Thursday, July 23, 2015

What's Different!?

Notice anything remarkable about this image? It probably would help if I had posted a before and an after screen shot, but I never though the task would actually be completed! Do you see, down at the bottom, next to the little blue mail icon? Well it used to look a bit like this...

Except with 22,000 unread messages!!!! 

Oh happy day, I've finally cleaned up my inbox. It's a time for celebration! Maybe I'll celebrate this weekend with a bit of shed decluttering....sigh.

You see, this little victory, while only tiny, rounds out the end of 10 long months of slow, determined, life overhaul! Going from maternity leave to working mother really threw me for a loop and I quickly discovered that everything - from our home, to our wardrobe, to our diet - was becoming unmanageable and in some cases unhealthy! So, slowly but surely we started making changes. Decluttering and streamlining our lives one day at a time.  This was my first digital chore and it feels so good. 

My next goal is to get back online and writing anything. No matter how small. Especially about these changes. I've found so many books, blogs and personal conversations so helpful over the last few months while I reoriented myself into this new role, this new self,  and someone a bit lost on their own journey may find comfort or inspiration in some small perspective I may not even know I have. 

 So, my apologies, If I haven't replied to an email you may have sent me in 2010, now you know why....

Friday, August 22, 2014



Milo loves to "read!" Magazines or books, it makes no difference! However, magazines do have that high rip factor which is oh so fun! I'm working on a post about his favorite books at the moment, but until then here are a few photos of him appreciating some high fashion, and Katy Perry! ;) 

Friday, August 1, 2014

8 Months Old

Today you are 8 months old baby, and what fun you are! You have come so far in the last month alone! You learned to sit up properly earlier in the month and a few weeks ago you stood up for the first time yourself -and now it is a daily occurrence, actually nearly non stop! I've gotten used to the little bumps and bruises you've accumulated along the way, although my heart still leaps every time you go boom. But I guess you have to learn what goes up must come down. Here are a few other things that you like/have happened this month
One just isn't enough...
You love to munch Organics tomato slices and carrot stick snacks while you wait on your lunch. Though I have to watch you now as you love them so much you shove the whole piece in your mouth! Thank goodness they dissolve quickly. I also chop up bananas for you and you love to feed yourself. Sometimes more bananas get on the highchair than in your mouth but that's OK! Keep trying!

I try to make the bulk of your food from scratch weekly/biweekly. You love chicken, quinoa and vegetables (usually butternut squash or sweet potato and carrot) and you tolerate my lentil veggie bake (lentils, tomatoes, carrots and zucchini) but that is mostly because they didn't break down enough (I'll do mushier next time!) Cooking for you is easy, healthy and saves a lot of money, but when we are busy you love to eat Ella's Lamb Tagine - well any Ella's Kitchen really. The lamb you seem to like because of all the spices - cinnamon, cumin, coriander all go down well with you. Garlic is a big yum as well. I put some in with pasta stars and carrot parsnip puree and it is gone in seconds. Like mother like son with the garlic and cinnamon!

You also had yogurt for the first time this week as a dessert and you were a little perplexed by it, but still gobbled it up. You eat everything presented to you even if you protest at the start, so I hope to keep changing it up as much as possible before that bland toddler palette sets in!


Oh my, I am very proud of you and your sleeping. What a big boy! It was a rocky month, coming back from vacation where mommy indulged you with the odd night feedings and extra early starts (lots of 5 AM walks with Grampy on the beach). You were very confused from the time difference but I knew this would pass, and it did. You started protesting your naps at the beginning of the month, and the time had finally come for you to cry it out. This is what worked best for you as you would only cry harder if interacted with. I knew you just wanted to spend more time with us, and sleep seemed so BORING! But with frequent checks we stuck it out and you learned how to put yourself to sleep from awake instead of drowsy as you rarely like being rocked anymore. So sad for mama, but I'm so happy that you are able to comfort yourself. The night feeding carried on for a few more weeks (just once around 3 or 4) so I gave you a little less every night and then you just stopped waking for it! Now you sleep from 7-7 most nights, straight through, and everyone is getting great rest. The positions we find you in when we check on you at night are so funny, and daddy and I love seeing which way you choose to sleep next. Usually it's with your bottom in the air. Must be comfy! Or you just fall asleep mid crawl. Crawling at night - you are very busy!


