Diary of An Irish Woman

musings of an irish lady now living in America.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

hot lazy days

long flight to Miami but short in comparison to the flight to ireland. 5 hrs and then 3 hr drive to Jan's folks. We flew over where they live on west coast and seemed very unfair that we couldn't just teleport down. Why haven't they invented that yet ? I could use it to zoom over to my parents, see my sisters on a weekend and swap stories, meet sisterchick on a night for a walk in NY and drop over to Mumbai for cup tea with my mate H. Even local travel be better. Wouldn't need cars so less pollution ( as imagining would be green type energy like light travel).

So stepped out from airport and boom there was a heat wave of languid hot air rolling over my whole body. I thought I was wearing light clothes but forgot how the humidity brings it to a underarm soaking level. Reminds me when Gra my sister first came to visit and I told her was really hot. So hot in Irish terms she wore a tshirt with her jeans. . . She stepped out of airport terminal and the wave of heat slammed into her like a brick. Get the truck and pick me up she said running back into the cold comfort of the AC.

Got into Jan's folks place at nearly 10. Gram and Grandpa so happy see little chap who was loving all the attention. He got a lovely big red radio flyer wagon which he can keep here. He is in his wee red tent on the floor asleep after we did a mile wee walk with him in the buggy. Nice lazy day but good to start walking again. Happy Pre New Years Eve to everyone. We will be doing wee party here with fondue shrimp. Coconut for everyone and breadcrumbed for me as allergic to coconut.

Friday, December 28, 2007

new years 2007-2008

Off to Florida for New Years to ring in with my in-laws and Fionn to see his Gram for first time. So excited !

2007 has been an amazing year, this time last year I was just 6 weeks pregnant and sleeping all day if I could. Now we have a 4 and half month old and we would sleep all day if we could...

Its been one of blessings, new life, smiles, laughter and love. I am blessed with a wonderful husband who shows me new roads to share and who is as geeky as me (the fact that we argue whos a geek vs. nerd among us shows us how geeky nerdy we are..). I love him with all my heart and the fact that we made the little guy, well that just brings tears to my eyes.

I pledge to get fit again. I was with sisterchick when we were walking (and she got me from 1/2 mile to nearly 7 mile walks there in 2006 and I lapsed sadly this year to just walking in a pool. At one point I was so fit, I didnt even need the walking sticks she made so much fun of. That and the hobbit cloak I wore...) I miss her so much since her move to NY but I know its the fit and place for her. Hard to be a city slicker in Campbell. But I also made new friends in 2007 and reconnected with older ones through going home and the power of the internet. On gmail chat today with Finola and was great to be able to chat to someone from home and we both pledged to get walking so I will. I will even bring a pedometer to Florida since bringing buggy and bring Fionn out for lots of Vitamin D sunshine.

So as we once again try and pack for everest into two bags and a rollon, buggy, carseat, carseat base, child, diaper bag and toys (his and ours as we are bringing our Nintendo Wii...) I wish all of you a very blessed New Years.

May your New Years be filled with dreams come true save one small one so that you always have something to wish for..

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


So last night we sat with our legs up, furniture on the sofa and rug off the floor.. Why you may ask... Well because Santa brought us a robot vacuum cleaner.. The Roomba - Its an amazing wee vacuum cleaner that cleans the room really well. I dont know how much time it will save at the start as we basically sat watching it for nearly half an hour mesmerized by its moving around objects, sudden burst of energy when it found a dirty spot. We loved it and will be a huge time saver when wee man starts chomping food and throwing crumbs everywhere.

Now if we could just get one to put away the clothes after laundry...

Hope you had a lovely day yesterday. Ours was just us three, I made roast chicken dinner with all the fixins, we sat and played with the new Wii games and watched wee mans face of surprise every time he bounced some more in his new bounceroo.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our wee pudding to all of you.
Posted by Picasa

hanging out with Da

hanging out at Costanoa - its the hand casually to the side that busts me up.
Posted by Picasa

in his own wee red tent

Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 24, 2007

Smile while you sit on that scary mans lap

So dressed up wee pudding in a well in a Christmas pudding outfit (plenty of ammo for when we need it when he's older) and brought him to the mall for a picture with Santa. So struck me as funny that all these parents telling their kids to sit and smile on this big strangers lap and stop crying. Fair enough this Santa beard was real and Fionn just sat there in more amazement then anything else. Then went to picture people and took some photos there. Some real cute ones we will bring to Gram for Xmas.

