Diary of An Irish Woman

musings of an irish lady now living in America.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

zoom - theres another week

So week zoomed by.

My folks left Monday morning for a week at my sisters inlaws in New Hampshire, Jan's Dad left Tuesday, Arv left Saturday and we had Rhett over Tuesday night for a visit, Arv came here Thursday, Friday and Saturday for visits and Kerensa and Brad over Friday night for some excellent Chinese food and yesterday we had a fun night at Tony Roma's with Ciara and Danny stuffing ourselves with ribs while Fionn hung out on me in a sling...

I'm knackered. I can only imagine be much more tired if wee one wasnt sleeping 5-6 hours. With all visitors though hard to get a nap in afternoon when baby sleeps and think thats key.

I did however go through all my pre-preggers clothes I had put in black plastic bags and sort them out. Another bag of clothes to give away on freecycle.org. Already gave away two large bags before that. Good news is that I fit into my pre-preggers trousers without jumping off a closet or using butter. Are they way loose... No, but they fit so looking forward to getting even more weight off me. The scales is heading in right direction and whats better is the fat ratio that our scale shows me is down also. So burning fat which is great.

I haven't made it to the Mammy stroller class at 8am Tuesdays yet. My Doc said to wait at least 6 weeks before trying exercise - which makes sense as I keep forgetting I did have abdominal surgery..

I made it to the breast feeding support group also this week. Next week hoping to make it to the Y as they have childcare for up to 2 hours a day there so I can get a swim in and also make it to the new Mummy group as well. Wish us luck. He's still not so fond of car seat but as Danny said his kid was great in car seat but horrible in restaurant. So far Fionn sleeps in restaurant and horrible in car seat. Guess take that option over not being able to eat out or hang out at friends at all...

Winne pooh 2

So this is from week two. Compare below at week 5 beside winne pooh and friends. He's now bigger than Pooh bear. And the I eat at Moms tshirt only got one use. now a bib...
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bath time

Fionn likes the bath but not so much the before and after. He screams blue murder about getting dressed and undressed... If he had his way we'd leave him in same clothes and just wrap him up even more.

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hanging out

Fionn hanging out on his baby ring my Mum made him - in his wee Irish shirt. Jan and his Mum went searching for some USA shirts and couldnt find any.. We'll probably have better luck getting one in Ireland!
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Saturday, September 29, 2007

and the gold star goes to..

Amazing how hard it can be to get out of the house with a newborn. You have that 2 hour window (hes gone back to eating every two hours with growth spurt - he's a wee heavy brick now...) So you feed him, change him, then try and get him to take a wee sleep, he also likes to be held and wont go down..

- its now an hour or hour half later and you know in 30 mins or so he'll wake up to feed again even if he's left your arms at this point. In between getting diaper back ready to go out - (its packed but also emergency formula just in case) and then getting him into the car seat which he hates and screams in (although two good days in it in a row where yelling wasn't till end of trip so wish us luck!) and then get there and back in time... Oh and you getting dressed/showered/toilet/food (pick whichever or all of the above...)

So I think medals should be handed out just for the wee stuff. Not only for new Mums and Dads but also those wee choices..

So you got out to the store with a newborn - a medal, so you picked salad over the cheesecake, a medal, so you held your tongue when tired and bitchy, a medal. You can see where I'm going with this.

When I was 4 the school teacher gave us a gold star for rewards and if you were extra good you got a gold star on your forehead that you wore home in pride.. Sure they don't do it nowadays to scared to upset those politically correct assh*les who don't want to see some kids rewarded and others not.. But I remember the gold star fondly and the pride I felt wearing it on my forehead for my whole walk home..

So a gold star to all of us - what should you get yours for?

have a good weekend folks..

