Diary of An Irish Woman

musings of an irish lady now living in America.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

our first night out and good friends

Originally uploaded by SineadBorg
So Sat 20th our friends Sarah and Steven got married and myself and himself were invited to wedding and reception in San Francisco. So we thought about who could mind munchkin for first time

In steps amazing Aki and her hubbie Francisco. She came over a few days before so walking through wee Fionn's schedule. Then they came over an hour before hand so I could hand them the list I typed up and go through his wee schedule. I had typed up things like how to get him to sleep - what to do when he cries etc.

I knew Fionn would be grand and was in great loving hands. Still hard to leave him but we did and they had a lovely time with him and this was Aki when we came back - still snuggling with him. We had a great time at the wedding and nice to get out and get dressed up :)

One thing I need to change on my list was I put that he might do a poop but didnt mention that for breast fed babies that can be once a day or every two days. Poor guys must have changed his nappy/diaper like 6 times in 6 hours looking for the poop that didnt come. He waited till midnight for his Dad to change him on that one!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


So a 5.6 mag earthquake hit Bay Area - about 10 miles away from us but in mountain -
Still room shook, everything rattled and we ran under the door jam with me, hubbie and baby. I was breast feeding at time and baby didn't care there was an earthquake -he just wanted it inserted back in his mouth pronto. So sitting on a chair under door jam fed him and waited till aftershocks over.
So just when you think - well at least not near wildfires you get a kick in arse re remembering this is a quake and shake state. Not that bad a shake and prefer lots of wee quakes so we don't have such a big one but still scary when you're holding your wee one.
night night folks and make sure you have your water and canned goods ready in an emergency box for whatever mother nature throws at you :-)

Zazzle news

So now Zazzle has brilliant new features - all the tshirts and most products have now live view models so you can see how cute my - I see Big People tshirt is!


And in bigger news they just joined with MySpace so you can now get one of a kind tshirts for all those musicans you're friends with - So you can customize a tshirt exactly how you want it - even of your fav comedian... maybe I'll get one of Stephen Lynch's ear

So looks fantastic and I know the Zazzlers working hard to get it out live. Himself was there all night coding and debugging and eating lots of pancakes.. Poor hubbie is on his way home for bed and me and Fionn are off to Good Sams breast feeding support group to let him get some well deserved rest

Monday, October 29, 2007

lemonade from lemons..or buying another phone

So my cell phone wont charge any more. And keeps crashing so took sim card out and went back to old phone. That phone however only works on speaker. (probably something to do with fact that it went over a balcony down two levels.. but not sure..) So not great for those not shouting calls...
I started to look at other phones and in passing asked a friend re iPhone - does it work with outlook for my email expecting a no.. Yes it does he said. Umm.. And not only that but he offered to use his discount for us. So a new iPhone is on way to me. I can blog on the fly, look at my email and make calls and have a slideshow of my wee boy..

So exciting and looking forward to having it in my hands to play with it. The friend asked me if I needed a bluetooth with it. Before I shouted yes I thought about the bluetooth headsets I already have, counted 4, then realized also have two speakerphones as well..

Hello I'm Sinead and I'm addicted to buying bluetooth headsets... First stage is admitting the issue right!

Halloween and getting to dress your kid up

So Campbell has a Halloween parade for the kids and for two hours on a Friday all the stores also give out candy. So dressing up wee Fionn in his costume and me in a costume we went downtown and walked around. Not for the candy but to walk along and take part. We even went back for the contest at the end. They put us in infants and parents group but since my costume had nothing to do with Fionn's weren't likely to win

So dressed up wee Fionn as Yoda. He sat in the sling - looking out calmly and watching everything go around. 9 weeks old now and he's so much more into looking at everything and trying to sit up and look at whats going on. I was dressed medieval Juliet kindof thing. Went for a costume that can fit these maternity boobs...

Fionn nearly didnt get to dress up as Yoda as the store sent Princess Leah costume by mistake but sure theres not enough therapy for that in the future...

So one point someone came up to me and said Yodas asleep - no I said he's just meditating

I dragged our good friends Susan and her hubbie out to contest for half hour as they had come over to hang out and have some chinese. They took great photos of us which I'll post later when I'm near the camera and computer. About 17 people had already taken wee Yodas photo during parade since they thought he was so adorable. Who am I to argue..

A lady came up to me after the contest and asked did we win. Nope I said - maybe if I had dressed up as a light sabre.. You should have won she said - he's so adorable - what a gorgeous baby. Sure I already won I said, I have him..

