Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Rice, carrot, pear, and banana...

What do these things have in common? They are foods we are going to give the Boyo very soon, because we have just started him on solids!

My mother thought we should do it weeks ago. She also thinks we should use formula and Pampers because they're 'so cheap' (breastfeeding and cloth nappies are cheaper!)

The WHO (World Health Organization) thinks we should wait until he's 6 months old. I don't see the WHO 'round here in the middle of the night offering to feed him. He'll be 5 months on Sunday, I think that's pretty good.

I think it's the right time -- he's been waking up earlier and earlier, and sometimes cries when he's done feeding (I think he's hoping I'll whip out a third one).

The Boyo thinks it's the right time. When I'm eating and holding him, he watches every bite go into my mouth, and tries to grab the fork.

So with a teeny tiny twinge of sadness that my little guy isn't wholly dependent on me (have to keep reminding myself that's a good thing) we have begun. Yesterday was his first bit of rice cereal and milk. He ate up happily, spit most of it up shortly after, and had a terrible night. But hopefully tonight will be better. And tomorrow he gets carrot!

Monday, September 11, 2006


It has been great to re-connect with some people in my past lately. I had been looking for some Christian fellowship. Who knew it would come (via computer) from Ohio...

Here are some pictures of my kids for you to enjoy. Check out that blond hair and those dimples!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Prayer Request

For all my millions of readers out there...

Please pray for Baby Rory, a little guy born in May who was 10 weeks early. He is due to have heart surgery tomorrow. It's already been cancelled once due to lack of beds in the ICU at the Children's Hospital. I can only imagine how stressful the whole situation must be for his family, and then to have it be put off. Pray for his parents, too.

Three Men

Surprisingly, since I usually only have room in my head for baby things (and a small corner somewhere for minstry) this week in our household we've been talking about 3 men and the influential week this has been for them. They are Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, who tragically died this week; Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of the UK who announced his resignation in May, and a leader in our movement who annonced his resignation in October.

Although all three of these men had loyal followers and people who disagreed with them, I am somewhere in the middle with my opinion of all of them. But this is certain: all 3 took risks, some of which were foolish, some of which were extraordinairely brave, and some of which lost them a great deal of their popularity. And that is what I want to congratulate them for -- taking risks even when other people didn't always understand.

I want to try in my life to take unpopular (but not foolish) risks. As the poster in our office says "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten." (I don't particualrly agree with the grammar of the statement, just the concept).

And may God bless their wives and families who stood by them while they were taking risks, and are most certainly hurting now.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

What's that smell?

For those of you who don't watch a Bear in the Big Blue House video every single day (multiple times, I confess...) you may not recognize this catchphrase. The Bear always starts the show with a sniff and then guesses what his viewers might smell of...pancakes? grass? clean pajamas?

If that Bear were to enter my house today he would say:
1 "Did your little boy just pee on you? Because your house smells like pee!"
2. "Did your little girl just do a poo in her nappy? Because your house smells lke poo!"
3. "Have you just been thrown up on? Because your house smells like baby puke!"
4. "Do you have a bucket of nappies waiting to be emptied? Because your house smells like 3 day old nappies!"

"No, wait..." (he'd say) "Do you have a dead bird in your chimney? Because your house SERIOUSLY smells of a dead rotting thing!"

"Or maybe you smell this bad all the time...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

No screaming

The Boyo is finding his voice. When babies are new they don't make any noise but cry, then they start to make those lovely little coos and R2-D2 noises. and eventually they start to talk which is really cute. But in between there's an annoying stage where they shriek, not because they are upset, but just because they can. And we're at that stage.

That would be irritating on its own, but we already have one screamer in the house -- Bupsy. She screams primarily for one of 3 reasons:
1. She wants attention (because I am in the next room, or am talking to someone)
2. I am using a loud voice, like calling down the stairs to my husband, or getting frustrated about something (her screams are actually a good reminder for me to calm down and speak more quietly).
3. The Boyo is crying or screaming (which is like 1&2 combined -- she's not getting attention and there's a loud noise going on).
And as I said, there's a lot of #3 at the moment. So they are both screaming. A lot.