So one more sleep as my nieces say. Hubbie off to shop for tommorow's dinner and if I can get house clean we will be at candlelight service tonight for Xmas.

Sleep tight an Merry Xmas to you all.

18 weeks

wee man is 18 weeks today and one word captures this weekend


He's been drooling for a few weeks now , hand in gob munching on his fingers. Picked up more this week and biting hard down on our knuckles. Tried cool teething rings, all shapes and sizes, no interest. Even a cold wet facecloth to munch on, no interest

We went to www.costanoa.com a luxury camping spa kind of place south of Half Moon Bay. We stayed in the lodge upgrading ourselves from our usual tent cabins for the indoor bathroom, soaking tub, fireplace and yes indoor bathroom with the wee man. Also included was two massages that we separated out so we had time for handoff of the wee lad. He slept in his new peapod travel bed which is a cool little tent and himself wants one and was envious of the wee mans small baby tent. He had him on the patio in the tent next day saying you're in a red tent, you're in a red tent much to the giggles of wee man.

The wee man was up every hour first night with his teeth - so next day took him off on search of a pharmacy while hubbie had a massage. At Rite Aide I bought several teething rings, oralgel for day and night and homeopathic remedies for teething and a vibrating teething ring. It vibrates when you bite on it and so far this has been the winner with himself ignoring all the other rings completely. He cant make it vibrate yet but when i pinch down on it it vibrates and he just looks in awe as his mouth shakes and massages his gums... The funniest thing with this in his mouth and him vibrating. So armed with everything for teething Rite Aide had to offer I came back to the lodge and I had a lovely massage and soak in hot tub after with lying down on a table for an hour my favourite.

The homeopathic teething tablets also seem the best as the oralgel numbs his gums but he screams in protest at it being put on and also you have to be careful as can numb their throat by mistake and stop their gagging reflex. The wee tablets he takes no problem and they just dissolve. He slept a wee bit better Sunday night and when we got back yesterday we went to see the Golden Compass at local cinema with him in the wrap post feed and tablets and he slept mostly through it with me jiggling in the seat like a mad woman to keep him asleep while we watched the movie. Thankfully very few in movie so sat near the back where my bad attempt at RiverDance went unnoticed..

Movie wasn't fantastic but neither was that first book so expect good things if the bigots let the 2nd and 3rd ones be made. So funny they are fighting re the movie being God or Anti God - theres nothing like that in the movie as they watered down the books completely. Just good fantasy and good CGI (hello Lucas take note...)

Last night he slept 8-11 and then back down at 1230 and till 630 ! with just a pop in back the soother/pacifier at 5am. Then he slept till 930 ! that's better than any Christmas Pressie I tell ya - more than 2 hours of sleep straight yippee!

So all Fionn wants for Christmas of course is his two front teeth ;-)

Wishing you and yours a fantastic holiday season - if you celebrate Christmas blessings to you and yours and if not then warm blessings for the New Year and hope Santa brings you all something nice.

Monday, December 17, 2007

small step and large splash

So took another run at giving the wee man a bath. They haven't been peaceful affairs which makes me laugh when folks say give babies a bath to calm them down before sleeping, or that driving around makes them sleep. Neither does for my wee lad. After a coughing fit this morning he spat mainly over me but he needed a dip as well.

So filled baby bath up to nearly the top, yanked up the temp in the house to nearly 80 degrees and sat beside the wee bath with himself and played with some water bright toys Colin and Caroline had got us. Then sat closer and wet his feet and splashed his toes in water, then stood him up in the bath and still splashed the bubbles and played with the toys. Than sat him down ... and no tears, he reached for the toys and nearly grinned.. He didn't like the hair washing but bit of cradle cap which California baby's lavender tea tree oil shampoo is a miracle for and got rid of easily.

