10 August 2010


Well I guess I can say I was pretty lucky for having a relatively illness free pregnancy. However with the removal of one large-ish baby it now appears that my suppressed immune system has 'unsuppressed' itself. I am now battling a sore throat which I think is turning into tonsilitis and a head ache. Not pleasant coupled with the demanding needs of a feeding baby that is HUNGRY. The worst is that I can't drive to the doctor and I can't exactly take the bus into town as both driving and long walking are currently prohibited by my c section recovery.

03 August 2010

New arrival

I'm excited to announce the arrival of my second daughter, born on 26 July by c section and weighing in at a whopping 8 lb 5 oz. I didn't get my VBAC in the end, this little girl was far to comfortable in there. Friends were calling her the 'Howard Hughes' of babies, and the world's most elusive baby. She was remarkably 8 days overdue, as was her stubborn independent sister, which leads me to believe I will be having my hands full during the teenager years. So far though she is relatively placid and calm, a refreshing change from a toddler who is constantly ignoring/disputing every suggestion or order her mother makes. Breastfeeding is going wonderfully for us although it is so different feeding a newborn again. I think with an older child one becomes lazy - after a while they just seem to basically feed themselves. Now I actually have to pay attention to hunger cues, perfecting the art of guiding baby to boob, and making sure I am holding baby in a comfortable position. It seems strange to me now that I am back to broken sleep and days spent sitting on the couch, I am raring to go out and do things! I am trying to be patient though as with a second section I don't want to overdo it. Nono and Gigi will be here approximately 3 weeks from today and I can't wait!

21 July 2010

Big Sister waiting for the baby to arrive...

As you can see she has all her baby dolls lined up, just waiting for one more baby to complete her collection.

18 July 2010

18 July 2010

Today is 'supposedly' the day.

However, I still plan on making my reflexology appointment tomorrow so what does that say?

And husband and I still need to paint the back bedroom, 'Gigi & Nono's Room'. I am currently in the process of trying to clean the downstairs so I can give the floor a well needed mopping. Despite this effort I am continually thwarted at every turn by a well meaning two year old who has left a trail of crayons and pens a mile long. Bending over to pick things up is nearly impossible at this stage as I am not only finding it painful but the coffee that I drank with breakfast keeps threatening to make its burning way into my esophagus.

13 July 2010

Open Letter

Dear Unborn Child,

I know I said I would have some patience these last couple of weeks. But according to my hospital records I am due in 5 days time. Yes, I know that sometimes these dates aren't entirely accurate. But let's face it - this is the end. Everyone I know pregnant and due in July - bar one person- has had their baby. I want my baby. Now I know this is entirely selfish, but I also want be able to roll over in bed and not make a bathroom trip for hours on end. I also am DYING to start breastfeeding again (and try out my super cool new medela pump in style advance metro pump). So let's speed things up in there, I don't really fancy going 8 days over like on your big sister and I'd like to try to avoid a section at all costs.


Your loving mother.

26 June 2010


You've heard of the 'Summer of Love', well apparently around these parts it is the 'Summer of Tantrums'. I would much prefer it to be the 'Summer of Love' but unfortunately I do not think my darling daughter will oblige. You see, at some point, inevitably, Mother and Daughter reach an impasse. Daughter beings to question Mother's motives, her wisdom, her ideologies and realises that she doesn't need that gently guiding hand anymore. Mother, of course, then feels deeply hurt, unsure as to what she can do different and makes a number of attempts to make amends with Daughter. Generally speaking, this whole senario usually occurs somewhere between the ages of 13 to 18. I am writing to tell you that it apparently happens from age 2. The question is no longer, 'What as a mother am I doing wrong?' it is now, 'What as a mother am I doing right?'

Something as simple as breaking up her weetabix with a spoon sends her over the edge. She believes that forewarned is fair warned and is constantly reminding me, 'Mommy, no do like this.' Then she makes this stabbing motion in the air with her spoon, just in case I should ever forget that one time I had to pour out two bowls of cereal. She also requires that no blankets be pulled over her little legs if she manages to sneak her way into my bedroom at some ungodly hour. If I forget, I pay. Usually the price is a couple solid kicks to my sleeping back until I am reminded, there is a penalty for doing things 'my way'. I am also slowly learning the art of bribery. After nearly 2 and 1/2 years of keeping my daughter (and her pearly whites) juice free, I am offering a glass of smoothie when we come home from creche, usually because she is having some kind of insane 45 minute tantrum. The good news on that front is that one of my only clear successes is that my daughter loves to brush her teeth and brushes them quite well. So at least I know I am getting one over on tooth decay.