When the Bups screams (and let me be clear, this is not an "I'm hurt" scream) I either speak more quietly, ignore her, or get very close to her and say 'No screaming' in my Serious Mommy voice. But I thought it's not fair for her to get told off for screaming when he's doing it too. So I use the Serious Mommy voice on him, too. It feels very weird to be disciplining a not-quite 4 month old! In the name of fairness though, and rule-consistency, I do it. Of course, it doesn't make any difference. He keeps screaming.

So does she.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Seven-Year Itch

Monday was our seven year wedding anniversary. We actually went out for a meal and to see a movie. Thank God (seriously!) for kids who are in bed by 7:30 and a babysitter who knows you don't necessarily have to pick up a baby who is making little whimpering noises. We had a really nice time.

I'm not feeling 'itchy' in my relationship with my husband at all. We spend a lot of time together-- we work together, and have done for the past 6 years -- so that means sometimes we don't have anything interesting to say to each other (what did you do today? That's right, I know, I was there). But we have a lot of laughs, he's so great with the kids, and I just love him! Not in that fluttery way I did when we first met, but in a really wonderful, solid way.

To commemorate 7 years, I tried to have a theme of 'seven' on Monday night -- order number 7 off the menu...well, that's as far as it went. But, here it is, seven great things about my husband:

1. That English accent. Still love it so much.
2. Every night, he makes sure all the doors are locked and turns off the lights.
3. He cooks. Not just defrosting chicken nuggets, or being the opposite, a guy who feels like he must make really fancy stuff. He makes pasta sauce and shepherd's pie and barbecue chicken -- in fact, he cooks most nights while I feed the baby.
4. He's a really good host whenever people come to our house, whether it's just for tea or to stay a few days.
5. He has a special song he sings to the kids when he puts them to bed.
6. He is the BEST driver I have ever been in the car with. Every other person (honestly) makes me feel carsick, but he is really good, and even tries to avoid the potholes for me.

And last but oh, so definitely not least ...
7. He empties the cloth nappy bucket (where they have been soaking for several days). If you have never been in close contact with one of these receptacles, you will just have to imagine how great he is for doing it every time. It is really stinkin' (literally!) great of him.

And that is why my husband is awesome. Do you hear me sweetheart? AWESOME!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Happy Birthday Bupsy!

Today The Bups is 2 years old!!! She is so funny and sweet and cute, and only had maybe two tantrums today (plus hit her brother once). So since she is such a big girl now, I am handing the computer over to her for her very own 'meme'...

3 Things that scare me:
The toilet in a public bathroom
The toilet in our house
The toilet in my Little People house
(should make potty training easy...)

3 People who make me laugh:
The Baby Einstein doggy (he's like a person becouse he wears glasses. And it's SO FUNNY!)

3 Things I hate:
Having my hair brushed
The flash on Daddy's camera
Loud noises, unless I am making them

3 Things don't understand:
Why Mommy and Daddy like that baby so much
Why that baby screams when I put my teeth into his head
Why Mommy and Daddy get so upset when I put my teeth into his head

3 Things on my floor:
A musical book with a dying battery so it sounds really creepy
A christmas puzzle book my Mommy keeps hiding but I find and throw the pieces everywhere!
A stack of clothes Mommy put in my drawer and I pulled out again

3 Things I am doing right now:
Asking to watch a video of myself
Turning the monitor off and on
Pretending the calculater is a phone

3 Things I want to do before I die:
Go up the slide the wrong way
Figure out the remote control
Have rice pudding for breakfast

3 Things I can do:
Eat with a fork
Count to 10
Find my belly button no matter what I'm wearing

3 Things I cannot do:
Eat without having a messy face
Have a bath without splashing
Walk down the street without touching every fence post