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Had a lovely day at baptism. Fionn was a wee Angel - sleeping all way through service - including the annointing on his head and holy water on his head as well. Then I put him in a sling for the party afterwards. That way folks didnt rush to go try and pass him around. He was awake and looking at folks and then fell asleep. I'm knackered but we had great craic - 44 friends joined us for the shindig. The church had coffee and cake after the service with a cake from us and then at Effies restaurant we toasted with beer and appetizers and lunch :-)

Photo here is my Dad, my Mum, Jan, Fionn, myself and Jan's dad from left. Jan's mum couldnt make it with her back being so bad but she was there with us in spirit and he was wrapped in the shawl and hat she knitted for him.
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in our PJ's

Dad took this photo other night of Fionn, himself and myself chilling on the floor in our PJ's. I love it - better than getting all dressed up and trying to smile in a studio
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Saturday, September 22, 2007


So brought my Mum and myself for a luxury pedicure and manicure yesterday while the boys minded Ard Ri...

Located in Los Gatos - very snazzy rich village near us http://www.prestonwynne.com/spas/losgatos/

The manicure started with heat wraps around your neck, rose water to soak your fingers in with hot stones, sugar scrub and warm wet heat on your hands and arms... That was fantastic but even better was the pedicure... We sat in lazy boy chairs, while they sugar scrubbed, massaged our feet and legs and also scrubbed away all our callouses as well as our worries while we sipped on champagne and chocolates infused with ginger...

Meanwhile back at the ranch the two Grandads and himself looked after wee son who slept most of the time while Mammy and Granny were away.

He must of caught the relaxing bug as he slept till nearly 530 and only fed for 5 minutes before going back asleep again... And I was in bed by 11 and had nearly 6 hours sleep yeah!

Granny and Grandad Mac leave Monday - we'll miss them lots - its weird as my folks get to spend a lot of time with the grandchildren in Ireland but as my Mam pointed out not this much time. They've literally seen Fionn change under their eyes.. From starting to babble more, to put on weight and height and to start looking at you in the eyes and interacting to now first smiles. And also giving me some much sleep and help..

They also have discovered http://www.mervyns.com/ local department store that has brand names discounted but a lovely store where you can find clothes easily as well laid out. They bought more suitcases for all the stuff they bought which is mainly Christmas pressies for kids at home.. Even my Dad loves the store! Himself bought a new snazzy suit for the Christening Sunday. We have over 40 folks coming now - looking forward to them meeting wee King here. Hopefully he'll be in a social mood ;-)

Have a wonderful weekend folks. I'm off for a shower - 6am showers is now way to get them in before he wakes up ;-)

Friday, September 21, 2007


over 4 weeks now since I got more than 3 hours straight for sleep. Off for a nap now to try and make up. zzz

cheeky grin

So he has baby acne from my hormones going through but look at that cheeky grin at 4 weeks old. His Grandad Mac's dirty grin. Just waiting for him to do my Dads dirty laugh and sniff...
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Passport photos...

So children's passports are good for 5 years here in States

So Fionn's photo below will do till he's 5. Yes, even though he wont look like this it will be used till he's 5... I have an image of Fionn aged 5 at the airport blowing out his cheeks to look like this for customs and immigration...

Me and Hubby went to Post Office today and applied for his and also my new name one (and my new one has one chin yeah!). We put them in for rush order as like to get to Ireland in November so we can see all his cousins and Aunties and Uncles..

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

too cool for school

Wee Fionn in his first California moment - out at farmers market with parents and Grandparents and his shades. Yes we took a photo and nope he didn't wear them longer than 30 seconds...

Also first bath this week in water since disappearing umbilical cord dropped off. He didn't scream until after bath when I had him wrapped in the towel 10 mins later. He seemed to enjoy it!

Also went to one month checkup. Now 10 and half pounds and 22.5 inches long so 2 inches longer. Hes in 75% percentile group which is great. Not too big and growing nicely. He was farting for Ireland so I have to see if I can make my diet even more bland.. cardboard anyone? Good news is I now have a reason not to eat Brussels sprouts - like I even ever started

We also tried to get a blood drawn for his HS. No luck - veins in arm too small and I go back tomorrow to see if they can get from his foot. Poor wee wee thing - my heart was breaking seeing them try to get blood and I was as calm as I could be as I knew he would be more upset if Mammy was upset. Cross fingers the foots easier than his wee chubby arm

Off to try and sleep - only got two hours last night and two hour nap this afternoon. Now I know why sleep deprivation is used as torture. But Fionn smiled at me yesterday and today so it makes it all so worth it. My wee wizard. He knows how to pull a smile just when you think you should swap him in for a wee baby that sleeps easier ;-)

Friday, September 14, 2007

eating out

we ate as quickly as we could while he slept.. His first restaurant with us.. He slept all way through it and has now slept all way through two more with Granny and Grandad Mac as well..