Yesterday she partook in what I have been terming the 'Juanita' size tantrum. Let me explain by saying that usually she throws what we call the 'Marcelina', a very dramatic tantrum aptly named after my deceased, grudge-holding Italian grandmother. The 'Marcelina' includes throwing oneself down on the floor and beating the ground with balled fists while kicking the legs. It is best to avoid the vicinity when these occur as someone usually ends up with a solidly planted kick to the ankle. Now the 'Juanita' appears to be a new style of tantrum, less angry but way more dramatic than the 'Marcelina'. Let me digress into this little story of how this came to be so named. Juanita was my great uncle's wife who had two children from a previous marriage (one though was apparently his) and one by my uncle. She, over the course of many years, managed to turn the family bar business into a battleground for the epic family fight which resulted in my Polish Grandfather and his two Italian brother in laws literally having a punch up in front of the premises. Juanita promptly tried to have my Grandfather and one uncle arrested. As a result my grandmother did not speak to her older brother for 13 years. When Juanita's husband became ill, she divorced him (wonderful woman that she was) and at his funeral, dressed all in black, she threw herself over the coffin sobbing hysterically screaming, 'I always loved you.' Her daughter stood up and clapped demanding to the gathered mourners, 'Oh please somebody give her an academy award'. So the 'Juanita' entered family the annuals. The 45 minute tantrum at 6 am yesterday morning over the way mommy was holding three Peppa Pig books (not like this, like this mommy) certainly classified itself as a 'Juanita' full of tears and play acting which I think Juanita herself would be proud of.

As I look forward to the joy of having two children I can't help wondering to myself - will I ever make it through the 'Summer of Tantrums' alive? Will Mother and Daughter ever see eye to eye? Will Mother ever do anything right? Have the teenage years come this early?

Only time will tell.

17 June 2010

Back from the Dead

I'm terrible I know. I tend to disappear for weeks at a time only to resurface again. I'm sure I've probably lost a couple of my 9 followers but hey that's pregnancy for you right?

I am now 35 going on 36 weeks. Amazing how time during the second pregnancy flies when you don't have the chance to stop for breath. My darling 2 yr 4 mo old daughter is starting to get really excited for the new arrival and keeps asking us when the baby will be coming. I am taking this interest as a good sign. I do expect there to be some moments where she is a bit put out though.

This began to manifest itself *I think* in the shape of my midnight visitor. Perhaps not entirely midnight, more like 2 am, 3 am, 4 am visitor. Our move to the 'big girl' bed back in March/April was fairly successful, although the little darling does have a tendency to run in around 6 or 7 depending on how she slept. It was pretty cute to see this tiny 2 year old with unruly bedhead burst into the room and stagger towards the bed. Clearly she had sprung from her own only moments before with the express intent of 'must get in parents bed'. One time she cuddled up next to me, ordering me to 'put your arms around me, Mama, now you go to sleep'. Ah yes, those were the days. Recently they were replaced with the same small figure streaking through the room like lightening but at the ungodly hour of 2 am.

Keep in mind that I am now at the stage where carrying a 33lb child at 2am in the morning back to an extremely low to the ground toddler bed is not really my idea of a good time. Due to the previous broken ankle fiasco when I initially get out of my bed it takes me a good couple of minutes to 'warm up' and walk without limping. So balance is not exactly my forte. The joyous responsibility of putting her back to bed now rests (pun intended) with the other half. Therein lies the rub, the other half is extremely difficult to rouse from sleep and would be more inclined to allow darling daughter to sleep in the bed for the remainder of the night. We have a king size bed, so I wouldn't really mind, except for the fact that she sleeps horizonally and for some strange reason her feet are always kicking me in the back. Yesterday, when whining to my mother I likened it to sleeping with my grandmother's flea bag dog, Rags. (Scary childhood memory that still continues to haunt me. That dog had some nerve, it was my bed grandma was sleeping in - why should I be forced out of my bed by a snarling Lhasa Apso?)

I tried the Supernanny solution - you know the putting the child back to bed a million times without saying anything. The only problems were 1. I couldn't even get to the door before she was back out again and 2. after 1 hour she was hysterical and I was exhausted. Now what Supernanny? For now I have no answers only more questions. But at 35 weeks pregnant I'm not really sure I have the stamina to deal with this right now. I am secretly hoping that the distressing cry of a hungry baby at all hours of the night will convince my little darling that she really wants to remain in her own bed.

Otherwise I am attempting to wrap up some of my completely research in chapter format for my PhD. It is not going to badly but that is only if I don't think that I have a 15,000 word chapter due July 1 and a 5000 word article also due that day. The one thing I am banking on is that this baby will take after it's sister and arrive late!

