Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Catchy title, eh?

As you may recall, I recently agreed to put aside all my high falutin' principles about keeping my "blog" from being a "flog" when the good folks at Reebok offered to kit me up in their brand new runners, track suit and kit bag, all for FREE!

All I have to do is write a review of their new "Easy Tone" runners with bum burning technology and all of it - the runners, the kit, the bag and THE BUM!!! - will be mine!

Not only that, but one of you, dear readers, will also be availing of this offer...

Yup! That's right! There is a free pair of ReeBok Easy Tone runners (sneakers to my Canadian Kinfolk) to be given away free of charge, to one of you.

All you have to do is write me a short poem about what makes you run in the comments section of this blog and on Friday evening I'll make one of your Friday's extra good!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I hear, I see, I feel

Right. So I totally stole this from Very Bored in Catalunya (the blogger formerly known as Very Bored Housewife who had to change her name when a bunch of dirty ol' pervs got the wrong idea about what her site was all about) Basically, she was tagged legitimately by a fellow blogger who deemed her worthy of tagging and I liked the idea so much I decided to steal it for myself.

It's a nice simple one which is really all I'm up to as it's pushing midnight and we are in the car driving home from Dublin after three nights away, two of which were spent in child unfriendly quarters (more about that and how to get peanut butter out of suede chairs later.)

Basically, the name says it all. I simply have to describe what I hear, see and feel at this very moment. Easy peasy.

I hear: The hum of the engine as we drive down the motorway to Cork after a quick stop in our new favourite town "Urlington" which has the only 24 hour petrol station for miles around. A big plus when you are 60 odd miles from home with only enough gas to get you halfway there.

A Congestion Quartet, as the snot queen and the hubster take turns hacking up various bits of their lungs and myself and the tiny one keep time with a series of sniffles and sneezes.

I See: My hands typing in the glow from the laptop, the light bouncing off my lovely new wedding band.

The digital display on the dashboard telling us we now have 238 miles worth of petrol in the tank and will not have to barter our organs with passing motorists (Thank you Urlington!) It is also one minute to midnight.

Two sleeping babies in the seats behind us.

I Feel: So happy to have his lovely self back from doing a course up north and to be heading back to our lovely home all together as a family.

A bit Hungry to be honest. Think I'll have a bite of the sandwich and crisps we picked up in Urlington.

I smell: NOTHING!!! And haven't for weeks now thanks to this rotten head cold. Stupid plague...

Right. Now this is the part where I'd normally tag a bunch of other people to say what they are currently seeing, hearing and feeling. However, as this is a stolen meme, I encourage you to do the same and steal away if you like the idea.

We are 76 km from home...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Defects Contained

Back when I first started asking mums and mums to be questions about their experiences of Irish pregnancy and motherhood for "The Mammy Diaries," I received the following reply from a woman who had chosen to give birth at home;

"I benefited from the combined experience of my mum and my two older sisters; all three went through the hospital system themselves but encouraged me to explore natural or low intervention birth options. I started reading up before I even became pregnant and the more I read, in books and on-line, the more I understood that the odds of having a natural birth are stacked against you in a hospital, especially first time out. I recall reading the annual report from my local maternity hospital and discovering that only five percent of first time mothers give birth spontaneously without any form of intervention or instrumental delivery. Meanwhile, I was also reading birth accounts from homebirthers and I was completely won over by their enthusiasm for delivering at home. Shortly after getting a positive pregnancy test, I attended a home birth meeting and I was hooked on the idea. "

Having had both the experience of a hospital birth and a home birth myself, I knew there was a lot of truth to what she was saying, but SURELY the figures she quoted couldn't be right! Surely she'd meant 50 or even 15 percent of first time mothers (which would still be criminally low in my opinion.) Could it really be possible that 95% of first time mothers in Ireland are thought to be deficient in some way and unable to get through what is without a doubt one of the most natural experiences in life, without intervention from the medical community?

I put it to the back of my mind and continued on with the work of writing and compiling and writing some more. Then it came time to put a bit more polish on the Birth Stories section, a section which I am still having trouble with for reasons I'll get to later...

With the figure of 5% still floating around in the back of my mind, I started re-reading through the birth stories with fresh eyes and was shocked with what I found. Time and again, the same words and phrases kept popping up. "Induced," "help labour along," "gel," "sweep," "Speed up labour," "episiotomy," "epidural," "section," "forceps," "vacuum," and then at the end of each story a general variation on the theme of "Oh well, my baby was born healthy and well and that's all that matters."