Have a happy Halloween folks and all our love for this ghostly holiday

library card - mark of passage

I think everyone who loves to read remembers their first library card, remembers the smell of their library and their favourite corner to sneak into and read a book. My Dad brought us down to the library every couple of weeks and I wished I could take out more and more books. I remember being allowed to get an adult card at age 7 as I had pretty much read all the books in the childrens section and wanted to read more. As a kid who didnt really go out to play and didnt socialize much or well (my neighbors thought my Mum had 3 girls instead of 4 as I never went outside). Books were my secret island. I could disappear inside books for hours and days soaking up new adventures.

So Friday went down to Campbell library and got a card for Fionn. First they asked his birthday. On trying to enter system wouldn't accept it. Seems not many folks get a under 1 yr old never mind a 9 week old their own library card.. Are you sure you don't just want to get books on your card for him they asked. No I replied, it's a rite of passage getting your first card. Well they said you need to know that under privacy act you can't know what he takes out on his own card.. I laughed asking if theres many babies crawling in asking for more risque picture board books.. Imagining.. no not that one on the Wiggles give me one of the brown papered covered ones from under counter wink wink if I could wink..

So after putting in his birthday as 2006 for the system to accept him my wain got his first library card. He got a picture book on dogs, sleeping (must be comedy book) and one on Vikings but I'm not supposed to know that...

Friday, October 19, 2007

sneaking in baby..

So Tuesday afternoon after wee one had his shots at the doctor and we got home and he was sleepy most of day I thought I'll go for a wee walk with him in the wrap. Then I thought the cleaners are coming over so I normally get out of house for the two hours so they can clean without me getting under their feet or vacuum cleaner...

So the cinema is a block away from our house. Very handy to just take a wee walk. So walked over to see The Seeker which is from the fantasy book The Dark Rising. Its such a great local cinema - they saw me walking in so they paused the movie so I wouldn't miss any... Seriously... Fionn was all wrapped up sleeping on me and I sat near the back in case he woke up and needed to go out with him. But he slept all way through and I covered his ears for any bits I thought noisy. There was only one other lady in the whole cinema and it was brilliant. Two hours of just sitting and chilling. I suppose I could do the same at home but its hard to just sit when you think, I should do that laundry, clean that room, check email, pay bills, send off those birthday cards etc.. So sitting in dark just cuddling him and watching a new release movie - magic! Doing it now while I still can as I know a few months time he wont be that sleepy :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

note to self

So when Fionn's older and wants to borrow the car or space ship or air car (heh - like to imagine what we will be driving then, I thought we'd have teleporting by now for sure like Star Trek transporters..)

as I was saying - when he's older and wants to borrow the car - I'm going to remind him how he screamed blue murder in car seat as a baby and I had to pull off roads and park to calm him down. (Like yesterday coming back from Tanyas on 880). He also missed that memo that car seats are calming for babies. So you screamed so you must not have liked the car so cant borrow it now ....nah nah nah nah

And he does better in my car than himselfs as the prius doesnt make any noise while driving and is way smoother. I can see kids in the future not as calmed down by car rides if we all go hybrids. Like riding golf cars. And kids playing at pretending to drive will make what sound then ? Just a hummmmm instead of vroom vroom...

Lack of sleep makes me think such things folks. I blame it on lack of sleep...

Baby Borg did go out in stroller today for first time to park and didnt scream hardly at all. He was calm and looking out at folks for the whole walk until we got back and I went to starbucks inside Safeway for a cup of tea and bun. I tried green tea latte. I've had it so you dont have to. Its disgusting.. I made such a face that the guy behind the counter ran over to see if I was ok and then rescued me with an earl gray cup of tea. Much better.

Then baby starting yelling as I went to drink my tea. Its a good way to diet. Every time I go to eat and drink a cup of tea he yells and needs me. I wish I could say that this has led to me being svelt but I have found I can now shove food in my gob with one hand at super sonic speed. That and I suddenly have a sweet tooth breastfeeding I never had before. I'd flash my knickers for a chocolate bar. Its that bad.

Ok - off to bed. I should have been in bed hour ago when baby was sleeping but got to type with two hands so yeah!

Have a good weekend folks.


So Stanford did an osmotic fragility test - fancy way of saying sticking red blood cells in water to see if they burst as they do with hereditary spherocytosis and so they did this test with Fionn's blood. They told me they expected it to be positive as they saw some spherecyotes under microscope at first visit

Well results came back and its negative.

So - in a halfway land here - their take now is that he maybe doesnt have HS (Yeah!) but come back in 2 months and retest again but likely he doesnt have it.

Exciting news so fingers crossed. If its just so mild that not triggering the test that would be fantastic news.

love this comic


Friends of ours told us about this great comic strip on web - comics meet math meet nerd jokes.

