Diary of An Irish Woman

musings of an irish lady now living in America.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

San Jose Giants

Saturday we went to San Jose Giants minor league baseball game with Fionn and our friends Fiona, her hubbie and their 2 wee ones and Auntie visiting from out of state. What a great day. The wee lads first sporting event and I just love these minor league games, they go all out to keep you entertained past watching baseball game. Firstly you are near enough that you can really see the game. Big stadiums remind me of just seeing it on telly , then half time shows, block sing songs and competitions and the kids get to run around all the based at end and fireworks. We ended up with in n out burger gift certs and free appetizer certs for dave n busters. Pretty cool! Munchkin had a blast mainly because her 5 yr old adores babies and let him try to bite his nose and shared his comic annual of rintin with him. He smiled at everyone flirting away and was a wee dote. We were home by 10 and he drifted off to land of nod. Great day put and will go again. 5 adults with 2 kids and infant all for 57 dollars. Can't beat that with a stick or bat..

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Wee man crawled backwards yesterday. He's so proud of himself. Big big smile as he shimmed his way back. Went over to our friends yesterday and between rolling around like a barrel and backwards he made his way around the room about 4 times. Now all he needs is his teeth and he's set. You can actually see the complete outline of both of his front two bottom teeth as gums are that swollen. Poor wee chap. Hasn't stopped him drinking but eating is a bit sore. He likes those little potato puffs though and is happily munching away on back gums with those. Funny to watch as they are a bit sour and he makes a face and then goes yumm. Those who know my Dad will recognize the same face when he takes something sour.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My top list for items as a New Mammy Mummy Mum ;-)

So giving a loan to our friends as well of the things that we found just terrific. Here's my list of things that I think were invaluable first 3 -6 months. I'm sure I'll think of more later but this was the my top list.
Infant car seat with two bases - perfect for getting him to places in either car. He's outgrown it now and in his new car seat that says its for all three stages till their 100 pounds. Getting said car seat into car was another story but at least unlike our friends we didn't break the car door. Some noodles made of Styrofoam have worked wonders for getting it into right position. We got that tip from the lovely State Troopers at Highway Patrol. They had a class on car seats and you can go to them with an appointment and get your car seat checked and installed for free!
Snap and Go - this is a frame that holds the car seat so you don't need the big stroller or buggy. As every Mammy soon finds out - the car seat is heavy enough and then you pop a 8 pound baby in it and keep adding a pound every few weeks and you could arm wrestle truck drivers... Those travel systems are also really heavy and pain to get in and out of your car/house/truck...
Soft insert for car seat - Their child may love the car, ours didn't and so the soft insert made it a tad more comfortable and also meant that they occasionally sleep a bit better in car seat on trips or in restaurants.. (Not that it helped one little jot when he cried for a 3 hour road trip but we wont mention that...)
Toy bar for car seat - This toy bar - well I wish I had it month one. It might have saved our tears for the car. And also one of us riding in back feeding wee man trying to stop said tears.
Co-Sleeper - They have one so keeping ours. This wee crib onto side of bed was so handy. Especially after a c-section and breastfeeding. So much easier to check on wee man. The motion baby monitor is also great and is now in his crib. The video camera is handier now as a bigger baby although we keep having to move it as he wanders around the crib trying to reach for it. All you see on the wee tv screen is a hand coming for the camera...
The vibrating crib attachment - this vibrated the crib, also had heartbeat, white noise and wee lullabies. During those wee fussy hours this was a big help for helping him go back to sleep.
Moby Wrap - We're still using ours. He loves it and sleeps no problem in it. Its gone with him in to the movies, to restaurants (where pulled over top so I could eat the ribs over his head), to 10 hour flight to Ireland, 6 hour flight to Florida and so many trips out where he just chilled close to my heart and snuggle warm. I wish they had adult sizes.
Our JJ cole sling - and new native carrier sling - At 7pm-8Pm when many a baby is fussy during first 3 months, popping him in the sling and singing hippy hippy shake he would calm down and snuggle. If you couldn't get him to sleep - this was the best for helping him drop off. Also having two hands free was a such a boon - well one hand as you tend to still hold under them with the other at the start. Still using the new native one - its a good one for Mums who have a chest - those hot sling ones just are too small.
Dr Brown Bottles - our wee man has enough natural gas to rival Alaska as a natural source for world energy. So after trying blandest diet in world for me to see if that would help, we switched to these bottles on recommendation of another Mum Sarah and baby bear. Wow these worked great and still do. He still farts away but being older its more about the 4 containers of food he just inhaled..
Fisher price swing - any kind of cradle swing - or as we called ours neglectomatic... I used to go to bed at 10pm ish and wee man and Dad would stay up with the swing. Dad then gives him a midnight feed and I then would have 4 hours sleep before taking over. The swing was great also for naps during the day at the start.
Microwave Sterilizer - great invention and really helps get those bottles clean. We nursed wee man from me and also the bottle from first few days. Mainly bottle one feed at midnight or out sometimes if it was hard to find a good breast feeding area (although changing rooms are excellent in stores - especially mervyns and the restroom at Nordstrom is outstanding!). Wee man did fine and we didn't have any issues with him not wanting the breast milk and then when he went to daycare or had someone babysit he was fine with bottle. They tell you you have to do one or the other. You don't.
Velcro-Swaddles - So swaddling your baby works. That's why they do it in the hospital. It makes them feel all safe and back in the womb. If you think how great they felt squashed up like a rolled up armadillo inside you then you can see why swaddling works. Only one problem. Unless you practice with trying to swaddle cats you cant get that nice tight swaddle the nurses do. My hubbies first few attempts while in hospital looked like wee man had a run in with a blanket and came out the losing side.
So - easiest thing is the swaddles with Velcro. They work, they are easy to do and swaddled baby is happy baby. (also in happiest baby in block with 5 S's, swaddle, sideways, swing, soothe and shush sounds - which is what Mums have been doing for years and gathered now in books and DVDs since we don't live all together in big families any more).
I remember my Dad thinking that wee man looked like he was being tortured all bound up in a swaddle. That looks cruel he said. My Mum and I disagreed tellinghim was done in Ireland for years and now brought back again after seeing how it works in other countries. Also nurses never stopped the practice in hospitals as they knew it worked well. I smiled and gave him wee man without swaddle - sure you soothe him then Dad. 10 mins later my Dad was shouting for the swaddle.
later things that didn't work..