But is it?

I'm not so sure.

Of the almost two hundred birth stories I received, only a handful gave birth spontaneously and vaginally with no intervention, the vast majority of those being home births, second time mothers or babies born in the MLU's. Two of them were planned hospital births, one of which ended up being an unplanned homebirth and the other in a hospital car park! I talked to my friends, surely at least one of them must have had a spontaneous vaginal birth with no intervention whatsoever?

Well actually, one of them did. The midwives didn't believe she was in labour until she headed off to the labour ward herself, hopped up on the table and popped out the baby herself.

Am I crazy in wondering if we've taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way?

I understand that there are times when interventions are called for, that things can and do go wrong in labour. I would think though, and call me naive if you will, that this number should be far lower then that of women who experience healthy, problem free pregnancies and deliveries.

Low risk births should be the norm, not the exception. The vast majority Irish of women cannot be defective.

That though, is the message that our hospitals are sending out, and that is the issue I am having a hard time dealing with.

In writing the " Mammy Diaries," I am trying to give a balanced view of what the average Irish woman's experience of pregnancy, birth and the first year of motherhood is really like.

However, by including all of these tales of interventions and things going wrong, what exactly is the image of birth that I am portraying to new mothers to be? What sort of conclusions about birth and their own body's capabilities will they draw if they start to see things like induction, c-section, membrane rupturing and instrumental birth as the norm and not the exception? What effect would this lack of confidence have on their own labour and births and would it merely become some sort of self fulfilling prophecy?

I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Booby Tuesday at Jo's!

Hey everyone!

I'm guest blogging today over at Infantasia for Milky Booby Tuesday where the topic of the day is, you guessed it! Boobs. Or, more to the point, breastfeeding. Swing on by and have a gawk, you know you want to...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A New Definition

Dear Mr. Webster / Oxford/ all other purveyors of dictionaries,

Since becoming a mother, I have come to the realization that some of the definitions in your dictionary no longer apply to my everyday life. With that in mind, I have taken the liberty of re-defining some of your more common words and phrases to fit my altered circumstances;

Today's Word; Clean

Clean: (adjective) In regards to clothing - Contains fewer then three stains of a shade which could be said to almost blend in with said item of clothing (in certain lighting) or which can easily be hidden by a large accessory. Does not smell. Badly.

In regards to the house: Livable. General dissarray of day to day living acceptable. You could eat your dinner off of the kitchen floor. Not because it's immaculate but because that's where your baby threw it. Does not smell. Badly.

In regards to Self: Does not smell. Badly.

Cheesy but nice...

Okay, so you might find it a little cheesy. I really liked it and thought I'd share it. My mom sent it to me today...


1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay 'them'

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.'

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love , whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ReeBok SchmeeBok....

Reebok Scheebok!

Me and my damned morals.

I could've had a lovely new pair of trainers and a whole new set of kit to boot for absolutely NOTHING!!!!! That's FREE! NADA! Seriously!

All I had to do was right a rave review of Reeboks new EasyTone trainers and their advanced bum burning technology on this, my lovely blog, and it all would have been mine. The shoes, the kit, the bag, THE BUM!!!!!!

But NOOOOOOOO! My stupid "Blah, blah blah! I HATE when people use their blogs to flog all sorts of shit every chance they get in order to a) fill space and b)get free stuff," morals had to get in the way!

Now I am Shoeless, well, not really... How about new shoeless? Ummmm.... not entirely accurate, EasyTone Shoeless, New kit - less, New bag less and Bum Burning Technology-less (Sob!), and FOR WHAT?!?!?!?

Does anyone really care if I occasionally pretend to love some random article of clothing or baby paraphenalia?

Will the world end if I pretend to be gaga over the latest "guaranteed to raise your child's iq by 8 Gazillion points!" Toy/Dvd/complete piece of garbage?

Would I really be THAT bad of a person if I gave in just this once to corporate greed and capitalism?

Of course not!

And before you all go getting your free trade/organic/ Just say NO! knickers in a twist, here's the kicker... One of YOU could have had a set too!!!!!

Which is why I have written a grovelling letter to the good people of reebok in order to beg of them to allow me the priviledge of selling my soul and their product here, on this very blog, even though I'm two days late in replying, so long as they give some oh so free love and goodies!

