teensy bit envious of all the women there whose doctors are only too happy to don the rubber gloves and get stuck into their work. Not only are these women able to be told if their cervix is "ripe" or "favourable," if they are far enough gone, they can even get the doc to give them a "sweep" to encourage things along!

So not fair!!!!

My doc, who has been with me through 2 pregnancies now (this being my second) has never shown any interest in my nether regions and doesn't seem likely to suddenly develope any desire to get to know them in the near future either.

Up until now, this has been fine with me, and to be perfectly honest, I don't really want her going there either. It's gone on too long now. We've long since set the barriers of our doctor/patient relationship and they end at the waistband of my pants. In my mind, for her to give me an internal would be something akin to having a few too many at the Christmas party and falling into bed with your really nice "I like you but not in THAT sort of way..." coworker. It would just be too weird.

I also don't fancy the idea of some anonymous gp who knows that this is the ONLY reason I'm going to them and who knows that there is no future for us beyond this one "encounter." As it's a little late in the game for wining and dining potential candidates, I suppose I'll simply have to remain in the dark about the state of my nether regions.

It seems that my cervix, much like my front walkway, will have to remain unswept.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Recipe for disaster...

Okay, that's it. I do not want to be the only one who knows this recipe. It is evil and sinful and waaaaaay too easy to make. so I am sharing it with you all so that you too can devour half a pan to yourselves.

Newfoundland Sinkers (Slightly altered to fit Irish Ingredients)

1 bar of baking chocolate chopped up
3/4 can of evaporated milk
1 and 1/3 cups of coconut
1 and 1/2 cups of crushed up digestive biscuits
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Bung it all into a bowl. Stir it up. Spread it into a square pan (9 x 9 maybe?) Bake at 180 or gas mark 7/8 until it starts to brown and take out of oven immediately. Place in fridge to cool (pan and all) when cooled, cut into squares and enjoy. Enjoy them until you realize that you've devoured half the pan within an hour and are panicking at what will happen when you run out. then when you do run out, you will immediately start thinking if you have all the ingredients for a new batch and if not will plan a special trip to the shops for the ingredients. It's a vicious circle. Don't let me run it alone.

Have a good night! Am off to bed to think loads of baby having thoughts! xoxoxox


Okay, not to jinx anything, but it's looking like tiny baba may be making an appearance sometime in the very near future...

I had my gp appointment today and after the usual pee in tiny cup/check blood pressure/ get weighed routine, I hopped up on the table to listen to the heartbeat and have the doctor (who by the way is the styliest doctor EVER!) check the baby's position.

The snot Queen busied herself opening drawers and pulling out random bits of medical paraphernalia.

After a bit of prodding and loads of "hmmm - ing" my gp smiled and turned to write something in her chart. As she did, she muttered those magic words "The baby's engaging. Looks like he or she will be arriving sooner rather then later!"

For those of you not in the pregnant know, engagement is when the babs head goes deep into the pelvis and gets set for the final descent. While it can happen ages before labour starts and it is technically possible for the baby to disengage and then re engage blah blah blah... in general, it's a pretty good sign that things are getting moving. Which is great news to my extremely pregnant self.

This latest bit of news was just the push I needed to go home and prepare my "birthing room" formerly known as the second sitting room. Three hours, several trips up and down the stairs with various items of furniture (the men did the carrying, I did the dictating) and a few miles of plastic sheeting laid on the floor and we are one step closer to baby birthing bliss.

The sheets are in the dryer along with several oh so tiny sleepers and onesies and the newborn nappies have been laid out to wait for their new owner.

Alright baby, we're ready when you are...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Well, I'm on my way to what will hopefully be my last gp appointment before the baby arrives. Seriously, these jaunts get more and more difficult with every passing week. As the small one is now firmly pressed against my cervix with a good grasp on my bladder to boot, walking anywhere has become top on my list of "Things to avoid doing if at all possible."

It is closely followed by "take toddler in giant buggy on the bus to town in pouring rain" and "sit around in waiting room full of sick people trying to keep the snot queen from molesting the germ infested teddy bear she inevitably makes a beeline for at every visit. Try not to inhale."

Next on the list is "Pee in cup the size of my pinky finger." Honestly, what idiotic, lame brained owner of a y chromosone came up with the brilliant idea of having a woman whose protruding belly makes locating the cup, let alone being able to pee into it with any accuracy thus ensuring a lovely urine soaked hand everytime, pee into something you couldn't fit a goldfish into? Not cool.

Seriously, it only makes me appreciate my midwife visits all the more. My lovely, wonderful, charming midwife who comes to my house and who will, if all goes as planned, deliver my baby there as well, thus negating any and all hassle of me having to worry about anything more then pushing a human being out of my vagina, which, I think we can all agree, is more then enough to concentrate on.

Oh yeah, and she doesn't make me pee in a cup. She lets me pee directly on the stick itself. Good Woman.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Sound of Silence

Simon and Garfunkel were right to be suspicious of the silence. We're not big fans of it in our house either. You'd think, being parents to a newly minted "toddler" that we'd relish the stuff, and we do - when she's sleeping. It's when she's awake and has disappeared from view that we begin to worry.