Friday, April 18, 2008

clean up clean up

So we're doing a big clean up at home, and I went through all of the wee mans clothes as our good friends are having a wee baby boy soon PG and I wanted to pass along some of our clothes to them. Babies are in the clothes such a short time and I can see now why folks gave us clothes saying - he didn't even get to wear this. So after packing and going through all the big plastic bins folks had advised us to get (storing 0-3 months in one etc so we could pull out next stage easily) - we're giving them 4 huge bags of clothes and still have two plastic holdalls with 0-6 and 6-12 months as the wee man is quickly outgrowing all his 9 month old clothes.

Its hard not to get nostalgic at his wee onsies.. The one that says Hobbit that my friend Sandra made for us.

It's just amazing watching him grow. And we sang clean up clean up song at the end of the day, just like his music class as we put the clothes all away.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

baseball my way

If you're going to see a baseball game - then this is the way to see it. Especially when your team is down 6 home runs.. In a catered suite, with beers, margaritas, fish tacos, chicken wings and waiter service.. I love my boss. This was our work afternoon.

sniffles and coughs

So haven't got to posting much. The wee man has been dosed with a cold or allergies. We were thinking allergies at start but seems to be a full on head cold. He's getting better poor wee lad but you feel so bad for him. He was having wee coughing fits and then just bringing up whatever he had drank or ate. Thankfully got enough milk into him in between to keep him hydrated but he was off his food so we knew he wasn't well. He normally now chows down 4 large stage 2 containers of food, plus milk, plus rice or oatmeal cereal as well as some teething biscuits. So when he was off all that you knew he didn't feel mae west. (best)

He's in grand form though in general and even his daycare lady said hes a wee trouper. Even when hes sick he's smiling, flirting, singing away.. That's pretty great for anyone and especially a male who in my experience don't tend to get colds but the 'man flu'. Imagine what they would be like if they got monthly periods or forbid have to deliver a child...

