Diary of An Irish Woman

musings of an irish lady now living in America.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

i can do...

So like most folks I expect the two year old stage to be the one where your kid goes I do...

Well last weekend cleaning off wee man's face with tissue after milk and he grabbed the tissue. I thought here it goes straight into his mouth but nope, he wiped his mouth then his hands, like he sees Mammy doing. So gave him another tissue to see and yep did it again. Then a cloth to see if he could transfer same property and yep smiling away dabbed at his mouth (and not sucking the cloth) and then wiped his hands.

I was pretty blown away that he already uses the sign for finished or all done when he's ready. But knowing that kids do that sign most naturally so easier as a first one to learn but the tissue thing made me laugh.

Don't worry he's not OCD re being clean. The carrot mush is up his nose, behind ears, under chin and on eyebrow. But he copied us for a task. So amazing seeing them do those wee things.

And our boys getting hair as well. Too early to say what color but its more than fuzz - theres even strands!

Monday, February 25, 2008


So watched Oscar's in bits and pieces while cleaning up and putting away stuff

Thrilled to hear that

Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard, who were nominees for best original song for 'Falling Slowly' from the film 'Once' actually won the Oscar at the 80th Academy Awards. Also they cut off Marketa from talking at all by accident so Jon Stewart brought her back out to say thank you. It was a fantastic song and well deserved. This year with the wee lad we saw very few of any of the films they nomnated so nice to see one that got a prize!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ireland's next eurovision song is a turkey..

So Eurovision contest in Ireland has always been seen as a double edge sword. We hate and we love it. Its the national song contest for Europe. Think American Idol but with even worse songs. Now it has launched some careers (like Abba who won it one year).

Ireland won so many times in a row at one point that it was embarrassing and we were having money troubles just hosting it. (There was a funny Father Ted episode re having Fr Ted singing as that wanted us to lose that year). On plus side it launched RiverDance into the world for good or bad and headbands everywhere for Michael Flatley types. But recent years have seen us fall to the bottom and come in last with no points at all.

So this years entry voted on by the folks in Ireland to go to the semi finals - by text, phone and email is..

Dustin the Turkey

who's a Muppet.. literally

Broadcaster RTE said that children's favourite Dustin the Turkey has been picked as one of six competitors in Eurosong. The contest will determine Ireland's representative at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade this May. Irish television viewers will decide if the cult figure's performance of Irelande Douze Pointe will ruffle some feathers across the continent.
Dustin has been a star of RTE's The Den since 1990.

A turkey-vulture puppet with a thick north Dublin twang he joined with puppets Zig and Zag, who later went on to UK stardom in Channel 4's Big Breakfast. Dustin remained to become the longest serving member of the cast and now has his own show, Dustin's Daily News.

He has a keen interest in politics and despite never officially standing, his name has appeared on ballot papers in the Republic of Ireland as a protest vote in elections. (He nearly won for Dublin Mayor twice...) Not only do our young folks vote but they wanted to show what they thought of politicians and voted in Dustin twice now for office...

Dustin has also showed a weakness for music: he has released 14 singles already and six albums. His last album - Bling When You're Minging - was released in 2005 and featured the duet with Chris De Burgh, Patricia The Stripper. His entry draws strongly on the campness of the Eurovision, featuring the lyrics: "Shake your feathers and pop your beak, shake it to the west and to the east/wave Eurohands and Euro-feet, wave them in the air to the turkey beat."

here fishy fishy fishy

so the iPhone is cool but the earphones get tangled up a lot. I have missed more calls trying to find the right headset with microphone and untangle them. I'm convinced that theres a source of green energy if we harness how cords get tangled... Anyway, I got this nifty rubber cord holder from Amazon. Its very easy to use and now my cords are wrapped nice and snug so I can get the call easier.
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Thursday, February 21, 2008

half a birthday

Feb 20th and wee man turned 6 months old. His Half Birthday

One of my bosses said you don't feel time zooming by until you have children. He's right

The wee Gandalf celebrated yesterday with being able to blow a full raspberry. He was all smiles and laughs as he stuck out his tongue and went theewwwppppp... milk or food in mouth optional. Hes thrilled with himself. So are we

Happy Half Birthday wee man - here's to more raspberries and silly grins

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sean's Going Bald!