28 April 2010

Homeward Bound

The countdown has begun. On Saturday the three of us (plus bun in the oven) will be jetting off to a week in San Francisco with my parents. I can barely wait to see my parents, our last visit was in August. Trust me, when you are 27 weeks pregnant, sometimes the only person you want is your mother! I am also excited by the thought of how much Cupcake has changed since my folks last saw her. Chatterbox, aka Mrs Pleasant (when the tantrums appear) often engages in a dizzying stream of constant dialogue. She is definitely taller than last time, and has an absolute ton of hair that is curly, which I can guarantee you my mother will LOVE. I was tortured as a young child by the constant rolling of my hair in those stupid sponge curlers. Unfortunately for my curl loving mother, my hair was completely stick straight and absolutely refused to do anything other than lie flat. Once in sixth grade I even got a perm (and coincidentally or not a fat lip from my brother on the day of school pictures). At least she has one photo to document the hair she always wanted me to have.

We have a whole host of things planned as per usual. Unfortunately it is nearly impossible to squeeze in everyone and everything. We will get the chance to see my family at a Dos de Mayo party (Cinco is a work night for some), we have scheduled a visit with my best friend from college so we can coo over her 6 week old daughter. We will also be attending a good high school friend's wedding (to an Irish guy no less) and hanging out with my very best friend and her daughter (who come hell or high water will be my daughter's very best friend.)

So all in all, many exciting things to look forward to!

23 April 2010

Recent Photos

Just thought I would add some of our recent pictures of last weekend's outing down to Glendalough in Co. Wicklow. An amazing spot, we are hoping to bring my parents here for a picnic when they come over to visit us for two weeks in September.

Nesting - Our impending arrivals

I suppose this 'instinct' kicks in at some stage. I had the nesting thing on the last pregnancy but have yet to feel it strongly on this one. Although we are not the only ones that will be expecting new arrivals soon around here...

Imagine if you will waking up at 6.00am to hear this scratching sound in your roof. I instantly thought - ROOF RATS. Thankfully not. Instead a harem of starlings have built their nest in a small space in the roof where a tile is missing. We have become avid bird watchers and spend hours at the window watching Howard and his 'crew' fly down from the roof into the yard to collect bits of grass, leaves and branches. When I say crew I think I mean harem. There are not one, or two, but three starlings that are constantly preparing for some big event up there. We decided to take a look online and found a link that stated that starlings can often build communal nests. Communal we thought - how very 60s San Francisco, very cool. Or so we thought until we read that the largest settlement of starlings in the UK had approximately 50,000 birds sleeping in one place. Em... Howard? I think you need to start paying rent.
In any case May is the month when egg laying/gestation (?) begins so perhaps Howard and co will be producing offspring sooner than us. I am fairly certain starlings are protected so it appears that we will be continuing our 6.00 am wake up calls for the near future... Oh the joys.

15 April 2010

In a bizarre turn of events...

My husband rang me this morning to tell me that I should check to see if my flight to Glasgow (I am due to speak at the Association of Art Historians Conference) had been cancelled. I am supposed to fly tomorrow morning and apparently UK and Irish airspace has been closed due to volcanic ash from an erupting volcano in Iceland. I have just emailed my panel organisers and used the words flight suspended erupting volcano in the same sentence. Bizarre.

13 April 2010

Wait, don't go anywhere I am still here!

First off apologies for the lack of posting. These last two months have been so incredibly busy. I think the expression is, when it rains it pours?

In PhD news I have nominated to the editorial board of a peer reviewed journal! I know it sounds glamourous but I am sure it is mainly copy editing. Well it will be good for the ol academic cv and great experience for me. My first peer reviewed publication has also come out in print! So I suppose its official, I am now a writer (ha yeah right!) but it has been a year long process from start to finish so I am glad that it has come to an end and I can now enjoy the fruits of my labours (or just my name in print). I am also preparing for a big conference at the end of the week (this is my lunch break) and am frantically revising my paper and hoping, praying that it makes sense. But work has been keeping me busy and I am delighted to find out that a good chunk of the pregnancy is already gone!

In personal news I am now either 25/26 weeks pregnant depending on which date we are going by. I have been feeling fairly well although I have developed a mild (fingers crossed) case of SPD. It seems to come and go as it pleases and I am trying to take precautions to be extra careful with how I sit, walk, lift and bend. Husband had a birthday at the end of March and little darling was there to blow out many many candles. She now insists on pick out her own clothes and seems to have a perchant for wearing her nightclothes as dayclothes and dayclothes as nightclothes. So now I have had to circumvent that issue by taking clothes out of her drawer and saying, 'Oh wow Nono bought this for you' or 'Look, this is from Aileen'. So far so good and she has been wearing a fresh set of clean clothes all week! I was also mildly concerned as she kept telling me, 'My tummy sore'. I couldn't figure out what was causing it until this morning I realised the little sponge was mimicking me. She told me, 'My tummy sore, no no no baby, don't hurt mommy's tummy.' It was so adorable the concern on her face. I tried to illustrate that the pain wasn't from the baby per se rather from the stretching of my ever expanding belly. I stuffed a ball under my shirt (ha barely any room) and said 'Now see how the ball makes mommy's shirt stretch, that is like what the baby does to mommy, but the baby doesn't hurt mommy.' Funny because I was wondering why in the last week she hasn't been as interested in the baby. Usually she is mimicking how the baby will cry or patting my stomach and saying hello.