Stay tuned to find out how they reply...

Watch this space...

Waste not Want not!

The Snot Queen has hit a new milestone.

She can now wipe her nose with a tissue. After months and months of wrestling her to the ground and pinning her shaking head in place so we could wipe the gelatinous ooze (and the ever delightful crusty bits!) from her upper lip before she had a chance to shove it in her mouth and slurp it down (GAG!) our little princess has learned some manners (and basic hygiene.)

Unfortunately, she has not yet mastered the art of tearing the tissue off of the roll. Instead, she wipes her nose on the end and leaves it hanging there.

Today, I went in to get a piece for my own nose, only to discover all too late that someone else had gotten there before me...

I'm all for recycling, but this might be taking it just a bit far...

Friday, March 5, 2010


I want to stop.

I want everything to pause for just a moment while I step outside and take a break. A nap would be preferable, but any sort of break will suffice.

Even a deep breath will do.

A blissful few hours where there is nobody teething or asking for something in a language I don't understand. Where there are no dirty bottoms or snotty noses that need to be wiped and which guarantee more then their fair share of screaming.

I want, for just a while, to not be the one who knows where everything goes or she who does what needs to be done.

I want to find a sunny spot and lie down the way I used to.

I want to sit and recharge.

Relax and Unwind.

I want my world to feel the way these guys sound.

I'll come back then, I swear.

And I'll be all the better for it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

See Jane Cope (and bake, and paint and cope some more...)

The times they are a changin'...

The tiny one had her nine month developmental check today. You know, the one where they check and see if your baby can hear(she can) if she's growing okay (She's huge.) and whether or not she has acquired such all important life skills as the ability to pick up a block and pass it from one hand to the other (she has.)

I was happy enough that all looked well, but even happier to be on my way. I was meeting a few friends for coffee and sure, I knew everything was fine anyway! The visit was a mere formality. It got me to thinking though, about how differently we'd viewed these visits back when the Snot Queen was born. Back when we were just starting out in the big, bad world of parenting...

Before each visit, I would clean the house from top to bottom, doll myself up as though I was going to the Oscars and not spending the day with the snot encrusted infant overlord, and then I would set the scene...

Cookies would be baked to give the house that "homey" smell, classical music would play softly in the back ground and I'd set up my easel and paints to make it look as though she'd just caught me in the middle of my morning art time which I obviously had time to do, given that I'd just had a baby about ooooh... five minutes ago.

For me, the health visit was a chance to show just how well I was doing and how easily I was coping, even if in reality, I wasn't.

Don't get me wrong, most days were grand. The Snot Queen was a great baby, easy to feed and very fond of her sleep. But new babies are new babies and that's a huge adjustment to have to make. You go from being a couple to being a family literally overnight. Your hormones are all over the place and you are suddenly completely responsible for this most precious of little people who relies on you for absolutely everything and you're terrified of screwing it up.

You become open in a way that you've never been before. Vulnerable. You more then wear your heart on your sleeve, you pick it up and hold it in your arms for all the world to see. You let others hold it and hope so very hard that they don't break it.

You consult google to find out the best way to heal a nappy rash and what to do if your baby gets a cold. You read books about sleeping, books about feeding and you talk to everyone you know who has ever had a baby trying to become an expert overnight because you want so badly to do your best by them.

You do not have time to bake cookies and spend leisurely mornings painting at your easel.

I'm sure that our public health nurse saw right through me, but she was nice. The nicest health nurse I've ever met. The kind of woman who answered all of our questions, calmed our fears, complimented our baby and then told us what an incredible job we were doing.

In short, she was the best public health nurse ever.

When we moved house, I was more upset about leaving her then anything else.

Our new Phn does not visit us in our home, instead, we visit her in her office. She does not tell me how incredibly special my girls are, nor does she tell me what an amazing mother I must be for rearing them so well.

I in turn, do not bring her freshly baked cookies or loaves of bread I whipped up in my, "spare time."

Instead, she looks at my children and tells me her opinions based on the tiny span of time for which she sees them and I balance that with everything I know about them from living with them and observing them every day of their lives.

It is not a matter of life and death.

It is not the end of the world if they are tired and fail to perform.

I no longer need to "prove" that I am coping.

I do however, fix my hair and slap on some make up. The times may have changed, but not that much.