You see, it's a commonly known fact amongst parents that as irritating as a wild and noisy child can be, at least you have an idea of what they're up to. "What's that? Oh! Junior's just in with the pots and pans again... " It's when they're quiet that you start to worry....

Over the last few months, the sound of silence has meant a few different things in our house;

1. Mommy, I've gotten into the nappy bag, found the yoghurt and despite my young age have figured out how to open it (I think I may have genius tendencies) and pour it ALL over my nappy from which I am now happily eating it. With my hands.

2. Mommy! You're just in time! Did you know that you can fit FOUR rolls of toilet paper into the toilet at once?

And most recently...

3. Hey guys! I bet you were wondering why I stopped having a MASSIVE tantrum. Don't worry, all is well. I went into the cupboard and found a packet of chocolate covered hobnobs which I am now happily devouring in the sitting room whilst watching the evening news. Oh, and I couldn't work out how to get them out individually so I've really just been working off the old "shove my face in the packet and eat" method. Want some?

Nope, the sound of silence is definitely not a friend of ours. In fact, I'd tend to go more with Bjork on this one:

"it's. oh. so quiet
it's. oh. so still
you're all alone
and so peaceful until..."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ann Summers Maternity and Nursing Wear

Dear Ann Summers,
I had the pleasure of being invited to one of your parties last night and must say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself! Being almost 38 weeks pregnant, I particularly enjoyed perusing your maternity line which, by the way, you do not advertise heavily enough at all!!!! Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to promote a few of your more "mom friendly" items here on my blog.

1. The "Mia Babydoll, String set and Tickle Ties" was the first item which caught my eye! With it's open front design allowing room for your expanding belly, this charming number can be worn all through pregnancy and beyond! It's front tie ribbon closure is both charming and practical as it allows easy access for nursing and the ribbon tie underpants make for easy undressing in those later days of the third trimester when bending over can be so uncomfortable!

My one complaint (and this seems to be a common thread throughout your maternity wear by the way!) is that the woman modelling the outfit must only have been in the very early days of pregnancy as she was quite tiny which made it very tricky for me to identify this as "maternity wear" Perhaps in future you could use women a little further along then "the morning after?"

I must commend you though on including the "Tickle Ties," as not many outfits come with toys for the baby! These fluffly little fiends will provide hours of amusement for your small one although I wouldn't recommend leaving them to play with them unsupervised as both the feathers and ribbons offer a choking and strangulation hazard. Oh well! Points for trying:)

2."Pipa Crotchless Skirt" Now this item was a real charmer! I don't know why Mothercare hasn't brought out a line of these yet! Once again, I almost missed this little gem as a part of your maternity collection but upon closer inspection was able to distinguish it for what it was...

For those women who wish to retain a little bit of modesty and feminity while in labour, the "Pipa Crotchless Skirt" is definitely for you! With it's frilly black skirt keeping your front bits protected from prying eyes and it's attached crotchless panty allowing the doctor or Midwife easy access to your exposed vagina, you can forget about worrying over the state of your pubic area and concentrate instead on bringing your new little life into the world! What more could the discerning "Lady in Labour" wish for?

I would however suggest a small re-naming though in order to grab a larger portion of the "expecting" market. Perhaps the "Peek a Boo Modesty Maternity Skirt" would be slightly more appropriate.

3. In that same line, I also found what is perhaps one of my FAVOURITE items! The "Pipa Babydoll and string set." This nursing nightie is both stunning to behold with it's slinky black babydoll design with pink satin trim AND it's remarkably practical with it's cutaway "peek a boo" holes which completely reveal the nipple and full areola for easy infant suckling! Again, a rename may be in order, but with the proper marketing, this could easily become a best seller!

4. Regrettably, I would have to advise parents against shopping in your "Toy" section as many of your items, whilst made of child safe, medical grade rubbers and plastics, also contain small parts which could pose a choking hazard and your "edible" selections may provide hours of fun, but are entirely too high in sugar for my liking! Kudos though on the use of body parts not commonly seen in children's play items. Highly educational and extremely pioneering although again, some of the colours and sizes may not be anatomically correct representations and therefore confusing to small minds.

5. Your commitment to breastfeeding is to be applauded even if your methods are slightly misguided. The nipples will eventually toughen up by the continual suckling of your infant, additional assistance by use of nipple clamps is unecessary and may actually put the mother at a higher risk for blocked ducts and mastitis as well as causing unecessary pain and discomfort.

Your selection of nipple care products is quite extensive and while I understand that some of them may have "cross market appeal" you may want to rethink the labelling on some of your gels and lotions as their names can be quite misleading! As well, while many people may be under the impression that a baby may be enticed to drink more if mother's nipples tasted of strawberries, chocolate and pina colada, studies have shown that this is not the case. Also, the high levels of sugar in these products can have a detrimental effect on your baby's oral health.

6. I was quite charmed by the large range of products available for babies in the breech position. Studies have again shown that babies in the womb are sensitive to noises and sensations from the outside world and these vibrating wands, when placed against the tummy, will gently encourage your small one to turn into the proper birthing position, thus reducing the chances of a Cesarean Birth, the rates of which have soared in recent years! Your use of phallic design as a symbol of fertility also brings into play the male essence which was necessary in the creation of this little life and lets dad feel more a part of the process. Your "Rabbit" line is sure to give older children a giggle and let them become more involved in your pregnancy and welcoming their new little sibling to the world as well!