23 March 2010


I have finally located a woman doctor in my area to attend as part of my combined care. Today was my first visit with her and she seems thoughtful and friendly, which I something I really look for in a doctor. During the course of our discussion about my previous pregnancy we began talking about the possibility of having another c section. I went in being pretty set on having a planned cesarian as I have often pondered over the situation that occurred during my last birth. I was devastated at the time that I had my emergency section. I was going to be the 'natural' mother who was going to try it without pain relief and so on and so forth. When the situation did not unfold as I had expected I was deeply disappointed. Obviously so much so that during the discussion with the GP today I began crying uncontrollably! Which was rather embarrassing considering I had only met the woman 5 minutes earlier. As we talked further she advised me to consider some options such as perhaps going private to ensure the section I wanted, or perhaps changing consultants to someone who had a better manner with patients. Now I am even more confused - women who have had successful VBAC's always rave about the experience. But I am concerned that VBAC rates here in Ireland are around 40 to 50 % which I don't think are great odds. Furthermore I get really stressed out thinking about the possibility of trying for a VBAC and then ending up with another emergency section. I'd much rather have the calmness that surrounds the process of going in to know when you will be sectioned without the 14 hour labour beforehand. But the natural birth is like the illusive oasis I am forever seeking in the desert. I know it is there, that it exists, and if I can only reach it I am sure it will satisfy my burning thirst. Oh you get what I am trying to say here. But doesn't a vaginal birth, combined with successful breastfeeding seem like the icing on the cake? My head actually hurts thinking about this. I just wish someone could guarantee me success so at least I wouldn't be so scared to try.

17 March 2010

Happy Paddy's Day

I know I've been terrible about updating my blog recently. The truth is I have been so incredibly busy that I haven't had much of a chance to do anything really. We did however get to spend some lovely time together on Mother's Day that included going for a nice lunch and walking around the street festival held on Merrion Square. It was even warm enough to wear sandals and a dress! Today we are heading down the the parade and food festival in Ashbourne. I probably would be looking forward to it more if I weren't feeling so under the weather. My right eye has been particularly irritated lately and is puffy and crusty in the morning. Gross I know. I've also developed a sore throat and am congested. Yuck. I am hoping that this will all be gone by this weekend as my birthday is on Sunday.

The pregnancy has been going very well. I am now 21 weeks and we had our scan last week. It was a relief to see the baby as I feel like I haven't seen a doctor in forever. I actually have to find a new gp as I am doing combined care and my old gp doesn't do free combined care anymore. It was a hard decision not to go back to her as she is really excellent but when I added up the cost of 6 pregnancy visits and a 6 week check up in addition to anything else I might need I just couldn't justify it. I've become rather uncomfortable lately when sleeping; there is a nerve in my upper leg that throbs if I sleep too long on my right side. I had this on the last pregnancy and conveniently forgot about it, I also have been experiencing a crazy amount of acid reflux from things as simple as oatmeal and cornflakes. Ah the joys.

24 February 2010

Parachute Pants

Oh where to begin?

I have been extremely busy over the last couple of weeks so I will try to catch you up on what has been going on.

Firstly to say that on the 13 February my little darling turned 2! It was a happy birthday spent with family. We took her to the Dead Zoo exhibition at Collins Barracks and later had a family dinner for her, which she loved.

Secondly I was going to post (but never finished the post) on my anger surrounding the Prime Time investigative report on the practice of symphysiotomies in Ireland. I have written to my three TDs to demand that the issue of an independent review is opened by the HSE. Apparently over 1500 women were maimed, sliced and diced and left with incontinence between 1950 and 1983. The rest of the western world had abandoned this practice in the early 20th century. Its use here, encouraged by the religious orders who ran the hospitals (oh surprise surprise the Catholic church was involved?) was revived so that women could not be limited in the amount of children they could have as c -sections were limited to three at those times. The stories on Prime Time were particularly horrific and the one that really affected me what the woman who never talked about it, but 40 years later recalled how when they sawed open her pelvis they perforated her baby's head in the process. The injustice of it all makes my blood boil. Childbirth is the most vulnerable time in a woman's life and to have these decisions made about your body WITHOUT your consent is absolutely insane. Furthermore these women deserve to have their voices heard and they deserve answers as to why when the rest of the medical community had tossed out this practice as BARBARIC this was being inflicted on them.