This is one of my fav ones as I love Orson Scott Card but a series theres always one book that you think - why did you write that one.

At least he's not as bad as Robert Jordan. His wheel of time should be subtitled never ending wheel of time. I've nearly jumped on folks picking it up in stores to prevent them getting sucked in.. Noooo dont read it - by the 7th book takes 800 pages for the characters to go from one field to another and you cant remember anyones names and dont care at that point... So be warned dont pick up

This is also my fav as I go to bookshops and read a book or several comics while I'm there and always imagined them saying - what a minute give us back that book from your head..


Wednesday, October 17, 2007


A mate Emily asked me if I had put one of my better known sayings on a Zazzle tshirt as I was telling her how I make a few bob when folks buy from my gallery at www.zazzle.com/sinead2000*

Folks like my Feckin Ejit tshirt which is slang for moron or idiot etc.

So one of my fav sayings is Get off the cross we need the wood! So made that into a shirt and another tshirt saying Once a victim, twice a volunteer...

Also made a great baby shirt other day
Spit on that tissue and I'm calling social services.. (child protective services in USA)
and I see big people...

anyhoo heres my gallery - free to set up and fun for the whole family.. even has Disney you can customize (although if you submit an Irish name seems to never appear or get approved unless you do it two or three times so shout to customer service at Zazzle - not all names are middle America...)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

hereditary spherocytosis update

So we went to Stanford children's hospital last week with Fionn. First a blood draw and then after to see Dr Bertil Glader to see re blood work and also finally they were going to look at his blood under a microscope which is really how they tell if you have hereditary spherocytosis. That and osmotic fragility test which is putting red blood cells in water solution as spherecyote cells being wrong shape will burst as they don't have the normal rigid cell structure.

I have been asking for the specialists to look at his blood under microscope since he was born. The blood tests of his bilirubin, Reti and haemoglobin are only indicators of symptoms of hereditary spherocytosis. Only way to tell for sure is to look under microscope. Seems in US they resist doing that for God knows what reason. (they do 100 newborn tests like sickle cell but not the one hes more likely to have!)

So resident was in first with med student and said blood work was all normal range which was great. Dr Glader then came in after looking at his cells and said unfortunately he saw some spherecyotes. Only a few but means likely Fionn has hereditary spherocytosis.

What it means is that in hereditary spherocytosis - or HS the red blood cells can be shaped wrong and instead of donuts you can have rugby or American football type shaped cells (or also shaped like the baby s head Stuart from family guy cartoon ).
The cells still work pretty fine but the spleen kills them off way too early thinking they are dead. So enlarged spleen and blocked up gall bladder from gunk from killed too early red blood cells. Then you can get anemic as red blood cells can be made quick enough or jaundice as you're liver cant handle the increasing bilirubin.

So was kinda bummed that the baby has hereditary spherocytosis. There's a 50% chance of inheriting it so looks like he got it from me. Back in 2 months to confirm but really unlike;y any other reason for spherecyote cells.

Good news is looks like mild case so may do well. also compared to my day much better treatment. If they need to remove his spleen like they did with us they do keyhole so doesn't have cut from top stomach all way down.

Also they are doing partial spleenectomy now and the clinical trial they have going on is interesting as sometimes spleen grows back like liver does if partial removed. However the spleens that grew back don't seem to attack the hereditary spherocytosis red cells any more so that's just fascinating! Clinical trials being done at Lucille Packard hospital at Stanford so Fionn might benefit. Keeping part spleen also means less complications re spleenectomy afterwards. If you have you spleen out means you have no immunity to flu's or pneumonia. And not in a can make you kinda sick. In a kinda can kill you way.. So hopefully wont need spleen out at all and maybe in 2 moths when we go back no spherecyotes but I know that's really unlikely

So we were bummed but I know could be much worse. Seems mild case so knock wood so far so good. Hes healthy (congested last two days but change weather here) and putting on weight great and hitting all his milestones . Also having HS myself means that lived through it so I know what its about versus some disease we don't know. Myself and the doctor discussed the protocols that are in vogue right now from the British journal of hematology. Its the one I give to doctors to explain what hereditary spherocytosis is. Its supposed to be common as in one in every 5000 but apart from my family I haven't met any one else with it apart from some nice folks I met via their blogs who blogged about it as well. I think it must be undiagnosed as folks who may have stomach pains are told gall bladder issues or anemia and the source of problem not found.