I'm afraid I must comment yet again though on the need for better labelling as there is a great need for such an innovative product as this and a lot of women are missing out on something which could potentially (and literally!) turn their pregnancy around.

Overall Ann, I have to commend you on your commitment to pregnant and nursing mothers and making them feel good about themselves during such an important part of their lives. However, I do feel that without proper labelling and marketing, sales in these areas are doomed to fall and threaten the viability of your entire maternity line (if it hasn't already!)

If you would like any help with this, I am more then happy to offer my skills and services and maybe together, we can "turn things around."


Mammy Diaries

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Reality Check

I've been such a moaner later. I've actually managed to irritate myself this last week with my feelings of "Woe is me" and general end of pregnancy crankiness. I desperately needed a knock round the side of the head and yesterday got one in the form of the loveliest text from a good friend who recently had her second child.

I had texted her with the intention of (what else?) having a quick moan about wanting the baby to get out NOW and let me get back to normal life, to being able to walk comfortably and sneeze without wetting myself etc... and so asked her how she had managed to get through the last weeks of her pregnancy. Her reply reminded me of all the good things I was forgetting about being pregnant:

1. Feeling the kicks, pokes and rolls of this small person you've never met but have grown inside of you for the last nine months. This is the last time you will experience that sort of closeness with them. Once they're out, they're everyone's, but for now it's just us...

2. Looking GORGEOUS while pregnant. I don't care how vain this sounds, but I never feel as sexy, attractive or womanly in real life as I do when I'm pregnant. Even my clothes fit better! Although that being said, it will be nice to expand my clothing options beyond "whatever stretches over the belly!"

3. The way that most people seem to love a pregnant woman and smile when they see me coming. I love the excitement that a new life gives even to perfect strangers. That and the fact that people feel obliged to be extra nice to you and let you sit down and eat loads of biscuits and such...

4. This is the last time that we will be a family of three. The time between now and the new baby's arrival is the last time that the Snot Queen will have our full, undivided attention. I think about the way our days are now structured around her and her needs. I think about our morning cuddles and lazy days spent pottering about together. That's all about to change for her and there's no way to explain it, just do our best to enjoy these last moments and hope that when the time comes, we will have the patience and time to remember that she still needs us too...

As I read her reply, I added another one silently in my head as I thought about all the couples who would love to be in our shoes but for reasons of biology or reasons unknown are unable to conceive a child or else have great difficulties in doing so. I think as well about the families who have lost children and the unbelievable pain and suffering they've had to endure.

I know how incredibly lucky and blessed we are to have our gorgeous, healthy daughter (snotty as she may be at times) and to be expecting number two any day now and if I have to wait just a little longer for that moment, then I'll grin and bear the aching joints and embarrassing "mishaps."

As a good friend of mine told me last time around, " When the fruit is ripe, it will fall."

If not, there's always castor oil...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Baby Brain (noun): A condition which begins in pregnancy, is often worsened in the early days of child rearing and continues for the rest of a woman's child bearing years. Symptoms may include but are far from limited to: feeling "foggy headed," forgetful and incapable of completing the simplest tasks. Speech and thoughts may often be incoherent and the ability to follow simple instructions greatly reduced. Condition often worsened by breast feeding, colic or infant illness. There is no known treatment or cure.

I blame it on the hormones. Pure and Simple. There is no other explanation for it. Why else would you find two heavily pregnant women and their snotty, overtired offspring (one of them, guess whose, clad in nought but a onesie and a heavily soiled t-shirt with a shitty nappy hanging to her knees and snot coating her face) gazing at a 7 foot tall locked gate discussing the best means by which to get over it.

Not my finest hour.

The day began promisingly enough. After a morning spent ransacking the local supermarket where everything was marked half price in their relocation sale, I returned home laden down with nappies, wipes and enough canned goods, washing up liquid and cereals to see us through the apocalypse. Or at least get us by the first few weeks with a new baby.

As the lovely Jen was visiting along with her daughter crazypixie, I decided to forego putting away my items in favour of simply unbagging them on the counters and leaving the organization for later.

Had a lovely afternoon spent talking and laughing over great food and a surprisingly pleasant bottle of non alcoholic wine whilst the small ones frolicked in the sun and gibbered away to each other in a language only they understood.

After a few hours though, their happy shrieks turned to tired tears as nap time approached. After several falls and an accidental kick in the face, we decided to call it a day and so packed up our dirty divas and headed inside. Jen and Crazypixie grabbed their gear and I, holding the quickly fading Snot Queen walked them out to their car to say goodbye. The little ones, upon discovering this fascinating new world known as "the front yard" got a second wind so we let them run off the last of their energy while we chatted away some more.

And that's when it happened.

My heavy, wooden, self locking front door swung shut with a bang. Which wouldn't be a problem had I the keys with me. Guess what? I didn't. No bother, the back door was open, we'd let ourselves in that way! Ummmm... good plan, if the side gate wasn't bolted and locked and the key wasn't on himself's keyring a good twenty minutes drive away.