3 Favorite foods:

3 Beverages I drink regularly:
Daddy's orange juice

3 Favorite books:
First Book of Prayers
I'm a Big Sister Now!

3 Songs I sing:
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Karma Chameleon
The Bare Bottom Gang

3 Shows I watch:
Bear in the Big Blue House
Boogie Beebies

3 Ways to describe my personality:
Silly Billy
Mucky Pup
Cuddle Bug

Friday, August 04, 2006

Driving Test

I just took my first European driving test yesterday. And obviously, since I'm describing it as my 'first', I failed it. Now, in America most people do not fail the driving test. That is because it is EASY in America. Here, hardly anyone passes it the first time. In fact, the test 'centre' (that's me being European) I went to only has a 44% pass rate. So when I went in I was more likely to fail than to pass.

But, here is the good news: I can still drive, without a licensed driver in the car. I can drive my kids around. In Ireland, since you have to wait such a long time for a driving test (I had to wait over a year between when I applied for a test and when I got an appointment) if you have been on a provisional (learner's) license for more than 2 years, you can drive unaccompanied. It doesn't matter if you've had any lessons, or how close you have come to passing the test, or if you've even applied to take one. So it really doesn't matter if you pass the test or not.

Which is good news for the 66% of us who don't. Isn't it weird that the test expects super-competency and is very difficult to pass, but the law doesn't actually require that level of competency to drive? Of course, failing people (so they have to re-book and take another test) does insure the testers will have a job to do in the future...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Fourth Trimester

Today the Boyo is 3 months old (and soooo cute, you should see those dimples!). So now what they call the'fourth trimester' is over, he has made the transition into this world and we're off! We are adjusting to each other, he sleeps at night (7:30 pm to 6:00 am, isn't that GREAT?!!!) and stays awake a little during the day, he recognizes me, his daddy, and his sister and smiles at us. It's much easier dealing with a baby than a newborn who has no schedule, cries and you don't know why, and doesn't give you any positive feedback.

On the other hand, I had been giving myself 3 months complete clearance to not start working on the weight, but now I had better start excercising and eating better. I do still have the 'feeding him myself' excuse (that's what they say here -- as opposed to getting a wet nurse, I suppose) to stuff my face, but those of us who have done this before know br**feeding doesn't make the weight 'fall off you' as promised. Oh well.

But now, it's much better. He smiles and coos, he sleeps at night and naps, and I love him to bits. And it will only keep getting better! However, next week the Bups turns 2...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Thursday Thirteen!

So I have been reading in other people's blogs all this that and the other about being 'tagged' to do 'memes' and I think it sounds like fun. The only problem is, I don't know if anyone but my husband has read, does read, or will ever read this blog. Which is fine (sort of) but means I won't get the opportunity to participate in one of these memes unless I tag myself. I feel slightly lame in doing so, kind of like a junior-higher who sits down at a lunch table or walks up to a group at the lockers hoping they will talk to you (answer:they won't). But maybe it's different for adults...

Anyway. I read about this Thursday Thirteen one, and although I don't understand all the technical stuff they are writing about with pings and whatnot, I think I have figured it out, and I'm going to do it! So here goes...