And Slept through Walmart and Costco.. More adventures coming soon !

Grandad Mac and Fionn


  • Now the Ard Ri (baby Fionn) is umming and ahhhing his way during the day. Very funny is that he makes a lot of sounds while breastfeeding. Like he's drinking a pint of Guinness....
  • We can now put him in the car seat to go out without him crying himself hoarse.. This is huge!
  • He's a lot stronger and is breaking free of the swaddle.. Duct tape is tempting to use especially as he still hits himself in the head by mistake and then looks at you like you're to blame...
  • He outgrew the newborn diapers week 2 at home, now looks like outgrowing the stage 1-2 pampers week 3. That or they are shrinking...
  • He's getting better at my morning wee wake up. He no longer looks at me like he's going to take a bat to me if he could for singing - Good Morning Good Morning - isn't it great to stay up late... (is tune stuck in your head yet?)
  • He likes the sling in morning - especially if I sing and dance to the hippy hippy shake while he's in it. - Can't sit still, da na na na na nah, what a thrill now, da na na na nah, Hippy Hippy Shake.. Just looked up lyrics, mine are not in song.. Well that's the good thing about a 3 week old critic, he's not fussy...
  • Sometimes the Binky (pacifier) actually stays in his mouth in the crib....
  • Diaper changes are no longer screaming wee episodes. I blow at him telling him and the big bad wolf went whoosh and he's so surprised he just lays there chilling
  • His umbilical cord fell off. We don't know where. Could be Walmart - I have images of a toddler picking it up thinking its candy...
  • He went to Walmart and also we've been out to three diners and he slept through all three!
  • We go for his first bath at weekend - like most other things I expect a wee crying and fussing till gets used to it
  • Mammy can now take a bath in theory since my c-section. When and how is another matter...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

True Love

True Love is staying awake to feed the High King (Ard Ri in Irish) even knowing that he's fussy at that hour so that your wife can get more than one hour sleep and even maybe 3 or gasp 4 in a row.. What a wonderful Hubbie I have. He has been staying up late to feed Ard Ri so I can get some needed kip and zzz's. I now go to bed when Fionn does at 9=10ish then himself takes him for midnight feed so I can get some zz's to 2am. That's True Love. Even though I am pretty knackered and tired, I'm so happy and so blessed its not that bad. I now have two wonderful men who are loves of my life. Not bad eh!

Granny and Grandad Mac are also now in town and Granny Mac has done a late night feed so that both myself and himself got some sleep - yeah ! Would have worked well if Ard Ri had slept from 5am to 10am yesterday as well but sure you take what you get and run with it. Granny also made him a lovely baby ring - will post pics and sure my Dad will also be taking lots of pics. Grandad couldn't understand why we swaddle the baby. So left him unswaddled with him for half hour after feed. Soon was asking for swaddle.. It settles him down so quickly and when you think how squashed the baby is inside me and then to come out and feel so much scary space around them, no wonder they like swaddles. That and its been done for eons, only recently that western folks stopped swaddling at all. He also loves the sling and being next to me when I go around the house. My Mum was worried might be too heavy (looks like out of 3 month swaddles already...) but sure as I pointed out already carrying worlds largest boobs, or it feels like it...

Its 5.57am and just finished a feed and he's asleep (all cross fingers goes to 8am yeah!), hubbie took the night shift which started at 11am and went to 1am as he was a wee fusspot. We watched the finale of who wants to be a superhero last week. Himself is my superhero for letting me sleep as well as being such an active Dad. Yeah for Dad and Mam's everywhere. Always appreciated mine, now so much more

You have yourselves a good morning. I'll be seeing sun rise soon...