Which brings us back to two heavily pregnant women staring silently at a 7 foot tall locked gate and wondering which of them was less likely to break the recycling bin if used as a ladder.

Luckily, one of the neighbor's was outside cleaning his driveway and when approached by two highly hormonal and heavily pregnant women bearing filthy, overtired offspring, was more then happy to grab his wife and head off to ours where we all stood gazing at the gate.

In the end, it was decided that he and not I would do a manly leap over the fence and so would enter the house from the back and let myself and the snot queen in the front door.

It wasn't until We'd said our thank you's and farewells and I'd re entered my house that I realized something. My beautiful home, which had been spotless that morning, now looked, thanks to several mountains of canned goods and nappies as well as an afternoon of laziness where the motto was "don't worry! I'll clean up later!" like it had been invaded by squatters.

My daughter, who had started the day sweet smelling, beautiful and clad in the sweetest of sundresses was now half naked (the sundress disposed of for easier romping in the back garden) with a teary, snot encrusted face and a full nappy courtesy of the giant poo she'd done whilst talking to our new hero's lovely, clean and most likely does not have a home which looks like it was invaded by squatters, wife.

So much for first impressions!

Glass of Non Alcoholic wine anyone? Make mine a double.

Monday, May 11, 2009

How I Spent my Weekend Off

I meant to be productive, I really did. I mean hey, it was my first weekend off since the Snot Queen was born and I had LOADS to get done! For starters, there were the 2000 words of scintillating brilliance I'd meant to write, thus getting me yet another step closer to setting the literary world on fire and ensuring that should worse come to worse and himself's contract not get renewed, we'd still be able to live in our dream house and not be forced to sell our kidneys on the black market.

There were also any number of small jobs I've been meaning to get around to since we've moved in (I believe I've mentioned the hygiene standards or lack thereof of the previous tenants...) There were walls to wash, ceilings to vacuum and an incredible collection of crisp packets, sweet wrappers and other miscellanaeous pieces of filth to be removed from under one of the beds (a job which frightens me to be honest.)

Instead, my weekend went a little something like this:

Day One: Saturday

2:00 pm FREEDOM BEGINS!!!!! After several hours of gentle coaxing , two men and a baby finally get on the move leaving mama bear to begin her weekend of solitary splendour.

2:01 Mama bear is slightly miffed at the lack of tears and seperation anxiety shown by the small one at what for all she knows is the start of a new life WITHOUT ME!!!!!

2:02 Think about starting work... Decide that a break is in order first and settle in to watch some really bad (yet oh so good!) American sitcoms.


Hmmmmm..... haven't I already seen that episode of scrubs? Change channel. Hmmm... This episode of two and a half men is looking strangely familiar...

It's Definitely time to get to work now.

Mmmmmm...maybe a small snooze first.

Much Later......

Oh Crap! It's 6:00pm and aside from throwing a few clothes in the wash, I've done NOTHING!!!! Should really be working on masterpiece... I'm kind of hungry though. Can't write masterpiece on an empty stomach!

Hmmm... Not in mood to do dishes. Must find food that requires little to no clean up.

6:15pm Settle in to meal of cheerios and frozen lasagne straight from the box (cooked obviously!)

6:30 Think once again about setting to work. Notice lawn is looking a little wild (re: There could be cougars slinking through it and I wouldn't be able to see them...) Think back to activities earlier in the week involving me and the neighbor's blue bin. Dumpster diving + Raggedy Lawn = “That Family” you know, the ones with the snotty nosed children and the stills out back of the house.

Must save family's honour. Book will have to wait.

8:00 Front yard finished, not too bad, a little rough in places but overall, not bad for a giant pregnant lady!

8:30 Have earned a rest. Return to Couch to discover if Britain's really got talent or just a lot of odd folk with a strange need for public humiliation. During Commercial breaks, hang clothes to dry.

Enter TV time warp.

1:00am After waaaaaaaay to much television and many, many snack size Flake bars (mmm.... tiny baby made me do it!) I stumble off to bed. On the bright side, did get a little work done when programming options dwindled to “Sexcetera” and “Porn Week 2” Miss family. Worry about robbers coming and stealing me in the night. Lock bedroom door.

4:40am wake to pee. Worry some more about robbers. Devise fool proof plan whereby should bad guys start to beat down bedroom door I run into en suite and lock myself in and call police straight away.

5:00am return to sleep

10:00 OMG!!!!! Is it seriously double digit time?!?!?!? WTF?!?!? Haven't slept like that in AGES!!!!! Feel like a new woman! Can conquer world!!!!! Must pee first however.

And eat breakfast. More Cheerios!

11:00am Put in new load of clothes to wash

!2:00 Call Mom for North American Mother's day.

1:00pm Hang out Clothes to dry. Settle in to work... Check emails, blog, etc... Oooooh! Friend from Australia online!!!!!

Even more time passes...

Much Later... Maybe just one episode of Scrubs....

Re-enter TV Time warp.

Fall Asleep.

4:30 Consider running to shop for more meals requiring no clean up.... I worry that shops may close early as it's Sunday. Dilemna...

