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.