So small step for Fionn but large one for Mammy. I cant see us doing it nightly and lets face it hes not exactly doing a commando through mud that he needs it but its heartwarming that hes starting to like it :-)

Then off we went to Target to do some last minute shopping and he fell asleep - not in the car but in Target. Hes obviously a man and doesn't like to browse the bargain aisles like Mammy does.

Have a wonderful week folks. I'm off to lick more envelopes and get these cards out!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

YMCA so cheap its scary

So local YMCA has a childcare onsite for folks working out, swimming etc. $25 for a year, yes $25 for a YEAR and you can drop your wee one off for up to 90 mins a day Monday through Sunday while you take some time for yourself. And its a fantastic daycare.

They also have one Friday night a month where they have babysitting from 5-9pm for $25. The infant section is separate from the kids section and they have EVERYTHING, three swings, 3 bouncers, mobiles to bat at, cribs, two exersaucers and three rocking chairs for the caretakers.

When I did a trial run Thursday with wee man while I took a 15 dip in pool and shower (both heavenly for having any time to myself ;-) I came back to a staff lady holding Fionn, him asleep on her and she was rocking back and forth in the chair. So Friday night he went there and he was all smiles and giggles when we picked him up. They said they also liked my list for him as knew exactly how to make him as happy as he could be.

And its a brilliant place. So good that Jan on seeing how happy the kids where and games they were playing said how he wished his folks had left him at a place like that sometimes when he was growing up.

So check out your local YMCA. We'll be signing up for more Friday nights and now I have no excuse not to get in shape again. They will be minding munchkin while I march up and down the swimming lanes...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Yeah ! No HS for the wee man

So looks like Fionn DOESNT HAVE Hereditary Spherecyctosis. Yeah Yeah and double Yeah. If I could do a backflip I would. But that would involve cranes etc. Actually if they managed to get a hold of back of my massive bra and twang it that might work but I digress..

So back at Stanford Hospital today where wee man got his blood tested and all looks normal and well. Theres one test to come back next week but head guy said its really unlikely to be abnormal as last one wasnt. So good news for us here.

Tonight hes off to hang out with his new friends at the YMCA for 3 or so hours while me and hubbie and good mates Susan and Subrata go to Elements for dinner and celebrate their great news of 4 months into their pregnancy. So yeah!

Of course all I really want to do is go for a nap for that time instead as I was out last night at my work Christmas Party while hubbie minded wee man. I tell ya I married well folks, I dropped baby off to him at work after a trial wee run at the Y where I also did a dip in swimming pool and he took over no bother.

So I went off to San Francisco last night in rush from changing at Y and bringing him to Daddy. I was dressed in a lovely black party dress and two right different black shoes.. Yep theres always something as I limped in two different right shoes - thankfully a very sit down night so nobody realized except my physical therapist who asked what the hell did I do to throw my hips out so badly this morning at 730am...

Heres wee man at Stanford with Dad.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


So made up some address labels. I hate writing out our address over when i do bills, send out cards etc. Also handy for sticking on Fionns gear now that hes going out to daycare etc. So made up some with caricatures of us. Himself, myself and the wee man. I gave myself a tiara.. Only seemed right...

First college day

Posted by Picasa


Heres Fionn at Stanford at the Psych department.

He got to watch objects passing behind a big rectangle on a huge TV screen in the dark and they were seeing would he anticipate it coming behind the rectangle on other side... I wore dark glasses so I couldn't hint him along... He got a free toy and liked the attention. Whether or not he anticipated the rectangle coming we wont find out for a while.. Of course I think he did but sure I'm his mother.. Luckily he had the advantage of already being a TV addict at such a young age.

