Dublin Days

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Evil Creatures

I have given birth twice with no pain relief...and the sting I got on my ankle today from one of these guys was more painful than that. Four hours later and it still hurts. I think I want an epidural now.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


This has been a week of great change in our house: Síofra and Paddy have started at their new creche (daycare, Americanos). We started on Monday for 2 hours, and today they stayed for 3 hours and even had their lunch there.

The Good News: Síofra has given us no surprises and totally loves it there. Part of this could be that she's the biggest girl in the place--I'm not sure if she's the oldest, but she sure is the tallest. She has outgrown all her 3 year old clothes in length, to the point where it's probably cruel to make her wear them because she looks pretty uncool with trousers too short on her. And you know she loves her fashion.

The Other Good News:
Paddy, my super-attached-mama's boy-hanging off my hip toddler, DID surprise us...he loves it, too! In fact, he doesn't even cry when we leave him there, but he does cry when I take him home. This could be because he loves pushing the dolls around in this there (and ours recently got lost at the park). What can I say, he'll be a good daddy.

So this is a big relief to me as I head into the final two weeks of my extended, 18 month maternity leave. I am feeling mixed about going back to work. Most of my fear relate to manic mornings trying to get out of the house, and exhausted evenings in the house. But for the most part I am just trying to enjoy these last few weeks.

Next stop: Donegal, to brush up on my Gaeilge.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Cuppa Heaven

There's a saying that many of Ireland's invaders eventually became "more Irish than the Irish themselves." After 10 years in this country, I fit into this category on many levels, including my love of a cup of tea. The peace and quiet that descends when both children are asleep can only be celebrated properly with a nice cuppa. The ritual of the preparation fuels my addiction. The anticipation as the kettle begins to groan, the long wait while the tea steeps; these only add to the experience. Try it.

1. Boil the kettle.

2. Scald the pot with a bit of boiling water.

3. Empty out that scalding water.

4. Drop in 2 teabags. (Seriously, click and then go to "Our Ads" and click on TV Commericals. My favorite is "Well Deserved.")

5. Fill the teapot with boiling water.*

6. Let it steep. Don't skimp on this; wait at least 7 minutes.

7. Add your drop of milk. Not too much, not too little.

8. Now, fill your cup with tea.

9. Now you're ready. Fix yourself up with a banana muffin, a book and a comfortable couch, making sure that your end table with the teapot on it is nearby so you don't have to get up to get a hot sup.

This, my friends, is heaven.

*The author notes that, yes, it is difficult to pour boiling water into a teapot and take a photograph at the same time. Exercise caution if you try this at home.

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten where I come from. How could I with this mug to remind me?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pump up the Volume

Síofra's race to become more and more independent took a great leap forward today at the park. At long last, after many lessons, she has finally learned to pump her legs on the swings. Hallelujah! Whilst I was enjoying the benefits that the 45 minute swing pushing workouts were having on my biceps, now I'll enjoy being able moniter Paddy on the climbing frame more closely, and avoiding that last minute, heart stopping grab I've had to make at him as he leaps for the monkey bars and swings his little 18 month old body 3 feet above ground. Or maybe I'll be able to take a sip of my latte before it goes completely cold. Or have a conversation that lasts longer than 2 sentences with another park mama. The changes this will bring to life are many.

In other news...we had a great visit from Tony, Daithi's brother, and a nice day spent in Cork with all the Doolans. We even sat next to a celebrity on the train on our way back to Dublin. Apparently a hot shot in Sudan...he was pretty quiet, but maybe that's just being cool. And he didn't seem to notice Síofra singing "Mama Africa" at full throttle.

Umm...news regarding Paddy; not much, just that the hair keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger. He attracts so much attention for the hair, especially from Grandpa types at the park. They like to call him "Curly Wurly," "Curly Top" and "Bubbles."