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Awake time

It doesnt seem from photos but wee Borg is awake during the day and of course night! Its funny that taking 40 mins for him to go asleep during the day is no bother, at night can feel like 4 hours. He's training us well though and doing a pretty nifty job himself. Now if he can figure out what his hands are that would be great, as if we don't swaddle him and practically tie them down near his waist he smacks himself in face with a hand and then wakes up crying looking at us like we're to blame. We haven't the heart to tell him its himself doing it, figure he will get the memo sometime re hands smacking yourself in head...

Here's one of himself awake.. Annoucements went out this weekend. I stamped postcards mid feed... One typo which for sleep deprived parents is pretty good let me tell you... Blame photoshop for no spell check..

Thursday, September 06, 2007

secret to weight loss

So 17 days after Fionn came I'm down to my pre-pregnancy weight - and seems the secret is breast feeding! If I knew that I would have breast fed stangers never mind babies before now...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

3 hr days...

So F1 is asleep in his wee co-sleeper crib by my bed. We finally figured out that him going to bed at 8-9 is a good thing - even if he wakes for a feed later he gets into a routine of bed.

So much has happened in last two weeks I don't even know where to begin..

So night before c-section myself and himself sat in front room and had a wee panic. We looked at clock and thought - holy F. we're going to be parents in less than 10 hours. Most women are really happy to get baby out by the end. I was happily pregnant. Even with the walker and the pain of walking and getting out of bed or trying to sleep - still blissfully happy so I felt like I could do another month at least but time was up and c-section scheduled for Monday August 20th at 930am. We told our families it was Tuesday so they A- wouldn't worry all that far away in Florida and Ireland and B- Nice surprise. We still didn't know if Hobbit was a boy or girl but sure that's half the fun.

So Monday morning - after no sleep as we were too excited and scared we went to the hospital with himself documenting the occasion all the way. Turns out our doc was late as she tends to run on Irish time although shes from Burma. So I sat in the hospital bed with my gown on, my blue hat and my tiara on over my hat. Poor nurses tried to stick me to get blood and also blood work for cord blood. 8 sticks later and no joy. Finally another nurse came in and they listened to me re using a butterfly. (turns out though got a letter from cord blood and F1 blood work was fine and mine isn't and I have to go do again...)

So 1030 my doc shows up - which was grand as gave us a wee bit of a catnap as we were now tired and excited. They wheel me into the room and numb my spine - making himself sit in a wheelchair far away from me and needle. Then they put me on a table spread out like Jesus with my arms out and put a sheet up. Luckily for me I could see what they were doing in reflection on light above my tummy. A friend described a c-section to me as feeling like someone is rummaging through a handbag on your tummy and it does feel like that. They also had hot hair blowing over my top as room is kinda chilly. 10 minutes later and they announced a baby boy - I heard him cry and they took him from room. J followed and he was shocked in an awe inspiring way to see a mini him looking at him with dark intense eyes - that's one thing the doctor and nurses were blown away by, was how awake and alert he was from the very start. Fair enough they weren't sure which end they were pulling out of me as he was so fair he was bald looking and both ends were shiny....

They brought him over to me and placed his face to mine so we could kiss him and I could look at him. I had wanted to hold him but couldn't with 1- my hands laid out like Jesus on a cross 2- how friggin cold room was. J took him and held him and I seemingly was singing to him and the room. I remember them sewing me up but was too happy to care. 8 pounds 8 oz and apgar scale of 8 and then 9. Perfect wee boy who was ours...

We named him F1 M Gandalf . F1 (not real name but social media here :-) - like Fyun - is Irish for Fair one or english version Finn - Fionn mac Cumhaill (earlier Finn or Find mac Cumail or mac Umaill, later Anglicised to Finn McCool) was a mythical hunter-warrior of Irish mythology, occurring also in the mythologies of Scotland and the Isle of Man. The stories of Fionn and his followers, the Fianna, form the Fenian cycle or Fiannaidheacht, much of it supposedly narrated by Fionn's son, the poet Oisín. Fionn or Finn is actually a nickname meaning "fair" (in reference to hair colour), "white", or "bright".