4:45 Recieve Invite for coffee. Dilemna solved! Going for coffee then will check if shops are open.

6:30 Return home full of coffee, gossip and with two bags of shopping. Make another “meal from a box” and devour more snack size flake bars. Am starting to feel very much like a young, male student.

I decide to watch just one more show and then set down to work...

mmmmm.... weekend off very relaxing. Must make it a regular occurence... Eat more cheerios. Give house a quick tidy, take in clothes shut off devil box that is tv and.....

8:30 FINALLY settle in to work!!!!! Juices flowing! Words flowing like water!!!! I can feel the spirit move me (or else just giant sugar rush from overdose on mini flake bars...)

8:55 Hear motors in the driveway. FAMILY ARE HOME!!!!!! Run outside, grab Snot Queen for Joyous reunion, kiss himself hello and return indoors to hear all about their weekend.

Turn off computer. How can I be expected to work when I haven't seen my babies in over 24 hours?

9:00pm Life returns to normal.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I am officially ready to GET THIS BABY OUT!!!! As much as I know I've yammered on about this pregnancy flying by and wishing it would slow down so I could get a few things done, enough is enough. I am beyond ready to reclaim my body and the ability to sneeze without wetting myself and get up out of a chair without grunting.

I am looking forward to being able to walk at something more then a snail's pace (and even that is a bit of a stretch!) for more then ten minutes without having to stop and pee or else call for assistance. The thought of lying on my tummy makes me dizzy with excitement and being able to give my partner a proper hug and not just frisk him at arms distance makes me all giddy inside.

I will not miss picking out clothes based on how much they cover and wearing slip on shoes because if I bend over too far there's no guarantee I'll be able to straighten up again without the aid of a chiropractor and a can of jiffy lube.

Roll on baby! Looking forward to meeting you.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Day Off

Oh God. I just sent my little Snot Queen off to nanny and granda's for her first mama free visit. At almost sixteen months old, it will be the longest we've ever been seperated for and if himself decides to stay overnight it will be our first night apart as well (sob.)

On the one hand, I'm 37 weeks pregnant and in desperate need of a break. Not only have I spent the better part of the last two years either pregnant or with a small child attached to my breast, butI've loads of writing to get done and rationally I know that this will be much easier achieved without the small one dogging my every move and doing her best to distract me from the laptop, a.k.a her nemesis.

I've been very lazy in this department of late (as I seem to have been in most departments for that matter.) My goal of having everything written, edited and ready to be sent out to the thousands of agents and publishers DESPERATE to get a sample of my literary genius is looking rather unlikely as the urge to write has been overtaken by the urge to stuff myself as full of refined carbohydrates as humanly possible and then sink into a sugar/pregnancy induced coma.

The thought of doing any more then the bare minimum necessary to keep myself, the small one and the household afloat is laughable. Today therefore, is my last chance before number two arrives to be baby free (ish) and accomplish as much non - house and baby related work as possible and to just relax in general and recharge the old batteries.

I had no idea how nervous I'd be sending her away though. What if she needs me? What if she wakes in the middle of the night (okay, this part I'm not actually too concerned about as I will be sleeping soundly for the first time in almost two years and daddy dearest will be on night watch. heh heh!) Will she miss me terribly?

Well, so far at least, it appears I needn't have worried as the second the door opened she was off like a shot and ignored my outstretched arms in favour of toddling up the drive to the car where she happily settled in without even a token protest. As they pulled out onto the road, there was no look of confusion and despair at my absence in the front seat. Instead, with a smile and a big blown kiss, she was off. Traitor.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Our week in Pictures:) Mammy's Indulgence

Mmmmmm.... Filled with wheaty, sugary, dairylicious goodness..... Much better then that crap mom usually feeds me.

Rub a dub dub! What to do when you're too lazy to take her allllllll the way upstairs to the big bath...

Pick and wipe... pick and wipe.... shred a little...let some more out... and we pick and wipe...

My name is Snot Queen, I enjoy long walks down the street to the neighbor's garden and am looking for a man between 12 and 24 months with a GSOH and appreciation of toilet roll...

Fast as fast can be, you'll never catch me! Sometimes, it's more fun to not get dressed... :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I did it!

Okay, so after a lot of soul searching (and the start of a rain shower which could seriously damage my treasures ) I decided that it was my civic duty to liberate whatever useful items I could salvage from my old neighbor's yard (sick of saying the word "bin" sounds too dirty.) Far be it for me to be the one who allows our landfills to become over run with perfectly usable items when there are people out there with card board shoes and newspaper beds (one of which I actually made in those hazy days of my early twenties, quite comfy actually!)

My first run secured the ironing board cover, a cork board and the photo frame. Round two was the biggie, the pine desk. Unfortunately, that one will remain a dream as I could only find half of it and while I've apparently lost all my scruples with skimming items from the top, dumpster diving is not yet a sport I am ready to tackle.

On the bright side, I did pick up a collector's plate worth £70.00... Not a bad exchange for a little bit of pride:)

One Woman's Trash...