So our good friend Sean will be shaving his head this year on St Baldrick's Day to raise money for children's cancer


So donate above !

You heard it right - He's shaving his head in solidarity with children who have cancer and typically lose their hair during treatment, while raising critical funds for childhood cancer research!

In the US, more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease. Please make a donation on his behalf to support childhood cancer research so that all children diagnosed with cancer will have a better chance for a cure.

To make a donation, click on "Donate Online" or "Donate by mail or phone."

I met Sean when I first moved to the Bay Area through www.IrishAbroad.com - he also met his wonderful other half Maricar on that site. I like to think I had a little bit in getting them together by pushing him to come out to an event they had where they met after chatting online previously. History was made and they got married and Maricar is at Oakland's children's hospital and Sean is going aka Picard in raising funds for the kids.

So every little bit helps. Its tax deductible for those in US and also counts against your karma points ;-)

how big is your stuffing..

So emailed a few folks our photos from picture people and one of our friends Clare sent me a link to a blogger who knits r2d2 type-ish beanies. The knitter has lots of cool hats but this one made me laugh out loud.


And of course that got me looking at www.Etsy.com and buying wee man a new snow rain hat since its raining so much here this week and he has one hat that fits him well, the others are too small for his large Mac size head and elfish ears. Not saying he's not cute but we know where he got the big head from... My Mum by the way has a much smaller head so kinda balanced us out.

Also made me remember my one and only stab at knitting more than a Dr Who Scarf (who hasn't tried that ! Tom Baker is probably responsible for half the wool being used in the 70's in UK and Ireland from his fashionable scarf wearing version of Dr Who. Anyway - in school we had to knit a teddy bear - all the class. So I was best friends with Joan who even then was a Martha Stewart protégé. When we did a class project together on China and Japan, she made a kimono for the Barbie type doll we used, made a rice paddy hat and costume for the other doll and then wrote a haiku. Seriously. I did a bad graph on their history... We were 10 nearly 11 ....

So lets just say that it was like chalk and cheese - her and my versions of teddy. We all started out with same wool and instructions but at the end of the 2 weeks this is what we had;

Joan's teddy - perfect 6 inches tall, with an extra knitted vest, hat and tie she made with matching shoes - looking like it was made by a professional
My teddy - over a foot big - with holes you could drive a truck through along its body. It was so sad that my Mum had to chop up bigger stuffing so it wouldn't fall out of its body. Even Charlie Brown's Christmas tree looked like a masterpiece compared to this teddy.

So I haven't knitted since. I don't have those skills and have admitted to myself that the only thing I can spin is a good yarn ..

Thankfully there's www.Etsy.com out there for us tangled up by wool and art projects

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


So saw one good movie at home and at the cinema this week

The movie "Once " we saw at home. Irish movie about a musician and a woman he meets who inspires him to sing his own songs. Excellent movie and as much as I hate musicals I loved this one as it was more about the songs they wrote together then someone crossing the room saying and NOW I CROSS THE ROOMMMMMMM in a high pitch or tenor voice trying to make every action into some frackin song. Great chick flick and well worth seeing at home. We bought the songs as mp3 straight after.

Then Saturday we saw the movie 'Jumper". Good movie and put the wee man in the moby wrap and off we went to a 7pm show with him in his pj's. He slept for half of it then a hand popped out of the wrap feeling my nose and mouth. I went and stood at the side then of the movie and walked up and down with him happy as larry (why is it Larry is always happy?). Thankfully it was one of the movies with gallery seats and a mini wall so nobody was bothered by me pacing the carpet. Good sci fi flick. I had read the two books a few years ago and they didnt do too badly on the movie. Its one thats better on the big screen than at home.

steps to eating

make sure food is around whole face including back of ears (no clue how even got there..)
push more food out of mouth than goes in confusing laws of physics and your Mum.
Try to lick the wipe when your face is being cleaned. This will taste better than rice cereal anyday
be clean and happy its all over - repeat several times a day.

Laugh at your Mums efforts to feed you the orange paste that was supposed to be squash...
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say cheese - even you Robot...

So we went off to picture people yesterday to get our family photos taken. Me armed with coupons and child, hubbie armed with R2D2 robot... As you do..