Finally, I have been having issues with my c- section scar recently. I was bitterly disappointed when I realised yesterday that I have a keloid scar. I thought that every woman who had a caesarian suffered from this type of disfiguration! My scar has been very irritated lately and I am finding it nearly impossible to sit comfortably with jeans (or anything else) on. So I have resorted to wearing parachute pants. Yes granny underwear that goes up to my navel. I am hoping that it does not get worse as my uterus expands with this pregnancy but I am certain it will.

08 February 2010

Chocolate Chocolate Everywhere

I have a problem. I am totally and utterly addicted to chocolate. It was bad on my first pregnancy, at one point I was definitely eating two chocolate bars a day. Husband once tried to rationalise with me and insisted that it wasn't good for the baby. The poor guy nearly had his head ripped off (I was 37 weeks at that stage - nothing was going to stop me from putting chocolate in my waiting gob). But this time I fear it is even worse. It all started at Christmas, the season for good eating, and here in Ireland, it is the time when family eagerly gather around giant tins of Caburys 'Roses' to pick out their favourites.

But I am not your average chocolate eater, unfortunately I can't be appeased with a Brazilian Dark or a Golden Barrel. My parents started the rather unfortunate tradition of buying us a small box of See's candy (Mixed Nuts and Chews) for Christmas. At Easter time we each got two large See's easter eggs, usually some kind of walnut whip and my favourite, a Bordeaux. Every year they have continued on with this tradition and usually on Valentine's Day Dad makes us each a red paper valentine that says be mine and it is accompanied by a small golden box of See's delights. Well the grinch was certainly to blame this Christmas. For the first year EVER there was no candy box tucked in with my Christmas presents. I tried not to think about it, tried not to care but I really missed my chocolate! When visiting Chicago for my friend Diane's wedding was I really hoping that we might happen across some See's, even though I knew they were a California thing.

Matters became worse when talking to my mother last week. 'Oh poor you!' she exclaimed sarcastically when I tried to explain that the holidays just weren't the holidays without my box of candy. (Hmm not unlike the time I tried to discuss being deprived of radishes as a kid). 'Mom!' I was rapidly losing patience, what little I have these days, 'You can't make something a family tradition and then one year just not do it anymore, it isn't fair!' I decided I would purchase my own box and send it to her house for her to include with darling's birthday gifts. However, I couldn't wait until the 13th February and decided to ship them to myself.

Today there was a knock at the door as I was working away on my lecture. It was two pounds of glorious chocolate. (Hey I figured if it cost so much to ship I should have at least bought a double order!) I customised the box with scotch marshmallows, dark california brittle, butterscotch squares, milk butterchews and my personal favourite, dark and milk chocolate bordeaux. I reverently lifted the lid and selected a dark bordeaux. Hesitantly I bit into it, not wanting this moment to end. It was like music to a pregnant woman's ears. Now my goal is to try to make them last as long as possible.

06 February 2010

Three words

Butternut Squash Ravioli.

The other day when passing the Asian market near the Jervis Centre a brainwave hit me. Wonton wrappers. They were my Italian grandmother's solution to quick and easy raviolis. I always remember to look for them when in Dunnes or Tesco's (neither of which sell them). But finally I marched myself in to the market and picked up four packs. This morning I took one out of the freezer and decided that today was the day. Coincidentally after I had already decided I would use the giant butternut squash that I had sitting on the counter, a cooking program came on with a recipe for butternut squash ravioli. Very simple to make and with a sage butter sauce with toasted pinenuts and rocket. The toasted pinenuts really make this dish. I wasn't sure whether or not to use the entire packet of wonton wrappers but figured I'd make some for darling's dinner. We were not disappointed - they were absolutely beautiful. Wonton wrappers, while not 'real' raviolis, were a great substitute (seeing as how I never did get that pasta machine for Xmas...). Darling wasn't too impressed but husband and I managed to make short work of our own portions plus her share.

31 January 2010


Another Sunday morning. I am feeling very well rested as little darling did not wake up last night and I was allowed to stretch out in my own bed. She is watching Dora in Irish, seriously not the same, and I am drinking a cup of strong coffee and enjoying a pastry. Today we are going into town, apparently there is a Trad festival on this weekend and there is a parade and a playground with ball pool set up at the civic offices on Wood Quay. Husband called me at 9.00 am and I was very surprised as generally he does like his sleep after a big night out. Much to my dismay he told me that he and the soon to be married Ben were in line for the Eiffel Tower after staying up all night. Somehow I don't think it is a good idea for two drunk guys to go up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Hope the railings are secure...

30 January 2010

I forgot to mention...