Thirteen Things about Dublin Mom
1…. In America I would have described myself as Irish, but in Ireland I am American.
2. We have been living in Ireland for 3 years, in London for 2 years before here, and in Cleveland before that. So far, I like Dublin best.
3. My kids have Irish passports, written in English and Gaelic. So cool.
4. I'm hoping they will have Irish accents, but I know they are more likely to sound American or British (my husband is British).
5. Because neither one of us is Irish, we can try out our Irish accents on each other. In the US and UK, we would get annoyed if the other one try to copy our accent.
6. Mothers in Ireland don't br**stfeed very much (maybe only 20-25% of women even try). I've had the whole range of quizzical to downright disapproving looks when I've fed my kids in public. Yes, I am covered up and discrete, and no, my kids were not old enough to walk around, pull up my shirt, or ask to be fed.
7. In Ireland there is no grape jelly, goldfish crackers, chocolate pudding, or unsweetened Cheerios. Just a few of the things I would give Bupsy to eat if we didn't live here.
8. There is also no Wendy's Taco Bell, Dairy Queen, Einstein Bagels, or Cinnabun. Just a few of the places I would go myself to eat if we lived in America.
9. We get charged 5 Euro (around $6.34) every time we put out our 'rubbish bin' to be emptied (along with a 70 Euro/$88.85 yearly fee) so we try to not put it out/fill it up every week. We do this by composting, recycling, and using cloth nappies (most of the time). I am not some hippie. We are just cheap.
10. Our washing machine takes and hour and a half for one load, then all day on the washing line all on the radiators (if it's raining) to dry (the tumble dryer takes up WAY too much electricity, which is also really expensive). I have 2 small grubby children who wear cloth nappies. Laundry is a big part of my life.
11. American TV shows (like Lost, my current favorite) are shown here anywhere from 3-6 months after they are shown in the US, so I have to be careful on the internet not to come across things which would be spoilers to me but aren't there.
12. Two show my daughter wishes they would show here (in English, since they have them in Gaelic): Elmo's World and Dora.
13. There are no outdoor swimming pools here, and I haven't yet found an indoor one that is a) clean; b) has a parent& toddler time and c) isn't crazy expensive. I really want to take the girl swimming, but we usually only go when we're visiting grandparents in the US and UKLinks to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, July 17, 2006

He knows

Lately (okay, the past two years) I have found it difficult to do the things I feel bring me close to God -- praying, reading the Bible, participating in worship. There's a lot of reasons for this -- the main ones are having small children, which means not much spare time, and starting our own 'emerging church', which means we have different kinds of worship (and also, unfortunately, that we don't yet know many other Christians to encourage us). But there's more to it than that, some of it involves my own laziness, some of it a feeling of ennui and over-familiarity when I pick up the Bible, some of it a serious rethinking of what my faith really means, and separating out my(American evangelical) notions of Jesus and salvation from what is really true.

And all this has been difficult, and made me feel pretty guilty at times. But I'm trying to make a comeback, so to speak, and I the other day I read a little devotion which mentioned the verse about God knowing how many hairs are on your head (Matthew 10:30). I thought about how that could mean literally (God must get frustrated when we get a haircut, or when, like I am experiencing right now, moms go through the post-pregnancy hair loss). But I think Jesus is just being more (extravagantly) figurative here -- God knows us SO well. He even knows what we don't know -- I don't know how many hairs are on my head. But HE knows me better than I know myself.

I thought about how I can tell when Bupsy is tired or unwell just by looking at her eyes. I can tell when she is just about to lose it becuase we've been in the shops for too long. I can tell when she's feeling jealous of her baby brother and needs a cuddle. The Boyo I'm just getting to know, but already I can tell when he's crying because he's hungry, or when he is crying because he wants to be asleep. Sometimes I know them better than they know themselves, and I have to help them to feel better.

God knows what I'm going through, even better than I do. He knows, and understands, and I don't have to feel guilty, because He's right there to help me through it.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Scrubby Scrubby!

This is the name of the new game the Bups and I played on Friday (except she says it more 'scubby scubby').

After a week of not playing outside (rain...in Dublin...everyday) which is not as unusual as we would like, we were all grumpy. Since it was only drizzling, and the Bups had been given a hand-me-down rain suit, I decided that we would just go for it and go out in the garden. Plus, at a barbecue we held for our teen girls group (3 weeks ago!), they had written all over the walls with sidewalk chalk, and I was getting tired of reading 'Emma Rulez!!!' through the didning room window as we ate. It was time for the reign of Emma to come to an end!