Monday, April 14, 2008


So Friday started with wee man at Music Together at our local community center in Campbell. I was expecting a lady with a guitar and some nursery rhymes to tell the truth. Far from it. It was really great. Lots of songs that worked on tone as well as rhythm. Wee man loved it. Very interactive for Mums as well as the kids. They give you CD, songbook as well as wee book on what their teaching philosophy is. That everyone has musical ability, built into us with our heartbeat to the way we walk. And teaching at young age helps them to become music savvy, tone and rhythm. Its a good thing as most schools here don't have music anymore to the extent they used to. Also at homes - those old days of sitting around a piano or guitar are few in between.

The best bit is that the wee man hasn't stopped singing all weekend after the class Friday. We had a mate Lauren come down for a visit afterwards with her wee man who's a wee pumpkin. And she was saying wow he just talks and sings non stop. We had to say well hes a chatterbox but even we were blown away how much he was singing and chatting away. La La La - he's trying the whole range of his voice now. Simon Cowell eat your heart out. We have the singing baby here..

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

great songs great band

So one of Hubbies mates is Kyler England. She's been named one of the hottest unsigned artists last year, won countless songwriting contests across states and her songs are on guiding light TV show for anyone who watches the show. Forget American Idol crapola. This is a real singer who writes her own songs. Not manufactured barbies and kens from Simon Cowells - well bottom really.

So Kyler is fracking brilliant. (Nod to BSG there).. So check out her songs and Kyler at www.kylerengland.com

Hubbie had a hand in her website so ahem it rocks. Yes don't hate her when you see the site - Kyler is even better looking in person and is also sound as a pound (Dublin speak for grand and bloody brilliant) - although maybe they say sound as a Euro now ? .... She's brilliant, nice a person as you could meet, and a wee angel. That and she sings and writes her own songs. If she wasn't so lovely we'd probably gang up on her ;-)

But shes also now joined up with two other brilliant artists to host a supergroup

Well worth checking out - their music is the kind that later you'll be saying - yeah but I was into them WAY before anyone else.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

iPhone ears

Can anyone actually in the world wear iPhone earbuds or iPod earbuds without them falling out of their ears...

I have bluetooth for the phone as well but spend half my time trying to find the bluetooth and keep charged. So earphones easier. If they would stay in my ears. What do I have dumbo earholes or something?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Swing low sweet chariot

My new camera can take 10 photos very quickly so its almost like frame for frame on a video camera. Here's wee man with his driod hat on in the park on the infant swings. Him swinging towards me trying to then grab the camera!

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hard days work

after a swim, your first real dip. Where you first acted a little scared till a girl smiled at your and then another lady and you then smiled and beamed away. Getting dressed is still not your fav activity but all snuggled up while Mammy gets dressed
Nice to relax in the Cali sun afterwards. You earned that after hard splashing session
and wave to your adoring fans before heading home
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This week

Driving his wee car
Still no teeth but fantastic wee smile
Getting Ready for Baby Disco - shades on with Da
Proof that wee man does play with nongeeky toys for my sister Maeve.. Although just noticed his tshirt says future mad scientist.. oops
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First words

Today wee man say MaMa - not once but 5 times today - to him probably means get me up, food, or a hug. But for me meant the world. April 7th I got a huge smile and Ma Ma. How brilliant is that!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

my name is S and I'm addicted to Tivo

So we have two Tivos in our house - three actually but only two hooked up. For those who don't know - Tivo is a DVR device so you can record TV shows with no tape, pause live TV.

What makes Tivo different from others is that based on what you tape and watch it suggests things. You can give programs thumbs up or thumbs down so it also recommends based on those.

I find that sometimes I watch a TV show once and don't get into it. Then along comes Tivo and I like a cat fish hooked on the bait get dragged into watching a whole new series on repeats that Tivo has decided I might like.

First it was Deep Space 9, Voyager, then Angel, then Buffy, now Monk and StarGate series. Even got himself into watching a few of them as we sit and chill at night. It was damn handy during writers strike that the shows I watched weren't waiting for new episodes..

