Archive | April, 2010

Negating the negativity

24 Apr

You know you’re an adult when you’re in your parents’ house, longing to go “home”. I am. I’m an adult. And I want to go home. Not this minute, but Tuesday, as scheduled. Volcanoes, ash clouds and airport madness permitting. I’m ready though. I know it’s wrong to “wish your life away” but I wish it were Tuesday and we had landed in Orlando already. No further into the future, because of the wrongness of wishing your life away, but just far enough into the future to make me feel a bit calmer. I’m not entirely sure why I tie myself up in knots over these types of things, because there is absolutely nothing I can do. Doesn’t stop me breaking out in a cold sweat, though, does it?

So, to negate all of the negativity here are some things I’m enjoying about being here:

  • people actually understanding what I am saying. “Divided by a common language” and all of that. But it’s not just linguistic though, is it? It’s cultural. And the differences are more pronounced when you’re speaking the same language.  Weird.
  • seeing the turtle interacting with so many different people, picking up new words like a little sponge – my new favourite is “G’luck” said instead of goodbye, as is the Irish fashion.
  • chocolate and crisps. American chocolate is rotten. And you can call them “kisses”, but really, that doesn’t make them taste any less like vomit. And crisps, there are only three or four flavours over there. Honestly. What’s that all about? And no, I don’t like corn chips or tortilla chips or whatever they’re called, so they’re not counted. Proper salt and vinegar. Yum.
  • TV. I just like Irish (and British) TV better. Unapologetic vulgarity has a lot to be said for it. Beeping? What’s the point? I also (perhaps perversely) like the fact that I can’t help but be well-informed because there aren’t that many channels, and it takes a bit of work to avoid the news and current affairs programs. While NAMA and the bankers and their pensions may be a bit annoying, at least I know what’s going on and am not relying on Facebook for “news”. I like being “informed” and really must make more of an effort.

Dear so and so….

23 Apr

Dear Icelandic volcano (who’s name no one can pronounce),

If you could please stop spurting ash all over Europe, I would really appreciate it. Wednesday, you can go back to doing whatever you like. But if I could get to the other side of the Atlantic, relatively unscathed with little or no delay, I would be eternally grateful and would promise most sincerely not to ever spurt ash all over you.


Worried, even if there is no real reason anymore.


Dear random people “down the town”,

I would love it, love it, if you would stop giving my son lollipops, ice-creams, and other bits and bobs of confectionery. He’s not used to that much refined sugar. As a matter of fact, he has had more sugar this week than he has had in the entire rest of his life combined. I’m starting to worry about his teeth. And beginning to wonder if the only way I can avoid all of the sugar is to keep him in the house because it doesn’t matter what I say, none of ye listen to me.


Dancing around in silent frustration like a lunatic.


Dear Me,

Stop swearing, for f*ck’s sake! You can blame being in Ireland all you want, but keep it up and your son’s first swear word WILL be your fault,

Cop on to yourself.


Dear Reader (s?)

Visit 3bedroombungalow and join in.

It’s fun!


Uncle Norman

16 Apr

Some pictures of our adventures.


15 Apr

There has been no puking for 48 hours (she says, jinxing it). Not only that, there has been eating. And more eating, and more eating. Hurrah! She says quietly, just in case the Gods of small children and vomit are listening.

In other news, about the small boy, his speech is coming on in leaps and bounds. He knows everyone’s names. Even the dog’s, well sort of. The dog’s name is Paulo (after a musician of some sort, a guitarist, I think) and he calls him “Paul”. There’s a lot of “Pa-ul … baaaket … out, out,out!” He’s still a bit wary of poor “Paul”, but he’s getting used to him. Him and next door’s dog “Ggyp-shee” (Gypsy).  Other things he has learned:

  • his surname – so cute!
  • “Wheya ah ya?”
  • “Play wit me?”
  • “Goin’ shopssss”
  • “Chips!”
  • “I got it”
  • “‘Merica” – in response to the question “Where is Grandma/Papa?”
  • “Pear”
  • “My do it”
  • “sink”
  • “sweep”

And so many more. My brain is hiding. Oh, “walrus” is another one. But there are many, many more. He was already a blatherer, but now that he has so many people to interact with, well there’s no stopping him. None.

It’s great fun watching him though. Great fun!


14 Apr

I don’t know what’s going on. The turtle is as comfortable pottering around here as he is in his own skin. There’s nothing new in this environment. No new foods. Nothing. Yet he has puked almost every day since we arrived. Not sick or ill. Just puking. Out of nowhere. And he’s eating very little. Hardly anything. I just don’t understand it.

I have a theory that it’s the milk. He has never had Irish milk. Until now. He had a cup today, after a break yesterday. And it’s staying down. So far. So I’m either right, or completely wrong.

Today, he has eaten a slice of toast; a sausage; four grapes; two crisps (he doesn’t like them); a couple of jelly tots (didn’t like them either) and about 6 chips. That’s it. Oh, and a cup of milk and two capri-suns. What is it with people giving small children capri-suns? No, he has not had them before. No, I am not surprised he likes them, they’re full of sugar. No, you’re not to buy a box of them. If random people give them to him, grand. He’s not having them everyday. No way.