Is it weird that I want to go outside and root through my old neighbor's blue bin? She's been moved out for about a week now and it's driving me mad. So far, from my ever so sneaky peeking, I've spotted a gorgeous pine desk, an ironing board which unlike the one that came with our house is not burned to shreds, a calligraphy set which appears to be intact, a lovely photo frame and several other bits of useful household bric a brac.

The thing is, we've only just moved into the neighborhood and I really don't want us to get a reputation as being "THAT" family, you know, the ones with the moonshine distilling nicely out back and the grow op in the front room keeping us in the style (or lack thereof) to which we are accustomed. This is warring quite nicely with my own personal fear of becoming someone who worries way too much about what the neighbor's think. Aaaagh!

Already, our front yard is overgrown to the point where I am considering attaching a flag to the snot queen when she ventures out to play as our lawn mower is electric and can only cut grass when it is really, really dry and hasn't been rained on in several moons. As we live in Ireland, this is a rare occurence indeed.

I'm drifting away from the point though, and that my friends, is the looting of my ex - neighbor's cast offs. You see, this is what happens when you are at home all day with a baby, heavily pregnant and entering your 7th week of waiting for BT to hook up the freaking broadband (we currently can access a small measure of wireless by sitting on the counter of the utility room and holding the computer up to the window, a task which becomes ever more challenging as my pregnancy progresses.)

You spend way too much time contemplating the social ramifications of rooting through what is essentially someone elses giant bin. I could always do it under cover of darkness but somehow that is even less appealing. Besides, with the rash of robberies in the area lately, the guards would most likely be called and my night time rooting exposed for all to see.

As it is, my time for pondering is growing short as it is only a matter of time before either the bin (and my temptation) is removed or the new neighbor's arrive and dash my hopes of digging for household gold in their driveway.

What to do? What to do? What to do? Any and all advice welcome...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sleep: Part Two

The results are in. Okay, so technically they were in almost three months ago, but as I'm currently growing a human being from scratch, you'll have to excuse my tardiness and forgive the dust that's built up on this late breaking piece of news.

Parents Lie. Yup! It's official. Mamas and papas beware, your dirty little secret is out, you've been rumbled. In what has to be the greatest discovery since those shower heads that increase your water pressure from zero to "blast off a layer of skin while you clean," I have uncovered the truth about how well our babies really are sleeping.

I don't know about you, but it took me all of five minutes to get sick of people asking about my baby's sleep habits. It took me five seconds to get sick of the advice they would then inevitably offer and it took even less for me to start feeling completely inadequate and totally paranoid about the fact that my baby was not falling into a twelve hour coma every night at 7pm from which only heavy medication or an earthquake would rouse her.

Far from gentle dreams and sweet slumber, 7pm was more like kick off time in our house. Daddy would arrive home from work, we'd play a little, eat a little, play some more and then, sometime between the nine o'clock news and whatever dodgy fare RTE was dishing up that night, the Snot Queen would rub her eyes and it would be off to bed where for the first year of her existence she would wake once or twice, root for the breast or just check and see that we were still there and then poof! Off to sleep again until it was time to get up at around 9 or so.

Personally, I had no complaints about this routine. Not having been born a bird, I see no reason to rouse myself anywhere near the vicinity of sunrise and the few times the Snot Queen has gone to sleep before nine found me bleary eyed and confused, wandering the house like a zombie in the pre dawn hours. By the time daddy dearest woke for work, his little family was heading back to bed for a good morning's sleep. If I were to put her in bed at 7 like her little cohorts, he'd never see her at all and would have to rely on photos and stories in order to keep up with her daily life.

Surely I couldn't be the only one though. Surely there were other babies out there that went to bed after the sun set and didn't need to be awake to witness it's return. Surely the Snot Queen wasn't the only child who regularly woke up for brief periods in the night and didn't sleep as though heavily sedated for 12 hour stretches.

In fact, she wasn't, and there were. All around us it seemed, were mothers who were also tearing out their hair as their precious small ones either refused to board the sleepy time express or else insisted on regular stop off points through out the night. There was an entire community of us obsessed with not only getting our babies to sleep at a "reasonable hour" but also getting them to "Sleep through the night" which apparently NONE of them were doing.

This confused me greatly as these mothers had obviously heard the stories and met these so called "Perfect Parents of Perfect Babies" and had been informed that this was the norm and that to deviate from this perfect pattern was to admit total and absolute failure as a parent and to invite scorn and derision from the mommy police (of whom I am just a little bit terrified.)

I decided to go in hunt of these mythical sleeping babies and so, using the cloak of anonymity provided by the world wide web, put forth the following question; How does your baby REALLY sleep?

Of those who replied, 98% admitted to having children who (Shock! Horror!) Did NOT sleep through the night!

But how could this be? What about all those people tutting away at my inadequacies and obvious failures as a mother?

What about all the books and tv shows, the so called "experts" who tell us that our children should not be conscious from sun down till sun up and that to allow otherwise makes us "bad parents" and means a lifetime of woe for and from our little angels?

What about the sleep trainers and the exorbitant fees they charge to "teach" us their methods and "train" our babies to sleep the night from birth onwards?