Baby is doing great though. Now 12 half pounds and 8 weeks old. Wow that went fast. I couldn't tell you what I did most days as they all seem to blur together but loving it

How could you not love a kid who giggles and whole face lights up when you blow on his head (I'd say hair but that's stretching it as still quite bald...) Being that happy over something I can do so easily - that's just magic

Have a good week folks!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

week 6

Fionn week 6 :-) if Fionn was writing might go like this

Busy week - Monday we had dinner with friends of the auld folks - Rebekah, Elijah and their two boys and Ian and Lesley at Maxs restaurant. Good as gold throughout whole meal. I cooed and slept though most of it. The wee boys woke me up with shrieking though but I thought I handled it well.

Tuesday went to Good Sam mothers group with Mam and started to look at other babies. I'm still longer than most of the other 6 week old babies :-) Putting on weight nicely.

Wednesday went to lunch with Mammy and her friends Susan at Effies, that was fine but still don't like that car seat. I cry but nobody is taking the hint that I want to drive. Mam put a fisher price toy dashboard in back for me that she can start with a remote control in front. Plays music and flashes lights. I looked at it for a while but then made sure I shouted louder than the music. Next few days I was fine in car seat. I like to keep them guessing. Wednesday evening Mammy went to Irish Network AGM and Daddy took care of me. I was fine for a while and then had Daddy walking around apartment with me treading the boards. I like to look like I'm asleep and then wake up and yell to make them all sit up. I do like that baby swing though. They hung a toy monkey that goes around and around the top. Wonder where he's going. I better keep an eye on him.

Thursday went to Valley Fair Mall with Mammy and Tanya with her wee 6 month old boy. Mam didn't buy me anything as shes still trying to get me to wear all clothes we got from friends, family and free-cycle. Tuesday she had me in legwarmers.. All I can say is I cant wait till I can choose my own clothes. We went into the posh baby store. We laughed at a pair of designer baby jeans for $175 for a 3 month old. Mammy is wondering can she sell those folks a bridge... Mammy put lullaby music and nursery rhymes on her Ipod Shuffle for the car to see if that helps with the car. Those nursery rhymes are really violent. Humpty dumpty should sue someone for not putting him back together again..

Friday stayed at home with Mammy and Daddy. Daddy went to doctors for annual physical but had to reschedule as doctor was out. Mammy went to baby doctor to pick up forms and got the flu shot there. I go see Stanford blood doctor next Thursday and week after that its time to get my shots.. Hopefully all be well so I can go to Ireland and visit all my cousins in Ireland soon.

Saturday chilled at home and we all took a long nap in the afternoon. I think the parents needed it more than I did. It was cold again and I needed the heat turned on. I liked looking at the log burning in the fireplace as well.

Then Sunday went to church a little late as Mammy and Daddy were slow in getting me ready and then after brunch in Effies where all the waiters know me now I went home and had a great 3 hour nap in afternoon. Mammy was playing sound of ocean when I was sleeping as no more fans in the room with being colder. I like background noise when I'm sleeping. Then I played in my baby ring that Granny Mac made me and looked at the gym activity center on my baby ring for first time. Granny Mac was here a few weeks ago and I saw her yesterday but she looked very flat. Mammy said that's because shes on Skype on the computer but I don't know what she means. Sometimes I hear her voice and my aunties from a small silver brick my Mum uses called a cell phone. They must be very small to fit in there. After 10 minutes I had enough of the gym and we had a bath later. I still don't like them and don't see why I need them. Its not like I'm a dirty baby. Couldn't I grow up and be a garbage man or a farmer so I don't need to wash that often?

I had a very busy week - I don't think my Mammys and Daddys social life was this good before I came....

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Monday, October 01, 2007

he didnt get that memo

So seems in all ads and emails from baby places and even in books - getting your baby into a night time routine helps them. Understand that and we change him and darken room and tell him a wee story - right now doesnt matter so much the words as he loves looking at faces and smiling.

However they also say that a bedtime bath helps relax your baby for sleep. The wee man obviously hasn't got that memo... He screams blue murder and gets all wound up. So not so much on the night time bath. He's more a wipe me down with cotton balls and wipes when I'm not looking and we'll pretend thats the bath... He's actually not that bad in baby bath - screams about a 4 out of 10. Its the stripping and afterwards the dressing that he yells loudest.

Our friend had a wee baby girl who's so so dainty compared to our lad. She was yelling and its a small wee cry - more of a whimper than even a mild shout. Her Mum said yep thats her cry - myself and my Mum who was visiting with me looked at her and laughed. Sinead's wee lad cry could strip wallpaper my Mum proudly declared...

Maybe the memo re relaxing baths is stuck in mail or was given to some other baby by mistake...