Got a bit off track there. Ahem. Where was I? Oh yeah, he’s not eating. I know that there’s no point in forcing anything into him. There’ll just be a big fight. He has a stronger will than I do and he’ll win. Not only that, he’ll puke. So he has been offered loads of things. And eaten none of them. Chicken? No. Noodles? No. Beans? No. Potatoes? No. Beef? No. Egg? No. Cheese? No. Random vegetables? No. Random Fruit? Sometimes.

I’m at a bit of a loss now. All of the favourites have been turned down. Except sausages and chips. And capri-suns. I’m that mother. After all of my trouble to give him a wide variety of healthy foods. A couple of weeks ago he was mad for mussels. And parmesan. And garlic. Strong flavours.

I’m torn between being happy that he’s eating anything at all (and keeping it down) and only giving him “healthy” things. At the same time, I think “Meh, we’re on holidays!” Then again, we won’t really be on a regular schedule or anything until at least the middle of June (she says, being optimistic, and thinking we’ll find a house within two weeks) so I should really try and have some kind of standards.

In conclusion, I’m driving myself a bit mental.

What’s new there then?


12 Apr

There’s great comfort in being “home”, isn’t there? Of course home is now where my little family is, yet, at the same time, it’ll still always be my parents’ house. Always. It doesn’t matter that I’m doing all of the parenting and mothering. Or the cleaning. Or the cooking. It’s the familiarity. The smells. The sounds. The memories. Not to mention the people.

I’m lucky in that this is the only house I ever remember living in as a child. We moved here when I was around 18 months or so and I lived here until I went to university at 17. And again on and off until almost a year ago. There was talk of moving a few years ago, but nothing came of it. And, selfish as it may be, I’m a bit glad. It would be weird if this house existed and wasn’t ours. Just weird. Weird. Weird. Weird. “Home” will always be here.

And I think that this is especially true now that we’re a military family. I think that this will be the constant for us. The place we can always come to. Maybe not for the hubby, but for me, and, by the looks of it, the turtle too. You would honestly think he had never left. Everything seems to be familiar to him. He is comfortable everywhere and with everyone here.

If the hubby gets deployed the (tentative) plan is that the turtle and I come here. Perhaps rent somewhere nearby, just so we’re not all on top of one another, smothered. The theory is that we would have more support here. Not just familial, but community support too. There are good and bad points to small towns, but the best has to be the support that seems to be there whether you want it or not.

So we’re “home” now. Then we’ll be at home in Florida for a week or so, before we move to California to make a home there. Knowing that this place will always be here is comforting and makes all of the other changes that are coming that much easier to deal with. Well, I can imagine myself dealing with the changes of the coming months. Whether I will or not remains to be seen.

We’ve landed!

10 Apr

We’re here! In Ireland! And if you saw the turtle, you’d think he never left. “He hasn’t made a bit strange” is a constant refrain. “He’s a great young fella” is another. Not to mention “You could bring him anywhere.” You could though. The plane journey, for all of my worrying, wasn’t bad at all.

He didn’t sleep for the first 5 hours. Excitement? Or something. He sat fairly quietly though. “Watching” the tv. Shouting at it. No sound, he wouldn’t countenance the earphones. There was some colouring too. And stickers. And the two little girls next to us. Then there was Gordon. We got him a couple of trains to open on the plane. And he hasn’t left Gordon down since. All of the other toys and randomness I brought with me were superfluous. Luckily too, we were in the bulkhead. And on a flight from Orlando. No matter what, there’ll always be other worse kids on a plane to/from Orlando. And being in the bulkhead meant we got a “bassinet”. What makes a cardboard box a bassinet? A few pillows. He slept in there for an hour or so. Then woke up, shouting “Mammy! Stuck!” Then he slept on my lap for an hour, woke up, drank all of my orange juice and fell back asleep. Until I woke him after we landed.

I had planned on changing his clothes before we arrived into something more suitable than shorts, a t-shirt and no socks. But he was sleeping. I also thought that there would be a jet way (is that what they’re called? The corridors that mean you don’t have to go outside?) But no. Out we came. 5 degrees Celcius (37 Farenheit). A small boy. Perished. Used to 85 Farenheit (30 Celcius). And no sign of the buggy. For a good ten minutes. Brrrrrrrr! Then I had to go through the foreign, foreign immigration line. You know, the not Irish, not EU line. The line where they ask you questions. And you probably should have some kind of form filled in (I didn’t). The turtle still doesn’t have his Irish passport. “Born here, was he? Getting his Irish passport, is he?” said the garda at the immigration desk. More of a command than anything. “Yep”, said I. And he will. As soon as I get myself organised and all three of us are on this side of the Atlantic for more than a couple of days. Someday. Ahem.