A post script to my previous posting:

Did I mention I am having fondue for dinner? Seriously how good does a giant pot of bubbling cheese sound right now. Dairy seems to solve all my problems.

Do you think it is excessive to have cheese fondue three times in one week?

Also just spoke to one of my best friends and I have been invited to Spain and France for a few days at the end of May. Even the mention of that trip has lifted my spirits! That girlie extravaganza will definitely make up for husband's absence this weekend don't you think?

Now back to dreaming about my cheese.

Bribery is the sincerest form of parenting...

Controversial no?

Let me set the stage for this tale of frayed nerves and limited patience.

My happy go lucky husband is away for the weekend in Paris. What is he doing in Paris? He is there for a bachelor party. Apparently Paris is the new... Vegas? Somehow I can't imagine 12 'lads' swirling their glasses of old world bordeaux. But I digress.

That leaves me and my little darling full blown toddler who is not two until next month but certainly demonstrates all the characteristics of a budding two-year old. As in TANTRUMS. I was lucky in that last night I got a 'break' before the weekend began. My sister in law watched darling for an hour and a half while I went to de-stress at my pregnancy yoga class. Feeling energised and zen I decided that I would cease to greet this weekend with trepidation but rather view it as a chance for darling and I to have some fun together.

Fun began at 12.15 AM. Cue crying and a little stuffed up voice calling, 'Mama' pathetically from her room. Apparently she does take after her father when sick. He is completely helpless when he is sick and often says,'But baby, I'm sick' in this whiney, sort of annoying voice. This was all conveyed through the calls of 'Mama'. Rather than sit up and try to get her back to sleep I took the easy option. Welcome to bed a la mama. We snuggled and she promptly fell back off to sleep. Job well done you say. Her little coughs kept me up most of the night and her horizontal position in the bed and constant kicking me in the boob finally convinced me that two could not sleep comfortably in our KING size bed. I moved to lay horizontally across the foot of the bed. At about 6 am I heard a worried voice, 'Mama?' searching for me. 'Yes down here!' Darling was relieved and fell back asleep for another hour.

Despite my lack of sleep and early 7 AM wake up call on a Saturday (so wrong, so wrong...) I decided let's have a big bowl of oatmeal and take her bike to the park.

Too bad it was FREEZING outside. And darling refused to let me push the back of the bike but instead insisted on scooting herself along (she can't use the pedals yet). Our progress to the playground was severely hindered by what some may term as 'wrongfootitis'. Or more commonly known as darling put her shoes on the wrong feet but refused to let me change them the right way around. We also forgot our gloves which meant every two seconds we had to stick our hands in our pockets. By the time we actually finished on the swings darling was cold, snotty and miserable. I had to carry her while pushing the bike and that is not easy to do in a huge puffer jacket, carrying a backpack, while pregnant and gimpy on a frosty path.

Was there anyway I could turn this excursion back in my favour? I desperately needed to get a coffee at the farmers market and decided a big cookie would make her forget her woes. Of course she picked out a mini pecan pie. I gently tried to dissuade her from her choice which was met with resistance and embarrassment as several 'good' parents with their angelic kids watched as both mother and child proceeded to have tantrums. Ok no not really just her, but I was DANGEROUSLY close. And when I get going no form of cookie will turn this ship around! I quickly ran to the muffin stall and bought the biggest double chocolate muffin I could find. Sitting her in my lap I broke it into pieces and we both began to shove the chocolately goodness into our mouths. While this feeding frenzy/ mutual bonding over chocolate was taking place a brief pang of guilt (my previous mantra I will never use sugar to parent) flashed across my brain but then I realised that it was either this or my sanity. Oh sweet chocolate. How could you ever compare with sanity.

The good news is darling is now passed out taking a nap. The bad news? It is only Saturday lunch time. A day and a half left to go.

29 January 2010

Mammydiaries has kindly tagged me in the "Ten Favourite Things" meme.

I am going to change this modify this slightly to read my ten favourite things about pregnancy list.

1. The moment of realisation when I felt the baby move. Today I confirmed what I thought I felt over the weekend - the flutters of tiny limbs inside. So exciting to feel them this early on the second pregnancy.

2. The cute things Cupcake does that involve the baby - even though it is still in utero. When you ask her where the baby is she lifts up her shirt and rubs her belly. Sometimes when we play make believe with her tea set she kindly offers baby a cuppa accompanied by some 'numies'.

3. I love sharing all my pregnancy highs and lows with my best friend (whoops when I typed that initially I put breast. I am still breast feeding obsessed.) This is the same friend who had a little girl two weeks after I did and guess what she is also pregnant again. And this time our due dates are 4 days apart. How cool is that?

4. The wonder and anticipation - what will this baby be like? who will they look like?

5 .Food. Not sure I really need to say anything else about that.