What about "controlled crying" (a cruel but unfortunately not unusual punishment) and all the other questionable methods, some pharmeceutical and some just plain ridiculous that parents are willing to employ in the hopes of achieving their ever elusive goal?

Could it all be just a giant lie? A ridiculous illusion like having the "perfect body" or any of the other unrealistic expectations we regularly place on ourselves and which are only ever achieved by a very tiny, yet very well publicized minority?

Could it be that babies aren't SUPPOSED to spend half their lives in a coma? That waking occasionally is perfectly normal and more a piece of basic biological programming then a well planned attack on their parent's sanity?

Could it be that maybe, just maybe, it's the 98% of us with babies that don't fit the mold who are normal and that the remaining 2% are the sleep equivalents of naturally having a body like Pamela Anderson? Who, by the way doesn't even naturally have a body like Pamela Anderson...

Could it possibly be that just like diet pills and penis enlargers, someone, somewhere copped on that there were a lot of sleep deprived parents out there who would give an arm, a leg and a whole lot of money, for eight, uninterrupted hours of zzz's?

I don't know about you, but I for one don't intend to lose anymore sleep over it.

I'm off to bed now.

Good Night:)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sleep: Part One

Sleep. It's been on my mind a lot lately, especially since I entered the state of pregnancy often preceded by the word "heavily." I've been there for a few weeks but now, as I enter the final month of my gestation period, mother nature seems to be pulling the brakes on my half witted plans of world domination and my mile long list of "Things to Do Before the Baby Arrives."

A list which includes, but is FAR from limited to; Finishing the book, mailing out Protest Nappies, scrubbing the house from top to bottom (I'm seriously concerned about the hygiene habits of our home's previous tenants...) cooking, baking and freezing a year's supply of foods (?!?!?) entertaining and caring for the 15 month old overlord that is the Snot Queen, preparing for the imminent arrival of number two and creating a fabulous garden out back of the |"Dream House."

This crazy hyperactivity seems to be a common thread amongst my fellow breeders who's due dates are imminent...

Poor Jen over at Jen's Rantings has been felled by hypertension as she attempts to single handedly save the world and has had to limit her activities to those of a moderately insane person for these final blessed weeks of baby growing.

Irish Mammy On the Run
who is responsible for organizing the Nation Wide Protest which we are all currently consumed with was hauled into check by her little boy.

As for me, Mother Nature didn't have to be nearly so dramatic as alongside my own rabid need to "go, go, go" and "do, do, do" lies an equally deep love of "sleep, sleep, sleep" and "chill, chill, chill" which means that a combination of the old "wonky sacroiliac joint" along side the "pregnant nap fairy" with a healthy dash of "pee when I sneeze" means that my activities are quickly being limited to those which can be accomplished either in the home or within a ten minute radius thereof.

These include, but are far from limited to; Finishing the book, mailing out Protest Nappies, scrubbing the house from top to bottom, cooking, baking and freezing a year's supply of foods (?!?!?) entertaining and caring for the 15 month old overlord that is the Snot Queen, preparing for the imminent arrival of number two and creating a fabulous garden out back of the "Dream House."

Or of course, I could always take a nap...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lesson for First Time Parents no. 3465

Good Afternoon Everyone! And welcome to this weeks edition of "Lessons For First Time Parents." This week we will be discussing the topic of long haul car journeys with small babies and why they should be avoided at all costs.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. The May bank holiday was upon us, RTE was for the first time this millenium NOT forecasting rain, showers or any variation of wet, wet weather and dear partner's sister and her boyfriend had a lovely new apartment with plenty of space for the three (four) of us to stay in. Throw in a free night in a hotel and the promise of milkshakes and McDonald's on the car ride out and my pregnant self was very much sold.

Like most fun things we try and do, this journey was not without it's initial setbacks, but after the revival of the car's dead battery we were on our way. The Snot Queen voiced some initial disapproval at being removed from the always entertaining game of "eating dirty things we find in the driveway" and being strapped into the car seat, but five minutes and several cheese straws down the road was snoring away.

We patted ourselves on the backs for our incredible parenting skills and my inspired move of keeping the child awake all afternoon and laughed demonically as we chowed down on greasy fare uninterrupted by grabbing hands and merciless wailing. The road was open and we were on our way!

Unfortunately, what we hadn't taken into consideration was that the Snot Queen's average nap time is 2 hours and Galway is a three hour journey away. Sure enough, an hour or so away from our destination, she awoke.

Luckily, we were just a few minutes away from Eddie Rocket's and Milkshakes so while my darling went in to place our orders (Strawberry for him, Oreo for me, yum!) I crawled into the back seat and stuffed our daughter full of apple juice, yoghurt and even more of the neverending supply of cheese straws I'd baked the day before.

Unfortunately, a full belly was not enough to distract the Snot Queen from the fact that she had now been sitting in the same place for over two hours. She was far from amused and voiced her disapproval.


With fists flailing and her little body straining against the restraints, she wailed her displeasure for all to hear. Her face went from pink to red to puce and tears were quick to follow. The crying escalated from whinging to full blown gasping hysterical in ten seconds flat. Frantically, with a desperation born of being trapped in a tiny space with an increasingingly loud and unpleasant creature, I searched the car for distractions. Anything to make the noise stop.