Where was I? Oh yeah, through Immigration. Then there was luggage to collect. Why, oh why is Dublin airport designed so that you have to walk the whole way down the luggage hall to get your suitcase, then turn around and drag your suitcase all the way back down the way you came? So that you have people wandering up and down, taking the ankles off of each other with luggage carts. You would thing the door would be at the end of the luggage hall. Then you would only have people walking one way. How hard is that? Honestly? We made it through unscathed. With a small boy in a harness. Walking dreadfully slowly. Annoying all of the busy people. Taking his time. Absorbing everything. I had to get a cart. My suitcase was 50lbs on the nose. Then I had a 20lb car seat. And an umbrella stroller. A lot to manage with a small curious boy. Thankfully my brother was waiting for us.

Once we got the car seat installed, forward facing for the first time, we were off. I thought the turtle would conk out as soon as we got on the road. Nope.  He was in the car for three hours before he fell asleep. Watching everything. You don’t really see cows and sheep in Florida. He has only really seen them in the zoo. And that’s where he thought he was, almost the entire way down. Pointing at every field, shouting “Park! Park! Stop!”, before exhaustion overcame him and he passed out for an hour. Until mean Mammy woke him. To surprise Granny.

My brother had told her he was going kayaking for the weekend, so when he walked in she asked him what he was doing home “It was cancelled” he said. Then we walked in. “F************CK” said she. “Ye b*llockses ye!” She nearly had a heart attack. She’s still looking around going “I can’t believe ye’re here. Me boyeen! And me baby!” Delighted is probably the best word. Delighted.


7 Apr

After a medical at which I learned that I was at least 20 pounds heavier than my already heavy estimation I have badgered the hubby into going “running” with me. To be fair to me, I had been badgering him to take me for  quite a while before the shock of my own mass kicked the badgering up a notch.

So I am now a “runner”. These fellas (“”) are included because I’m not great at it. And I feel like I’m pretending. Another thing that doesn’t help is that I used to laugh at people jogging along the street. They just look so unnatural and ungainly. Olympians probably look quite natural, but the rest of us, mere mortals, look a bit ridiculous. There’s no denying it. I see people run and I think “That is why we should only run if there is an emergency.” But I have to do something. Otherwise I’ll be the size of a house. Blooming buffalo wings and cheese. And no will power. Waaaaaaaah!

I’m not doing too badly, I think. The first evening the hubby took off like a jack rabbit (he’s in the military and fit) leaving me in a pool of sweat, breathing like someone who smokes 40 a day, in under a minute! Yes that is right, I could not run for a minute without collapsing (I say run, but you know I mean jog, right?) That first evening I could barely manage to run from one lamppost to another without lying down and having a bit of cake. The next day, having thought about it and drudged up some bit of fluff from one of those reality tv shows that I don’t watch, ahem, I set the timer on my watch for 3 minutes. So I ran for 3 and walked for 3. On and on until we had done a mile and a half (or so).

On Sunday, I got a bit ahead of myself and set the timer for 6 minutes. Things didn’t go so well. Running before I could walk and all that. So now I’m at run for 4 and walk for 2. The theory being that next week I’ll run for 5 and walk for 1, the week after 6 and 1, the week after, I don’t know, I haven’t gotten that far. But soon, I’ll be running … far.

The only fly in the ointment is that I’m off to Ireland tomorrow. Without my running partner and Mr Motivator himself, the hubby. I’m doubting my commitment already. People know me over there. They’ll laugh. Nobody runs unless something’s on fire. It’s cold. Hailstoning. I’ll be on holidays….

But I will do my best. I don’t want to be the mother at the school gates in one of those scooter things, too fat to walk. Jamie Oliver is over here now. There’s a food revolution. I must try harder.

Dear So and So

5 Apr

Dear visitors,

I’m glad you were here for the hubby’s promotion. It meant a lot to him. But it meant a lot of work for me. Four loads of towels in four days. Seriously? This is not a hotel. Even hotels make you feel guilty about getting your towels washed everyday with their signs about gallons of water and detergent and whatnot. Do I need to print out signs like that? Do I? I will, you know. And how hard is it to put the recycling in the recycling bin?


Not mentioning the chewing tobacco and the spit cups all over the house….

Dear hubby,

I know you thought I was just being mean when I said I didn’t trust your parents to look after the turtle. Thank you for saying you see where I’m coming from when your mother shut down entirely when the turtle cried because he wasn’t getting his own way. Yes, that is what I’m worried about. I’m not saying it’ll be forever, but for right now, I can’t let them take care of him.

Thanks for understanding.

Dear Mam,

I  know you’re busting to get over here and see us. And I know you want to book tickets and you’re waiting for me to tell you dates. But try and wait until Friday. Please. And if you could shelve your suspicious nature for now, so that you are actually surprised, that’d be great.

We’ll see you on Friday.

Dear house,

If you could see fit to cleaning yourself and maybe sorting out that load of towels in the washing machine?


Thinking about those towels and losing the will to live.

Dear suitcase,

How would you feel about packing yourself full of whatever Winter clothes you can find and standing beside the door?

You have until Thursday.


Panicking again.

Dear turtle,

I’m thinking that waking you up at 5am so that we could drive out to the Cape and watch the shuttle may have been a mistake. I’m sorry. Try not to be too grumpy. And Mammy will too.

We won’t be here for the next one you see…..

Check out 3 bedroom bungalow‘s letters

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