So we went out with a bucket of soapy water and a scrubbing brush to attack the wall. I really didn't think the Bups would be too interested, I was assuming she would play for a while and then wander off to play with the sandbox or go inside and try to bring her stuffed animal outside. But she LOVED the bucket and sponges. She loved dipping the sponge in, slopping the water all over the wall, even srubbing with the brush. So although cleaning the chalk off only took about 10 minutes, she played scubby scubby for an hour and a half! And since you can't leave a toddler alone with a bucket of water, I had to stay with her, not go off to do laundry or clean the bathroom or do anything (the Boyo was asleep, inside, the whole time). It was a really nice time to spend together.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Good Morning!

Actually, it started with a g00d night -- the baby was in bed by 9, I was in bed by 10, and the two of us didn't get up until 3:30. That's a great night with an 8 week old! Now this morning I've been able to clean the bedrooms, hang up a load of washing, put another in the washing machine, and tidy up the front hallway, while the Boyo napped and Bupsy played with blocks. And now I'm actually having a cup of tea and updating my blog! (and it's only 10:00!) Good stuff.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

It's been a while...

Wow, I didn't realize that it was MARCH when I last made a posting. Let me briefly update you on what has happened since:
In April I was 9 months pregnant
In May I had a new baby to look after (welcome Boyo!)
In June I still had the new baby, the toddler, the lack of sleep, the breastfeeding marathons

But now, today, it is 9:00 at night and BOTH of the children are asleep!!!!

Do you think I am going to spend any more time blogging?! I'm headed for the bath!

Monday, March 27, 2006


Yesterday was Mothers' Day in Ireland. I got a nice bunch of flowers, chocolates and a card, a chance to have a nice bath and dinner from Burritos and Blues. It was a really nice day.

I did have to work, so didn't get to do the whole sleeping in and breakfast in bed thing. We actually got up earlier than usual on a Sunday morning (and the day the clocks changed, too!). We took a group of teenage girls to the local children's hospital to give away muffins, tea and coffee to the parents and staff spending Mothers' Day in the hospital. We couldn't go to the wards (there was an outbreak of a vomiting virus they were trying to control) but we did see a couple kids who were obviously pretty sick. And of course, it made me so gratful for the good health the Bups has enjoyed -- two weeks ago was the first fever she ever had (and it wasn't too bad) and she's really only been sick twice.

But there's so much more I'm grateful for, and it would be impossible to try and list everything. So here's just a few things I thought of this Mothers' Day:
Bupsy sleeps really well, and pretty much always has.
I didn't spend Mothers' Day being stressed out because we had to lead a church service, instead we got to do hands-on ministry with people who really appreciated it.
Watching Marcus walk up and down the hospital corridors with the Bups, I am grateful again with how involved he is, what a relaxed and confident dad he is, and the way I can count on him.
Not only has Bupsy been very healthy, I've had two uneventful pregnancies. Morning sickness, a bit of heartburn, a bit of a sore back, but nothing serious.
I was rocking the Bups the other night and singing our goodnight song when she suddenly sat up with an 'I've got an idea!' face and said 'Eeensy weensy?' ( she loves that song). I'm so grateful for my funny girl.

There's so, so much, but I will summarize: great ministry (great job doing ministry!), really great husband, great cute and funny daughter, healthy baby on the way, get to live in Ireland, great family, great friends... and most of all, a great God who has given me all these wonderful things. Thank you!!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St Patrick's Day!