Then off to recovery room where not only did my wee son breastfeed - but he climed up me to do so as he was on my stomach and climbed up my chest. His Pediatrian doctor T came in and checked him out - ordering bloodwork for his Hereditary Spherecytosis - a bilirubin count. Later we discovered that most annoying here in states is that even though I have HS and its known that it has 50% chance of being passed on - they wont check for it specifically till hes 6 months old. They check him for Jaundice but wont look at his blood to check for spherecyotes or do an osmotic fragility test. They have the attitude lets see if he goes yellow - then we can do more tests. My sister in Ireland knew within 5 days if her kids had it. Thankfully we have a Ped Doc who's trying to push system so she checked his bilirubin daily and thankfully was within range apart from first test. So cross fingers and say a wee prayer he doesn't have it. Theres other indicators but the bilirubin and reti level is the first indicators and both were normal.

Then they wheeled me to our room and the next day is a blur really. Looking back kind of glad we had a c-section. Not because I had surgery - but because it meant we were in the hospital for 5 days and we got a baby boot camp from the nurses and staff there. We got to see the lactation consultant every day and the nurses were fantastic - they advised us to give him formula day two as well as breast milk as he was going yellow and they said he was jerky and seemed needed more than my colostrum as milk wasn't in. He was much better after it and pinker very quickly. I continued to breast feed and three days in thought my milk came in. My Milk REALLY came in Thursday 4 days later when my boobs became hot, hard and so painful that I couldn't get cabbage or ice packs on them quick enough

Also my new cup size came in

I'm a friggin K


A K cup - and so heavy I swear I have squashed poor baby a few times with weight. Even I cant lift one of my boobs with one hand with milk comes in. Its scary folks but if you're going to be a walking milk shake for a while - best milk comes in quickly like that. Also I was drinking lots of mothers milk tea which seems to have helped. My cups doth runneth over and then some...

I ran to the breast feeding store as quickly as I could run with c-section - got some new bras, filled some hospital gloves with ice cubes - threw the cabbage leaves that were in freezer in my bra and back to the room asking for pain meds on the way. Nurse ran into me in hall and burst out laughing - inadvertently one of the gloves had two fingers sticking out of bra and other one had middle finger sticking up. So on left boob I was giving feck off sign in Ireland and Britain and on right boob the middle up yours sign of USA... Good to see I was international...

I think my boobs were so hot they actually cooked the cabbage as all you could smell in the room was cooked cabbage for a while.

That wasn't as funny though as the nurses thinking I had sickle cell anemia by mistake confusing my HS and trying to ask me indirectly who was black in my family.... Lots of questions about who tanned easily in my family.. Too funny. Also part of newborn tests here in California is test for 13 different strains of sickle cell among other diseases.. But of course not HS as that would be too bloody simple.

Have to say that Good Sam was an excellent hospital. Food was fantastic, staff brilliant and we ended up with a nurse whose bark was worse then her bite and once Jan brought in cakes to bribe them I mean thank them - we had fans all around. I figured out my nurses love of Irish tea and she would pop into me frequently and go make us both a cuppa with my microwave kettle we had brought in.

I no longer have a craving for Jello, I do crave chocolate and ice-cream so my hubbie is wondering who the hell am I as that's not normally me... I can also smell Indian food now and not gag but unfortunately after eating it Saturday night poor F1 bum from my breast milk was red and not happy. We got it cleared up but his poops looked like chicken korma so no more Indian for Mammy. Himself is happy though that he can bring into house without me gagging and throwing him and Indian food outside to patio. Hopefully theres not too many other foods that trigger his poor wee diaper rash. Himself has same reaction to Indian even though loves to eat it so I think combo of that and I had none during pregnancy for him to get used to it. Sticking with bland food just to make sure. Nice to sleep again on my back though. The SPD unfortunately has come back but not as bad. Turns out hormone relaxin loves to hang out while you breastfeed to expect that to be around for a while

OK - time for me to nap and to say thanks a million for all emails and comments. I'll be responding slowly. My day is made up of 3 hour intervals now. When Fionn eats, sleeps and gets his nappy or diaper as they say in US changed.

And I wouldn't change any of it for the world. He's so so cute, I could sit and smell him and hold him all day and he's already 9 pounds and 3 oz in 2 weeks. More on adventures of new Mummy... you all have a wonderful week folks.