6. Milk. No not my own - cows milk. Nectar of the gods and my number one craving. How weird is that!

7. The changes are happening to my body. Sometimes scary, mostly cool but always surprising how adaptable the human body is.

8. Knowing that in several months time I will be breast feeding a little baby again. How exciting I have missed it so much.

9. The agonising struggle of suggesting names to my other half only to be told - ok put them on the list (when he doesn't really like them) or that we are not discussing the baby's name until we are at 8 1/2 months! I CAN'T WAIT THAT LONG. Choosing a name involves a huge thought process - our names, our daughter's name, our freakishly long double barreled last name. Not to mention my mother saying that it has to be something she can say and spell. Ha! No one can ever spell my name!!!

10. The unknown.

20 January 2010

Human Pincushion

Today was my first hospital visit to the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street. I was suitably impressed with my decision thus far to attend a semi-private clinic this time around. Last time I was frustrated with not seeing the same consultant - EVER and the terrible wait times for clinics. At the Rotunda it took 1 hour and 45 minutes to get everything taken care of. This time I breezed through in 30 minutes on the dot. Granted this is my second time doing this so perhaps I didn't have as many questions as I did last time. The midwife went through my medical history and gave me a slip of paper with information on a breastfeeding class available through the hospital. She asked me had I thought about breastfeeding, to which I answered I had thought of nothing else! I explained that Cupcake and I were breastfeeding partners in crime for 13 months. Well you are sorted so, was her response.

Next I had my bloods drawn, an experience I have come to dread since the last pregnancy. I don't mind needles and don't really notice the pain, it is more that I have become notoriously difficult to draw blood from. At one stage last time I had to visit the hospital three separate times for my bloods as they couldn't manage to fill a vial. The midwife managed 3 and a quarter vials on 'the good arm' before this cow ran dry so to speak. She had to stick me 4 other times in the right arm before declaring that we hit a snag. Apparently she had filled the vials in the wrong order - she filled the first one to be tested for sickle-cell anemia as is common practice for 'foreign born'. Although it is my understanding that it is predominant in ethnic groups from sub-Saharan Africa. I could have just told her I know I don't have it. The quarter vial was the one labelled for my blood group. Again I didn't think that this ever changed throughout the course of one's life time... And I have known since childhood that I am O+. Hopefully I will not be sent back for another round!

19 January 2010

The case of the inquisitive child

'Doing mama?' A small voice asks from another room.

'I am making dinner. What are you doing?'

Cupcake is sitting on the stair into the laundry room with the glass door closed behind her. Next to her is her stroller piled high with bear, ducky and puppy.

Sounds adorable right? The first several times I heard her ask this I got excited. This is where I can see she is starting to become curious about the world around her. Each time she asks the question of me I try to compose my answer with different words to describe the same action. I am hoping that the more descriptive I can be the larger her vocabulary.

But I have something to confess. As much as I like challenging myself to give differently phrased answers to the same question, I am often left feeling frustrated. I don't know how much she is actually comprehending. And I don't mean that I expect her to understand every single word I use. I mean more along the lines that now she has decided she likes this question she asks it non-stop. Let me rephrase that differently for emphasis- she sounds like a continuous broken record. In the space of one hour I could hear this question a million times. It has been difficult not to pull my own hair out. Sometimes I don't even get to finish my answer before she is asking the question. Now where is the fun in that? It is like she is micro-managing my every action!

15 January 2010

Bacon Waffles...

I'll admit it, breakfast for dinner is my favourite guilty pleasure. Tonight I gave in to the temptation and gorged myself on bacon waffles with mixed fruit and honey. It was delicious and nearly an hour later I want another one!!!

12 January 2010

Dairy Goodness

I have a curious affliction at the moment. Well I am not entirely sure I would call it an affliction, honestly I am not really sure what it is. But it involves milk, and drinking a lot of it. I have always been a milk drinker, seems to be a habit in our family and love the taste of it, especially non-fat (or skimmed). On my last pregnancy I slowly noticed an increase in my milk intake. I switched from non-fat to this delicious avonmore 1 % super milk with extra folic acid and vitamin D. After cupcake was born I found that the less I drank the more weight I seemed to lose (I guess not too surprising of a connection there...) But you may ask, really how much milk can one person drink in one day. I am embarrassed to say that I am now consuming nearly 2 Litres a day - TWO! You probably think I am insane but I can't seem to resist its cool, yummy refreshing taste.