The horrible head cold and cough he has didn't slow him down at the University. That afternoon slowed me down when I had to change my top 4 times from poor wee man finally getting up the mucus.. Now I know how the ghostbuster team felt like after being slimed...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

first day of daycare

So I'm not back to work till January, which is coming up so so fast. Wee kid is 4 months old already. Hes such a different baby to the one at the start of the trip to Ireland. (Figuratively speaking folks, I know Irish babies do tend to look all alike but hes ours I swear...)

He is so much chattier, trying to sit up on own, doesn't want to lie down anywhere, great at going down for naps now (45 mins after a feed - hes like clockwork goes down for an hour)... And smiling and laughing. We got his first real laugh in Ireland and yesterday was another first - his first time in daycare.

We've gone out and had friends or family mind him but yesterday for half day brought him to wonderful Catherine to get him used to her house for when I go back. Doing that three times this week and of course I packed for Everest and also did a caretaking list for Fionn.

Himself made fun of me for making over detailed, 5 ways to get him to sleep, what games he likes, cream on his bum bum when you change him etc.. His schedule. Catherine thanked me as made looking after him so much easier knowing his wee likes and dislikes (still not a fan of being naked or bath..) So of course I did a nah nah nah nah there see at himself when I got home. Make fun of my list would you. How else would you know that he likes his wee blankie over part of his head when he sleeps. That he needs to be on his side to nap propped up with his soother before he'll drift off..

And that list isn't that detailed, its missing how I blow on his hands to distract him when he gets fussy, how I kiss his head at least ten times when I hold him in my arms before a nap, how I kept looking back in my car yesterday while driving to the doctors and missing his wee face in the mirror..

Having people babysit him at our house, or my Mam minding him at hers when we were over was fine and great.. Yesterday went terrific, just me the Mammy who has to wipe a wee tear. He was at someone elses house and I wasn't there. Yesterday we both took a big first step..

Stanford for Fionn already!

So Fionn is off to Stanford on Wednesday. They asked for him to come in. Its the psych department where they will roll a ball behind an object and see if he tracks it... My son the Stanford man already hah

Also Friday we are off to the Stanford kids hospital to finally hopefully find out if he has Hereditary Spherecytosis or not. Last tests - showed one where he did and one where he didnt.. Still cant figure out why they couldnt just do these tests first week he was born like anywhere else in the world.. They have so so many newborn tests and because its not a common condition here like Europe they dont test for it. They did test him for 16 kinds of sickle cell anemias... daft and expensive to boot

Anyhoo thats me off soap wagon. Being a psych grad myself I'm interested in the labs and seeing the setup. Its thankfully not the scary glass cliff tests they did back in the 60's and piagets fun of testing blind children to see what they could do or couldnt without of course explaining anything to the poor kids..

I wonder if I should get the cap and gown made now... He probably just drool all over it...

Saturday, December 08, 2007

all the grandkids


Obviously my son is an Irishman at heart. Thats my explanation for the fact he took a week to get back on California time and only a day to go to Irish Time. Since we got back hes been awake every 2 hours during night and only now getting back into swing. Hence my no blogging since barely awake enough to do anything but change his nappy....

Brilliant trip to Ireland. Will blog much later but heres the photo of the 8 grandkids all in one spot. There was 12 adults and 8 kids under 8 at my home in Ireland for one weekend. Enough said. Thankfully Mam and Dad got the attic converted in August so two bathrooms and one more bedroom. Otherwise we would have been out in garden in tents (which my cousin Steven once did at my sisters wedding...)

Enjoy and more later including viking ships, Scotland, glendalough or back to scene of crime, family, friends and packing Everest and presents for Fionn back into bags..

Monday, December 03, 2007

shop and give back

So back from Ireland and more about that later. In meantime theres a wonderful non-profit that is quietly helping children who have lost a parent in service.

And every time you shop on amazon using this link - you help support their work.

more about them at their site

They arent flashy, they arent using celebs to shout about what they do. What they do is go help the children who have lost a parent in USA armed forces. Whatever your views on the war, the fact is many men and women have given their lives for our choice to agree and disagree and in doing so many have left young children without a parent.

So if you're like me and a weekly (OK sometimes daily) visitor to Amazon then shop using this link so these guys can continue their needed support.