Well since we all have the same t shirt from the star wars collection at Zazzle and we have the R2D2 robot thanks to Grainne my wonderful sis (who is laid up right now with stress fracture and using the time to study when I would be catching up on Angel, Buffy or Star Trek episodes...) We decided to get his photo taken with R2D2 robot and us..

We were a big hit while waiting as wee kids came up to see R2D2 and play light tag with the robot. Our Wee man was more interested in trying to lick the robot. Of course turns out the wee kid who was playing with us that his Mum was from Dublin. (I must have Irish magnets or something built into me since having Fionn, I swear I rarely ran into anyone Irish and now I'm tripping over fellow paddies...)

So our family photos were with the robot along side us. We do have some without it. We're not completely crazy - just mainly crazy...

Then Tanya met us with her three men in tow.. Her wee lad is such a cute wee chap - on finding out that they were meeting us at the mall he asked so where are we eating. He associates us with eating now, he knows us well... Her other wee boy is only 4 months older than our wee man. Hes so animated and happy. We had a lovely lunch with kids climbing around us and our pictures taken.

Then it was off home and hubbies mate came over that evening since he was working up here in the area and came over and had some good Baja fresh food all while getting a good cuddle in from the wee man. When its nicer out we will go down see their clann down Santa Barbara way. They have such a great family - two lovely wee lads (one who followed me around when we first met after some banoffee pie - saying yummy pie yummy pie before he crashed from the sugar shock) and his wee brother who loves our Darth Tater Potato Head - and calls him Darth Bater and exclaims that he has a big helmet and head, and so he does so theres no arguments there. Plus a very cool Mum and Dad who we wished lived nearer.

So a good Presidents day - we even got to use coupons at the store, isn't sales what that holidays is about anyway ;-)

Monday, February 18, 2008

got a twist at the end

SSSHhhhhh can't you see I'm trying to read here

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day

Cupid brought me lovely wee things from fredricks of hollywood, a chocolate rose and a box of chocolates and brought the wee man helium balloons which he loves.

And we got a good nights rest, what else would we want for :-)
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Gadgets that should exist

So 4am this morning was woken rudely by someone honking their car horn. Not an alarm but someone deciding that they wanted to wake everyone up including the wee man who is having a hard enough time trying to sleep with his stuffed nose. He falls asleep, then cant breathe as nose stuffed and sucking on his soother, spits out soother to breathe, then cries when he realizes soother is out and repeat till morning... He got more hours last two nights with help of dozal but at 4am I was thinking of gadgets that we should already have invented against arses like the folks who thought slamming their horn at 4am was a good idea..

1. A gadget that turns radio stations. So the yobbos are driving by with their bass on full - blasting and thumping past your house. (or car - don't you just love being at a stop light and someone else thinking that you want to really listen to every thump of their 'music') from their car. So this would be how the magic button works - one flick on your changearadio button and their base heavy music which they think everyone would love to listen to changes to NPR at full volume, or the love station and gets stuck on that station for 7 days...

2. A gadget that calls cell phone if your alarm goes off. So car alarm goes off rings your cell phone and vibrates and dings and doesn't stop till you turn off your car alarm off. Handy for those 4am car alarm goes off and the owners seem to sleep through it when nobody else is able to..

3. slow down gadget - Compulsory on residential streets. When your car goes over 30mph or whatever is posted speed car slows down automatically from a wireless monitor that automatically slows down car to 15mph.

4. Motorbike tuner - For those weekend warriors who think that the noisier and louder their bike is the cooler it is. This magic gadget would make their bike stall safely and wont work until their bike turns over without making everyone else hard of hearing.
(I used to live on a road where there was a plethra of bikers on a Saturday and Sunday all out roaring down the road past by bedroom waking me up - I used to dream of putting stale milk out so their bikes would smell of it but magic button more effective..)

So what other gadgets would you like to see ?

Monday, February 11, 2008

the small things

One thing that's more painful than being sick and too ill to move, is being sick as a parent. Took wee man with me to doctor yesterday as I couldnt swallow, coudlnt catch a full breath and felt in general awful. He's got a cold so he was up night before crying on and off from 3am trying to suck his soother and breathe through a clogged nose poor wee lad.

So on top being sick had no sleep. The vaporizer, vicksrub and saline drops didnt work that wll for him or elevated head in the crib.