I have realized that I don't spend enough time talking about why it's great to live in Dublin. So in honor of aul' Paddy, here is my top 10 of being a mom in Dublin (in no particular order, becuase ranking them would take extra thought!):

1. The weather -- not too cold in the winter, not too hot in the summer, and while it rains often, it isn't every day, and it never pours down with rain, thunder and lightning.
2. The (very) green grass year-round -- because of the rain!
3. The Wicklow Mountains which we can see as we drive to the grocery store.
4. Watching cartoons like Dora or Elmo on the Irish language channel and trying to guess what they're saying.
5. Not many convenience foods means we cook fresh food a lot more, which is better for us.
6. Free maternity care, including pre-natal appointments, hospital delivery and stay, and free appointments for the baby and me for 6 weeks.
7. They don't weigh me at the pre-natal apointments! I have had no idea of my weight since I got pregnant with Bupsy more than two years ago.
8. The laid-back Irish attitude. It can be annoying if you're waiting in line at a store or for your dining room ceiling to be fixed, but it's nice that people stop and chat, and nobody gets too stressed. Everything is good 'craic' (which is pronounced like crack, but just means good fun).
9. Having the day off for St. Patrick's Day!
10. And most of all, the kids, teenagers, and adults we've met while we've been living and doing ministry here. They really make Dublin the great place that it is for us.

So there's my list. Except I just thought of number 11 -- the Bups is Irish (the new baby will be too) since she was born here, and she has the coolest passport in English and Gailge. I love being a 3 citizenship family!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Back to Normal?

Well, it has been a while since I posted. We were away (in England) for two weeks, then Bupsy has been off form the past few days. But today seems to be better, and I'm not so tired, so here I am!

We went to England to go to a Salvation Army conference and then to visit some friends and relatives. It was nice seeing everyone, nice to go swimming in some really great pools, really nice to be given a spare crib (they call them cots here) for the baby so Bupsy can stay in hers. But it was tiring. She didn't have too many afternoon naps, she didn't sleep well at night (she loves to wake up in the morning, pop her head over the side of the travel crib, and see us there. 'Mama! Daddy!') and we had to chase her around the conference center, other people's houses, the mall, the musuem where she banged her head and got a massive lump and bruise.

After driving all day to get a ferry back to Dublin (and then coming home to a really cold house) we thought we would settle back into our routine, but the Bups has been a mess. She had 2 huge teeth coming in, which may have accounted for a certain... unpleasantness to her dirty diapers/nappies. One of these nappies was not up to the job and it leaked all over the place...bad enough, but she was in OUR BED at the time! She was miserable, clingy, tired, wanting to be carried all the time, and must frustrating of all, not eating anything. Then suddenly this morning she had two bowls of cereal and a banana for breakfast, a good lunch, and a huge dinner (plus snacks in between). The nappies have been more normal, and she seemed a lot happier today (still clingy, but in a nicer, cuddlier way).

Meanwhile, I am exhausted and my back hurts from carrying her up and down the stairs, not to mention baby #2 (who we refer to us 'the little one', but the nurse has assured me is 'nice and big!'). But tomorrow is my birthday and I told Marcus what I'd really like is for him to get up and give Bupsy breakfast while I sleep in a little bit. I can hardly wait! Now watch me blow it by staying up too late tonight...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Urban Life

The Bups and I went for a walk around the block today (like we do most days, to help her have a nice long nap) and I was feeling a little sorry for her for growing up in a city. Although we live in a fairly suburban part of Dublin, with gardens and trees and everything, from her view she mostly just sees the sidewalk, stone walls, and maybe iron gates. The thing that made me sad was that she can identify dog poo, litter, and cigarette butts (she says 'bleh', becuase we tell her they are yucky and she shouldn't touch them). But I suppose if we lived someplace else I would be telling her not to touch worms or poison ivy or something, and maybe we couldn't even go out for a walk without a nice, fairly dry sidewalk to walk on. And there are plenty of urban places that are a lot more yucky and dangerous than our neighborhood. She'll just grow up with the sound of car alarms sending her off to sleep instead of lovely crickets. But Dublin is worth it.

In Olympic news, there's no baby, which is not a surprise. What is mildly surprising is that the Irish channels aren't showing any Olympic coverage at all! But I suppose if there are no Irish athletes in it, RTE figures there's no point.

