Archive | January, 2010

Togetherness is….

30 Jan

If I could draw, I would have drawn little cartoons to accompany this post. Ones that look like the “Love is….” ones. But mine would feature a short tubby woman with a short tubby baby following her around everywhere.

Togetherness is… you hanging out of my leg while I try to pee.

Togetherness is… feeling toy trains run over my toes, accompanied by tooting and clickety-clacking.

Togetherness is… having every little thing investigated.

Togetherness is… wondering when I’ll get space to breathe.

Togetherness is… breathing in your smell, as you sleep on my chest.

Togetherness is… waking to you, honking my nose.

Togetherness is… when you grab my hand, taking me somewhere you want to go.

Togetherness is…something I treasure around 70% of the time. Please let Mammy pee by herself.

Written for Sleep is for the Weak’s writing workshop.Your prompt is ‘Together’. Share a scene or write something that encapsulates this feeling for you.

Ta daaaaaa

28 Jan

So, even though my sewing machine has been languishing a bit, sitting neglected and ignored for a few weeks, I have actually managed to make something! Yippeeeeeeee! Something I won’t be ashamed to wear! Or even admit t making. I think “re-purposing” might be the way to go, seeing as I’m not great at cutting or paying attention to what goes what way and madness like that. I mean, the ends are meant to be uneven. They are going to fray….I hope (although the jeans were “stretchy” so I have my doubts. Ahem.)

I now have the confidence to make….well….more of these. I am in the middle of ripping the seams of a pair of 3/4 length cream pants. Which will magically transform into a skirt! With front and back panels. Made from a too short ruffly skirt. Hopefully.

I followed the tips found on Not Martha, kind of. There was less fancy stitching involved in mine. But it seems to be holding out fine. Now, onto skirt made from pants, take two.

New words

26 Jan

The turtle’s world of words is exploding. So far this week we’ve had: eat, meat, milk, beach, bucket, pasta, water and bath. Then there was “pete”. I could not for the life of me what “pete” could be. No idea.  Until he led me to the fridge, pointed at one of his paintings and said “pete”. “Aah, paint, is that what you want?” He was delighted. When you finally figure out what he’s saying , he grins like a Cheshire cat. Thrilled.

So we painted. And had a great time. He nearly managed a complete sentence: “Don’t eat paint”. Something like that. He said, as he ate paint.

Next was the beach. “Beat”. Where he ate sand. I shall have to teach him the word “sand” before he’ll be able to say “Don’t eat sand” as he stuffs handfuls of it into his mouth.

Watching him as he masters language is a delight. He has quite a cache of words now. He can navigate the world quite well. Communicating clearly (to me) as he goes. He’ll look at you, repeating whatever word it is he wants to communicate until he is understood. And when he is, he beams. Beams.

I’m sure there will be a lot more beaming in the weeks and months to come. He’ll be a talker. I mean, he already is.

Modern “conveniences”

22 Jan

I’m doing it. That’s it. I’m retiring the dishwasher. I’m sick of it. Reducing my workload, my ass. I have a rather persnickety husband and dishes are as clean as a whistle going in. Honestly. Clean as a whistle. People (ILs, my family) have looked into the dishwasher and asked “Are these clean?” Usually the answer is “No” because they haven’t run through the dishwasher. But we all know that they are, for all intents and purposes, “clean“. That’s why they laugh. The hubby has even been known to ask if the dishes are clean. And I have been known to answer “Yes….but they haven’t been through the dishwasher”.

I don’t like using all of that water and electricity. I dislike how water pools in bowls and things, even though they are supposed to come out “dry”.  And sometimes it melts things!! Finally, I hate unloading the blooming thing. It’s not “back breaking”, but it’s as close as it gets for me.

So, tomorrow I’m buying a dish rack. Things will be washed. Put in the rack. Perhaps dried with a dish towel. Perhaps air dried. And probably put away. Aaaaaaaaahh!

It may not be “convenient”, but it will be simplified.

Now, how to convince the hubby…….?

Craft Hope for Haiti

19 Jan

Click on the badge above to be brought to the wonderful Craft Hope shop on Etsy. If you can’t afford to buy anything, maybe you can donate something?


18 Jan

Sewing…. it must be good for the soul. It has to be. Otherwise why would it be so bloomin’ frustrating?

I’m trying to make some “Huck Finn pants” from Weekend Sewing. Trying. Some problems I encountered last night:

  • the foot pedal wouldn’t work. The light worked but the foot pedal did nothing. I contemplated taking it apart. Wondered if it would void my warranty. Wondered what my warranty was. So I googled and googled. For almost an hour. Then the hubby came in and I told him my machine wasn’t working. “Look!” I said, “Here, I’ll try another outlet, just in case”.  What happened? It worked, no bother. It would seem we live “in the house that Jack built.” There was some swearing. Blooming house! Grrrr!!
  • I had sewn the two legs of the pants together on the machine’s last outing. Instead of the crotch. With the smallest stitches known to man. I hadn’t changed the stitch length setting. I hadn’t even noticed the dial. The material was an off cut and I have none to spare. I spent over half an hour trying to unpick the stitches, before I gave up.
  • I remeasured my pieces against the pattern. Luckily, I had cut a generous seam allowance. So I was able to cut off the bit I had made the mistake on. And sew the actual crotch this time.
  • Then the bobbin ran out of thread. Cue 10 minutes of bobbin fiddle faddling.