Doc put me on antibiotics as swollen glands and throat, an inhaler for chest to open up as blocked and painkiller with relaxer in it to open up airways. Dropped off prescription and went home and got wee man down for a nap.

Hubbie the wonderful came home early from work and picked up my meds and took the wee man when he woke up and I got two hours of glorious sleep with my meds kicking in. Hubbie is feeling sick himself and taking care of both of us. He brought me chicken gumbo soup with toast and 7up for dinner. Perfect get well food and exactly what I was thinking about.

Gave the wee man a dose of dozal last night -Covered him in vicks baby rub, vaporizer and head elevated. He woke up at 4 for soother and then back over and didnt wake till 7 so we both got a great nights sleep. Hubbie slept in other room as he needed a full night for work.
What a difference a full night sleep makes.

I have so much more empathy for my sister when her kids seem to get sick one after the other and she is as well with whatever is brought home from school and my Mum who I know had to have sick days where the last thing she wanted to do was get out of bed and look after all of us but she did. And even more love for my hubbie who rushed home to take care of both of us when he feels sick too.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

butter wouldnt melt...

Just want to say that the folks that say that when your baby starts on solids they sleep through the night was obviously grinding up sleep tablets into that rice cereal mush...

All we've noticed is wee farts that could knock over trees. Which seems like a physics quandry in itself as I could swear there's nothing going into him as he spits it all back out - first the rice cereal and now the veggies.

And hes waking MORE than when he was just on milk. Maybe he's waiting on the fish or steak course

or if he's like his folks - the dessert course...
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Thursday, February 07, 2008

can i have more chocolate please

So pre pregnancy I wasnt a big chocolate fan - in fact himself knew not to buy any for Valentines day as not my cup of tea.. (yummy I said tea - focus woman!)
So anyway I didnt care for chocolate

well thats changed. Now I yearn for chocolate daily since breastfeeding - I would chase down bars and yank them from small childrens hands. A friend gave me a big dairy milk bar that said more for sharing and I sniggered - sharing ? me? never!

So himself said last night said - well sure that means I can buy you chocolate for Valentines and I realized yes it does.

Hopefully the truck can back up to my front door. Thats how much chocolate I want..

the little things

my wonderful caregiver Catherine was musing over the differences when Mammys versus Daddys drop off their wee ones to her. My hubbie dropped the wee man off yesterday as I was gone by 7am. I am so thankful he did but I still get to slag him off for the differences

He forgot to drop off with Fionn
1. No soother/pacifier - thankfully I had spares that I had given her in a bag already
2. No milk - still in freezer at home. Thankfully she has formula I got her as well
3. Didnt let her know when he had eaten last. Thankfully wee man is on a routine and eats pretty much again at 10 and she's good figuring that he'd eat if he was hungry and wouldnt if he wasnt
4. Forgot to tell her re the fever he had night before
5. Sweater I had put out to put on him still at home on table

So Catherine says - The Mums hang out for a little while - make sure the wee ones are settled and let her know any news - how they slept, when they last ate and make sure all good before leaving. The Dads drop off and run pretty quickly out the door :)

I'll have to see what the differences is when Daddys pick up wee ones. At least he dropped him off and fed and changed him beforehand.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

is it my perfume?

So went up to the city today for work. And had men tripping over themselves to help me out. A server at the Sheraton Palace Hotel (amazing glass ceiling) nearly pushing my co-workers out of the way to help me put my vest on (not even a coat, a vest!) and then the valet guy run to get us free bottles of water even though we said thanks we're fine. Even W who was with me was laughing saying must be your perfume. Fair enough I smile a lot and say thanks but even I was flummoxed. Must be eau de Irish ;-)

Shamu the killer whale

So remember Shamu the Killer Whale show at SeaWorld. The one where there's a huge wave that throws water over you and everyone around you for 12 seats above and below. Well thats now bathtime with the wee man. He has discovered that baths are fun and especially if you hit your hands really hard against the water causing splashes and waves over Mammy.

I came out looking like I was entering a wet tshirt, trousers, and hair contest. And not in a sexy way. In a good grief he's only 5 1/2 months and how can he splash that hard.