Because Bupsy has an Irish passport, I guess she would have a pretty good chance of making the Irish Olympic team. I'm going to take her out ice skating tomorrow! Except there are no ice rinks here (only at Christmas). Why do you think they're not in the Olympics?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Olympic Mama

As I briefly mentioned in my first entry, I love the Olympics. And they are starting again this week! I have to admit I do prefer the Summer Olympics, but the Winter ones are good, too. I like how you get to see weird, obscure sports and the people who dedicate their lives to them (for example, curling or biathalon). I like all the human interest stories and pictures of parents and girlfriends and little babies all waving flags and cheering for someone. I like hearing the national anthems of other countries. When I saw the Olympics in 1992 (I was 14) I decided to set a goal for myslef to learn all the national anthems by the next Olympics. That still hasn't happened.

Being an American watching the Olympics outside America is interesting, becuase you hear a lot more about various countries. I suppose that's because Ireland and the UK (we get the BBC channels as well as RTE, the Irish ones) don't have as many competitors, so to fill air time they feature other countries' athletes as well. Ireland doesn't have a single person (I think) in the Olympics this year. That's probably becuase it never snows! Irish people would correct me, saying once or twice a year we might get what I call 'flurries', but it doesn't really snow.

Bupsy was born two days before the Summer Olympics in 2004. Since I have another 12 weeks to go, I'm really hoping baby no. 2 doesn't come this week! As I was lying in the hospital ward watching synchronized diving (so cool) after Bupsy's birth, I thought about having 'Maternity Hospital' Olympics. In my ward of 6 people we had Ireland, America, Pakistan, and Sierra Leone represented, and there were at least 5 wards on my wing, 2 wings a floor, 5 floors in the hospital. Here are some events I thought probably wouldn't be included in the Maternity Hospital Olympics:

Speed cycling or Mountain biking (can you imagine?!!)
Gymnastics -- when they throw themselves on the balance beam, or on their chests on the floor
Weightlifting anything heavier than an 8 lb. infant
Equestrian. Oooh, no.
Trampolining (no nursing bra could take that amount of bouncing!)
Anything to do with running
Anything to do with standing
Anything other than lying in a bed eating

All this is just reminding me that I have to go through labor again in a very short while. I can recall thinking as I watched those Olympics in 2004 "I bet a marathon isn't really that tough. Not compared to childbirth!"

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Not me

They announced the nominations for General last night. I wasn't on the list. Maybe all my supporters read this blog and realized it wasn't the right time.

In other news, I was woken up this morning by one child singing and the other dancing. Cute. I can't wait until they can sing and dance together.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

General Jane

Because the General of The Salvation Army is retiring in April, all the important people (the ones who are in charge of the SA for whole countries or even continents) are having what's called a 'High Council' to decide who the next General will be. Here's the exciting thing: although you have to have a high rank and be important to be on the High Council, the next General can be anyone who is an officer (ordained minister) in The Salvation Army. That means Marcus, or me! You only need 3 votes to be on the list of nominations (out of 88? that's not many!), and if you're not already at the HC (in London) then they fly you there. So over the next couple days, we are making sure we answer the phone if it rings and have a suitcase packed, just in case.

The thing is, they probably don't know I'm pregnant. So while I can see how they would want to change things up a bit, and have a young, female (there have been women generals before), low-ranking person as General, I think they'll understand when I have to turn them down. It's just not the right time, I'll say. With Bupsy so young and a baby on the way (and the new General starts in April, just when the baby's due), at the moment I think it's important I focus on my family. Call me the next time around. But, it's an honor just to be nominated.

I'll let you know how they take it.

In other news, Friday night was fun. We went to dinner, then to one of the 3 Starbucks in Dublin -- make that the country! And it just opened up a couple weeks ago. It wasn't that great. I guess the best thing about Starbucks is the coffee, and since I'm not drinking that right now, it was just another expensive place to get a hot chocolate.