I had a small panic attack when I stepped on the scale the other day and it registered that I had gained half a stone (7lbs). (Oh good news btw - I checked again this morning and let me just say I think the snow boots and ski jacket were not good additions the other day...) I have vowed not to let my eating get out of control simply because I am pregnant. The urge to eat waffles and bacon drowned in maple syrup every morning has been resisted by looking at some really awful fat pregnancy pictures. You may think this sounds ridiculous - of course I am going to get fat during my pregnancy. Yes I expect that but within a NORMAL range. I did gain over what was to be expected last time and let's face it - I can't afford a personal trainer so I am trying to take it handy the first trimester. Last time I managed to lose most of the baby weight in the year after cupcakes birth through a return to weight watchers and of course, nature's remedy... breastfeeding. It was really hard work though and giving the fact that I am not exercising regularly (read WALKING) due to previously lamented injury I want to make sure I am taking care of myself.

Why did I mention waffles and bacon? Now its all I can think about to have with my nice big glass of milk. :)

09 January 2010

They're Back...

Last week after eating a particularly large Chicago deep-dish pizza I noticed that I was unable to suck my stomach in. I don't think the reese peanut butter cups helped either. When I awoke the next morning I was disappointed to find that my bloated stomach had not gone back to its original shape. I made good use of my shopping time over there and hit up target for a pair of maternity jeans, two stretchy tank tops, a nursing bra (based on my size last time), a nursing tank and some comfy underwear. At Old Navy (my favourite store) I found a cute cardigan, a hooded wrap around sweatshirt and two more tops. Voile! Maternity shopping done!

I do not exactly fit into all these clothes yet but some of my skinny jeans are starting to feel a bit uncomfortable. Today I was up rooting around in my attic and uncovered a bag of maternity clothes I had saved from last time. Although if this weather is anything to go by I don't think I will be wearing it for a while. I was particularly excited to find a comfortable old maternity bra. Not exactly the most attractive thing in the world but perfect for lounging around the house. Luckily I have also saved 5 tops, two pairs of jeans and an adorable denim skirt from H and M. Now the key thing will be to accessorize these with cute cardigans, chunky jewelry and some cute boots (when freakish swollen foot can fit into it).

07 January 2010


Our holiday in Chicago was wonderful. Despite my misgivings about how I would get around in the weather it was actually not a problem at all. Obviously a place used to having such adverse weather conditions (cough cough unlike the place I live...) the roads and sidewalks were all salted and only once in week did we come across a patch of ice that I had to navigate with caution. I would have loved for my husband to see the city during the summer as it really is a city you need to get out and explore, especially with all the museums and different ethnic restaurants. We did manage to take in Navy Pier (which I liken to Fisherman's Wharf in SF), the Chicago Museum of History and the Field Museum. The Field Museum was AMAZING. I probably could have spent a week there, especially in the evolution exhibition with all these cool dinosaur skeletons. Cupcake loved seeing all the taxidermied animals, especially the tigers and the bears.

And of course the wedding was fabulous. The other girls in the bridal party were so much fun and reminded me of my friends at home. Cupcake really stole the show and was up crawling on the altar the entire wedding ceremony although my friend didn't mind. At one stage when the priest was blessing the eucharist she stood in between the matron of honour and the bride and extended her breadstick to the crowd. It was hilarious!

Now the pictures to ooh and aww over...

01 January 2010

Happy New Year!

The (brief) Decade in Review:
When I reflect on the last decade some huge changes have taken place in my life. There have definitely been some of the highest highs and the lowest lows.
1. Graduating from College and setting off for my European adventure. Little did I realise nearly 8 1/2 years later I would still be living in Ireland - the country where I had a work permit for only 4 months.
2. Making a home with my wonderful husband and having a beautiful daughter.
3. Undertaking a MA in Women's Studies. That really helped me to solidify what I wanted to 'do' with my life.
4. Things associated with my PhD - earning partial funding, being accepted for publication on my first peer-reviewed journal article, the opportunity to teach. All stepping stone towards my career.
1. Losing both of my Grandparents. When longevity runs in your family you feel like people will live forever. The loss of my Grandmother Marcelina (2003) crushed me and I still think about her everyday. The passing of my Grandfather (2006) was equally as devestating. I am lucky that in 2001 I was able to care for them full time, it gave me the opportunity to really know them as people not just as grandparents.
2. Periods of unemployment - my last stretch nearly exceeded a year. That was very difficult and quite demoralising.
3. Moving away from my family and friends. If I had a crystal ball and could have known how difficult it would be I wouldn't have done it. If I could have talked to my present day self and really understood the sadness I would feel when I think about raising my daughter away from them I would have decided differently. But I suppose now I have to make the best of it.
4. Breaking my ankle in 3 places - and all the pain and frustration that goes with learning how to walk again.
But all in all each and every of these experiences makes my life richer and enhances my sense of self.
Oh I almost forgot - one more personal high for 2009...
I am pregnant with my second child!
Here's hoping that 2010 will bring a happy and prosperous New Year and a healthy baby for our family.