Board books, ketchup packets, bottles, cups.... All were offered and all were violently rejected. Finally, as a last resort, we began to sing...

And sing and sing and sing. For the remaining hour and a half of our trip, we sang our hearts out as the queen alternately laughed, clapped and bopped along to our tuneless warbling. If we stopped for more then two seconds or chose a song NOT on her approved playlist, she was quick to let us know with a howl that was turned on and off with the flick of a switch.

The eensy weensy spider crawled up so many water spouts I'm surprised the poor bugger never drowned and Old MacDonald's farm grew to include such exotic species as snakes and leopards when we ran out of the more traditional barnyard fare. "Row Row Row your boat" was announced dead in the water and "Bingo" was quickly taken out back and done away with by the farmer at our daughter's bequest.

There was no doubt who was pulling the strings in this puppet show as we butchered just about every children's song and nursery rhyme known to man. In an effort to amuse ourselves we attempted a few more adult numbers but sensing the lack of animal sounds, hand actions and repitition, our top forty show was quickly shut down and it was back to the barnyard for us.

By the time we reached the city, even music (if you can call it that, and trust me, had you heard us that would be the last word that would come to your mind) had ceased to calm her and she was roaring away non stop as we frantically searched for an address we'd never been to in a city we rarely frequented. In the Dark.

However, find it we did and as we released the beast from her prison, her howling stopped, her tears miraculously dried and by the time our hosts came down to greet us was smiling and giggling as though the last hellish hour had never happened and she wasn't the devil's spawn.

Today, as we walk the streets of Galway and bask in the early summer sun, I know I should be enjoying myself more. But somewhere, in the back of my mind, a shadow lurks. As lovely as this weekend may be, all good things must come to an end and come Monday we will be back on the road again.

Does anyone know what sound a giraffe makes?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Mammy Crusaders

It's not easy to be a mammy crusader. No matter how valiant the cause, or noble the protest, it's really hard to work up the necessary passion when all you really want is a good night's sleep! Finding your get up and go is near impossible when your get up and go got up and left about three seconds after the test turned positive and you officially became captive to a higher power, otherwise known as your baby.

Here's the thing. I firmly believe with all my heart that what the Irish government is doing is despicable. The Early Childcare supplement was cut last year by almost ten Percent. In the recent “Emergency” budget, our children were yet again asked to “tighten their belts” to the tune of a further 50% cut of the ECS which will then be abolished all together in 2010. The Snot Queen doesn't even WEAR a belt yet! The only ones she has are sewn onto her pants for decoration!

I saw an interesting item on the news recently about the daily expense accounts of those powers that be in the dail in the who have decided that our children should pay the cost for foolhardy business decisions made by the banks, the developers and (dare I suggest it?) the government themselves. €300.00 is what the men and women of fine fail are given as “pocket money” on a daily basis to cover the miscellanaeous expenses that their already overblown salaries simply do not stretch to cover.

Another interesting news item told the tale of a married couple who were both TD's and as such, entitled to €144 per night "accomodation" expenses which they both claimed regularly despite only using ONE room between them. It wasn't until they'd racked up over €30,000 of taxpayer's money that their consciences got to them and they decided to come clean and begin only taking the one allowance to share betwixt them. Aaaaaaaahh! How noble of them. They have yet to face any repercussions for their actions.

Then of course, there's the "Brand new! Still in the Box!" €51, 000, 000 electronic voting system that we all new was a COLOSSAL waste of money from the start but that the gvn't STILL went ahead and funded and have now decided to scrap altogether. Now, I don't know about you, but I freak out if my partner wants to order takeaway more then once a month as to me, paying through the nose for shit food that never tastes as good as you think it will and always does horrible things to your insides is a huge waste of money, and that's only €20.00 or so and at least you get a nice case of indigestion to show for your money spent! What do they have to show for the €51 million trusted to them by the Irish taxpayers to spend in a wise and thoughtful manner?


I could go on and on and on and on. I could talk about our old friend the Financial Regulator whose job was to act as a financial watchdog, ensuring that this very sort of mess never happened and who "retired" with a sweet good bye package totalling in the millions and then was strangely enough never heard from again when the proverbial hit the fan.

I could talk about the many gvn't run businesses who remain exempt from the pension levies.

I could talk about words like "kickback" and "Development"

I could start asking questions about how when times were good, we put our children into portable classrooms and let them turn bathrooms into classrooms rather then build much needed (and much cheaper in the long run) extensions to our nations schools and yet now, when the coffers are supposedly dry, we have no problem throwing money at the very people who got us into this mess in an effort to "help them out"

If the gvn't was interested, I, along with a number of other concerned citizens, could probably find a number of places to locate the funds needed to fill the ever growing hole that is our economy, and you know what?

At no point would that involve taking money from our children.

So yes, I could go on and on, but the more I type, the angrier I get and the more I am inspired to get out there and do something. So yes, while a good night's sleep may sound really good to me most of the time, right now, to this mammy crusader, securing my children's future sounds even better.

Looks like my get up and go just got back.

For more information on PACUB (Protest Against Child Unfriendly Budget) click here and to read about the campaign in the Irish Times, click here.