So we've gone from screaming because he was getting into the bath to screaming because we are taking him out. Thankfully he's cute and we'll keep him

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

dressing up

So Saturday was the Irish Network Dance. Pretty much the committee was left to myself and few others over last couple of years and then to nobody so I organized the dance for Saturday. Not a bad showing like 65 people for 4 course meal and wine included and dancing. It was great to see some folks havnt seen in ages. Its funny though as Irish people would be late for their own funeral if they could. I had 24 RSVP Monday so I booked for 60 knowing irish folks as I do. Sure enough day of yes the day of the dance people paying and showing up.

Hubbie is here dressed in lovely waistcoat that we got in Columbia State park - I love it on him. Beside him is Douglas - lovely guy who is married to lovely Fiona a friend of mine and I used to mind their two very funny wee boys.

The Network is winding down and so setting up a yahoo group so folks can still organize nights like this one. The Irish social club in the area is in the same boat so we're going to join the same yahoo group. Of course that started a discussion re the name of the group and it literally brought flashbacks of Monty Pythons life of Brian - the Judean peoples front or front of judean people.

It was a great night and our friends Aki and Francisco minded the wee lad - who of course decided wow you're cool I'm going to stay up and talk to you and jump in my bounceroo. Poor lads - they were happy we got home.

I ordered 25 bottles of wine for dinner for the Irish Folks - we went through 36 - thats with at least 3 people I know not drinking as one was pregnant. Who says stereotypes arent true.
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exercise - the 21st century way

The nintendo has brought back exercise to a Saturday night - here is hubbie and Maricar battling it out for tennis victory. Who needs Wimbeldon. All you need is some floor space and making sure you put the wrist thingie on so you dont throw it at the tv..
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pour me some more

So a fantastic weekend a couple of weekends ago that just getting to blogging about now. We took off to Murphys and Angels camp for a weekend and our mates Sean and Maricar met us there on the Saturday. Grand drive up and we went wine tasting in Murphy next day.

Murphy is the greatest town ever and not just because it has 21 wine tasting rooms pretty much all free (and we managed only 7 as they serve 5-7 tastings in each but one) but also because all on pretty much one street so you make your way nicely down.

Also we had amazing pannani sandwiches with french onion soup at a bakery. How we came upon the bakery was tasting bread while at http://www.hatcherwine.com/ hatcher wine. I loved the bread the had out for nibbling on and asked where did they get it. At the bakery accross the street replied the vine merchant and out we bounded for lunch. Even though its been pretty much pissing rain here for weeks and weeks and yes weeks it stayed dry and we sat outside basking in mild sun. Myself and hubbie also joined the Hatcher wine club, two brothers run it and for a small winery theirs wines can knock your socks off. Yes sometimes one of the brothers can be a cumudgen when serving but his bark is worse than his bite and everytime I'm there I learn something new about wine and not just how good it tastes.

We had a grand day and then that night we stayed in order pizza and oh yes - played with the Nintendo Wii we brought. Lots of fun and the wee man had me up all night up every two hours - he wasnt as happy in his tent as last time we were using it. Oh well I get to sleep when they are 18 right ;-)

So lovely weekend and wish I had again magic teleportation device as its only 2 1/2 hrs away but wee man wasnt happy for about an hour of that on way home. So I sang O MacDonald had a farm and wheels on bus, again and again and again. The iPhone also came to rescue of my vocal cords but he got upset again at being trapped in car seat (which has got better but not for trips over an hour). So after stopping a few times drove on as he was just needing a nap and wasnt falling asleep (my kid didnt get that memo on car seats putting you asleep). Literally around the corner from the house - he fell asleep. Must have got the memo late...
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in an effort to steer my wee lad into the right team to support - Dad lent him his cap. It nearly fits him as he has a big McDonnell Head - and thats offical as the doc says his head is in 95% range. Hello Grandad Mac ;-) He is also now in 75% range for height and 50% weight. Now if only I was ...
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so Fionn was 6 months in weeks Monday (and is 6 months Feb 20th by month- dont even ask -its confusing and only makes sense to those who count days. So started him on solids - well runny rice cereal. As you can see most of it goes out of his mouth. He also likes blowing bubbles with it. I tasted it and dont blame him as pretty yucky stuff. Wait till he start on real food like garlic mash ;-)
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