And I now, after hours of frustration and swearing have the skeleton of a pair of pants. I suspect they’re sewn up wrong, but I’m painstakingly ignoring any and all flaws. As soon as I figure out how to topstitch a seam that has already been sewn, I’ll be ready for hems and elastic. Then I’ll bribe the turtle into wearing them with chocolate.


One year on…

17 Jan

The turtle is 18 months old today. It’s one year since he started eating. Not to the day. But around a year. I did think that the actual date would be forever emblazoned on my brain. Sadly not. I do remember his first tooth though, February 5th. See, I’m not that bad. If only I’d had more than good intentions when it came to that pile of “Your First Year” books.

What I do remember is an intense pressure to wean. From around November (4 months). Mainly from my mother. “Is he not eating yet?” On and on and on. “When will you give him a spud?” On and on and on. I told her he could have Christmas dinner. Luckily he was sleeping. I did give him some fruit puree though. From time to time. Just to relieve the pressure. I was living with my parents at the time. My energy to argue only went so far.Being the mother doesn’t count for that much when you’re also the daughter.

As the magical 6 month mark approached, I bought a hand blender yoke. Ready to make my own slop. Lovingly. For my son to eat. I did. Twice? Three times? Lentils and everything. It wasn’t that bad, like soup. Much better than those jars of things. I’m not even able to look at them without feeling sick, but then I’m the same when it comes to tins of soup. Anyway, no matter what I slopped up he wouldn’t really eat it. Two or three days we tried. The day it took an hour to get a few spoons into him, with my mother jangling keys in front of his face to distract him. That was the day. The day I decided that this was just wrong. It shouldn’t be this hard. There must be another way.

There was. Baby led  weaning. I found out as much as I could on the t’interweb, ordered the book, and retired the blender. The difference was almost instantaneous. There were no more battles of wills. Between me and the turtle. Or between me and my mother (she took to her bed with her Rosary beads, mortally afraid that he would choke). There wasn’t much eating for the first few weeks. Months?

There was a lot more mess and a lot more fun. There still is quite a bit of mess. The turtle has a penchant for throwing plates. There’s fun to be had too. Mealtimes are just soooo relaxed. There’s no bargaining. No “One more bite”. No bribery – although if I thought it would work in getting him to stop throwing plates I might consider it.

He eats a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, beans, meat, fish. Everything, really. Except raw tomatoes. But then I won’t eat them either. I won’t even touch them (although I am getting better). He isn’t suspicious of new foods. He’ll give everything a shot. He prefers peas to ice cream.

Going down the BLW route was probably one of the best parenting decisions I’ve ever made. I trust my son to eat when he’s hungry and stop when he’s full. I don’t worry about food quantities. So long as his food intake is balanced over the course of the day (or even the week) I don’t worry about any one meal. All of the options he gets are healthy ones. He loves his food. He’s a happy, healthy little boy. And hopefully I’ll never be in the position of the father I saw today, coercing a small boy into eating “one more bite” ….. of pizza.

If only he would stop throwing plates, mealtimes would be a dream.

Friday Five

16 Jan

Busy, busy day!

Sick of my own moaning, today I got out of the house. Right now I even have two e-vites in my inbox for playdates! Playdates with real people. Here, in Florida! Yay!

So, five things we did today:

  • we went to our Creative playtime class
  • then the park, where we had a little picnic
  • next the library, where we tried to sign up for toddler time, but it’s full, booo
  • this evening, we went to another park where they had “Movie in the Park” and watched Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs and had another picnic
  • finally, the bookstore, for the turtle to play with trains (and to change his nappy, it was a bit too cold and dark for outdoor nappy changing).

As I said, a busy, busy day. I’m wrecked. There is no way I have the energy for this kind of pace. I’ll try though. At least until I have met some real life people. And at least all of this activity stops me from wasting my days playing stupid games on Facebook (I’ve deleted my Farms!!)

I will be socialised.


13 Jan

I do have a wonderful husband and the best small child in the whole world. And we have a great time. Still though, there are things I miss.

Things I miss about being young, free and single:

  • going out for the night
  • sleeping in
  • reading books from cover to cover
  • sitting around doing nothing

Things I miss from Ireland:

  • my family, no matter how crazy they drive me
  • friends
  • the friendliness of people, generally – people, strangers, who have time for a chat and who are not weird
  • the health system, flawed and all as it is, at least I understand it and can see a doctor whenever I want

The thing missing from my life here:

  • friends, real life people who’ll sit down across the table from me and have a cup of coffee or something. And just talk. Phones, skype, the internet generally, are all well and good, but actual human contact would be good from time to time. I am trying. Going to mother and baby groups and the like but I’ve yet to meet anyone I’ve exchanged more than ten words with. I’m hoping to try another, different one this week, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

For Sleep is for the Weak’s Writing Workshop. Prompt #2


12 Jan

Ever since I heard of little Faith’s death, a poem by Seamus Heaney has been rambling around in my head. Mainly the last line ” A four foot box, a foot for every year.” Every time I hear of a small child dying this poem visits my head and won’t come out. Maybe sharing it will help.

Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney

I sat all morning in the college sick bay
Counting bells knelling classes to a close.
At two o’clock our neighbors drove me home.

In the porch I met my father crying–
He had always taken funerals in his stride–
And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.

The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram
When I came in, and I was embarrassed
By old men standing up to shake my hand

And tell me they were “sorry for my trouble,”
Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest,
Away at school, as my mother held my hand

In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs.
At ten o’clock the ambulance arrived
With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.

Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops
And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him
For the first time in six weeks. Paler now,

Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple,
He lay in the four foot box as in his cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.

A four foot box, a foot for every year.

Sometimes things just get stuck in your head.
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