Today I visited the nurse for my ante-natal appontment. The Bups cried the whole time. I don't know if she recognized the nurse from giving her vaccinations (although she hasn't had one for a while), or she didn't like the fact the nurse was poking me. Or maybe she was jealous that the baby was getting attention instead of her.

Now I had better go in case I'm called up to London! Or, it could be Marcus. But let's be realistic...

Friday, January 20, 2006

Big Night Out

Yesterday was Marcus's birthday, so tonight we're going out for dinner. This is a major event! It will be the first time we've EVER had a babysitter who isn't a grandparent. And when you think that both sets of grandparents don't live in the same country as us (if you didn't know, Marcus is English) that means we've been out about half a dozen times since the Bups was born. So we're pretty excited.

The problem is, even though there's usually lots of movies advertised that we say 'we'll get that when it comes out on DVD", at the moment there's nothing we want to see. Well, I want to see March of the Penguins but he doesn't. Did I ever mention that I'm allergic to penguins? We went to a penguin sanctuary place in Australia, where they have little nests and it's out in the open and stuff, and I started sneezing all over the place. Maybe you're allergic to penguins, too, and if you went to this penguin sanctuary you'd find out. Anyway, that's not why Marcus doesn't want to go, he just thinks it looks boring.

So we're going out to dinner, and then we thought maybe we'd just go to a bookstore and browse, which we just to love to do at Borders in Amercia (and in London too, actually). But we called around to some of the bookstores near where we're going -- in the centre of this capital city of Dublin, mind -- and they all close at either 6 or 7. The babysitter's coming at 6:30, so I guess we won't make it. Just part of the fun in Dublin. Or not so much fun, if it's after 7 pm.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

It's like reading someone's journal

I've been thinking about whether or not I should start a blog for a long time. I thought I would like to, because I enjoy reading other people's blogs and I also enjoy telling people about quirky/interesting things that I have heard or thought about. But on the other hand, I wonder if maybe it's a bit self-centered to think other people would want to read what I'm thinking about. And how do you tell someone to read your blog? Well, I guess I must have plucked up the nerve to do it if you're reading this...

So anyway, here are some more detail about my life, just so you know what I might be posting about in the future:

--I am a Dublin Mom, as in an American mother living in Dublin Ireland (as opposed to a Dublin Mum or Mam, like people say here). I really like living in Ireland, there's a lot that's great about it, but some frustrations too, like the way the whole country seems to be out of salsa at the same time (did I mention I'm pregnant?)

--Apologies now to all the perfectly lovely nieces and nephews and children of friends out there, but I really do have the most absolutley gorgeous little daughter. The way she tilits her head up and toddles over to kiss me is the most precious thing in the world. And today she said apple (okay, bapa, but she meant apple). She is shortly to be joined by another baby in only a few months (at which time this blog may cease to exist).

--My husband Marcus and I are Christian ministers in The Salvation Army, which will mean different things to you depending on your experience with the SA. No, we do not run a thrift store (or 'charity shop'). Please don't call us and ask us to pick up furniture. We also do not have a band that marches down the street. Although we have uniforms, we don't wear them that often, and I certainly won't be wearing a bonnet at any time! We do community ministries in the area where we live, like kids and teens and elderly groups, and we have times when people can get together to talk about spiritual things (on Sundays we have Brunch Church at our house, and we host Bible studies or spirtual discussion groups). We're looking at doing church in different ways.

--And I'll probably write about other random things too, like how I love the Olympics, love reading novels but not the books about the emerging church Marcus is trying to get me to read, feel alternately proud of the home-cooked food I give the Bups and guilty about how much juice and biscuits she eats, (wait till you hear my true feeling about cloth nappies!), sometimes use British words (like 'nappies' instead of 'diapers'), don't miss teaching music, and how I nearly cried when I saw someone on TV at a Cold Stone Creamery (because we don't have anything like that here. And because, as I mentioned before, I'm pregnant).

So, now that I've started I don't know where to start, but I will probably think of something else to write here soon. Until then, then...

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