Normally that's OK and I watch only rarely as with a wee 7 month baby spending time with him is much more fun. Yesterday though I had a weird day so ended up watching all my Tivo suggestions till there were none. Surprised I don't have those TV shaped eyes were warned about getting as kids if we sat too close. Or was that crossing eyes and getting them stuck like that if the wind changed...

So I now have to wait till Tivo fills up again. And 3 years ago I had no cable TV and didn't miss it at all. Now I'd probably have to have the Tivo box wrenched from my arms. Is there a Tivo patch for tivoaddicts.?

wanted leader of small but overachieving European country

Want to become chief executive of a small but overachieving European county? Why not apply for our leaders job online in Ireland :-)

So background - The Irish Leader -is called the Taoiseach (what Irish folks call our prime minister or president (although we have a president as well but its just a figurehead position like - well like Bush really but with brains and no evil cheney in background..)

So Bertie Ahern our current Taoiseach/ leader in Ireland is stepping down. He's been mired in questions about payments (allegedly) for buying girlfriend a house, for payments various over the years (we don't have lobbyists in Ireland so much more direct about here I'll give you $30K Euro and you let me have that land over there as a motorway will be going through it very soon so we'll both make a few bob...

Of course Bertie had learnt from the best - Charles Haughey our don't shake his hand as you may lose some fingers previous leader. Not many countries can boast that their previous leaders were convicted of gun running and then elected.

No Iran contra nonsense for us - we elect the fruitcakes after the crime. Oh wait so does America. Well our tribunals into their affairs drag on longer than that time before you were allowed up for Christmas morning to see your presents. Seeing the wagons and horses circle around him our cowboy president is getting out before he gets pinned down. Which is a pity as for 11 years he has helped guide Ireland into a much more stable economy. With Bertie at the reins the celtic tiger that Haughey helped lay foundation for - bred some more and made Ireland a place that people now emigrate to. But back to the job posting

So some folks at an Irish recruitment site put up a parody of his job availability
Here's story here on Yahoo and the job posting. Which has received several thousand submitters by now...

No swinging chads for us dear folks.


It offers an uncannily on-target lampoon job, if nothing else.
The prime minister's post appears as "Leader" of "Ireland Inc.," and notes Ahern's current salary of about $481,000 annually. The job comes on a permanent contract, "subject to five-year reviews," a.k.a. elections.

Benefits include a company car and driver; subsidized canteen, bar and teacart service; an allowance for makeup — a much-pilloried Ahern expense; and a minimum 90 holidays — a jab at the Dublin parliament's penchant for long breaks.

The parody next takes a stab at the collection of alleged fringe benefits that toppled Ahern: gifts and unpaid loans from business friends, an insider deal on buying a house, party funds for personal use and a girlfriend's house purchase.

"Bonus/Charity/Residential scheme ... at employee's discretion," the ad deadpans.
The satire was quickly scripted by RecruitIreland staff at their base in Cork, southwest Ireland, and placed, without any home page advertising or any other public fanfare, deep within the jobs database.

It's listed as "Client ID RI/TAO0001," which refers to Republic of Ireland and Taoiseach — the formal Gaelic title of the prime minister's post.
RecruitIreland staff e-mailed friends and business colleagues about the listing, which unleashed an Internet chain reaction.
"It's just spiraled. We're a bit amazed by how many people have seen it," said marketing manager Emma Henry, who reports that the company has received no complaints — and more than a few seriously worded applications.

But applicants need certain qualifications to be prime minister, according to the ad.
"You will report to the Nation on a daily basis. The ideal candidate will have a head for figures, the energy to motivate his/her team, undermine the opposition, and be able to work well under pressure," the ad says.

The next successful applicant does need to be stronger in one key category than Ahern, who repeatedly failed to recall basic details of his 1990s finances on the witness stand.

"A good memory is essential," it advises.

baby disco - swing your nappy in the air!

So Saturday we are off to baby disco.. Yep seriously...
So an idea by one Mum who thought - heres an idea. A baby disco where parents can go and bring kids up to age 7, theres chill out rooms, bubble rooms, snacks, changing areas, a bar for non driving parents and voila
baby disco for 3 hours on a Saturday afternoon.
So I got tickets and have several friends coming with their wee ones.

Maybe I shouldnt have got all that glitter out of the wee mans hair...