We've started to run out of options to contain your curious spirit when we aren't able to mind you. This week you were half way over the side of your walker before I turned around and caught you! My nerves! You are a little daredevil and really have no fear as you love to explore. Now we really only have your playpen and cot, if we really must turn our attention from you, although you try to stand in them constantly so it's only a matter of time before we are run off our feet!

Pass the dodi - This is a new game we play when I wake you up from your nap. You stick your dodi (pacifier) in my mouth and find it hilarious. I'll then pass it back to you or pretend I am a baby too and you laugh and laugh.

Your toys are boring you a bit so I pulled out a bucket and shape set (with balls, blocks and triangles to sort) that nanny got you for Easter. You love the different shapes and spend ages taking the shapes out and putting them back in. Most of your other toys have started to bore you, so I took out a pot and pan and a wooden spoon and you got tons of enjoyment out of that. When your cousin came over, we made "soup" and you helped him stir. I love to watch you learn through play.


Moo, Baa, Lalala
Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes

These two books are your favorites at the moment and we read them before every sleep. More on these tomorrow.


You are My Sunshine
I'd Like to Visit the Moon
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Rubber Ducky

We used to sing "Puff the Magic Dragon" during your bedtime routine and you would turn right in and close your eyes, but now that your a bit more wiggly, one verse of "You are My Sunshine" is all I can manage before you squirm out of my arms and reach for your cot. Sometimes I sing "I'd Like to Visit the Moon," and we dance in the living room. You got a great kick out of Grammy singing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider," complete with hand motions, while on vacation and sometimes you try to join in with your hands too! "Washed the spider out" is your favorite part. And every time we go for a bath I sing "Rubber Ducky" to you and you absolutely beam. You cannot wait to get into the tub and play with Rubber Ducky. I showed you the old Sesame Street recording and you were filled with glee. BEST.THING.EVER.


You've started saying back to us; mama, baba, dada (limited) and papa. You model them back pretty well, an you do call to me sometimes. You love baba at the moment. Especially when you play with the baby in the mirror. We pulled some pictures of baba's out of a magazine and you love to talk to them. Just yesterday you were trying to say hi back to me. You haven't got the diphthong yet, but you do say HA for hi sometimes. It's very cute. You also wave to the baby in the mirror and sometimes to me when I say goodnight or when dada leaves in the morning. It's getting easier to make you laugh as well, and sometimes you find things that are funny all on your own, without us "performing" for you. I love catching you smile or giggle to yourself.

I can't wait to see what 9 months old brings, but for now, I'll savor these memories and milestones!

Just look at the mischief in those eyes!

Monday, July 28, 2014

New Do

I have been struggling with a love hate relationship with my hair since the baby was born. After a serious of short haircuts a few years ago, I had vowed to never cut my hair short for a loooong looong time, and I didn't. Not since my 25th birthday! Then I had a baby and the mom cut came a calling. Ultimately I do think long hair can be easier sometimes, for instance if you are running late, or sick or whatever, you can just throw it into a chic top knot and be on your way.

bangs with a top knot. wish i could do this...

I totally rocked the top every day. Also very popular... the messy chic look.

However, my hair was taking forever to try and by the end of the day sometimes it was still wet and news flash - I'm no model, so overtime I just kind of started to look more messy than chic.

After a few hours of obsessing on Pinterest I kept coming back to the long bob. I figured I could wear it curly and beachy or super sleek and look put together in no time. Especially if it air dried quickly. I could just run the hot iron over it and be on my way. I gave myself a few days to mull it over and it was still on my mind and I knew that I would by be satisfied unless I made the change. I just booked the appointment yesterday and dada manned the bedtime routine while I slipped away. So here's the inspiration... 

And the final result....

I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I'll have to play around with the styling a bit (tad flat at top), but it feels 10 times lighter and cooler! I'd love some balayage at the ends and around my face like in the first photo, so I'll have to save up for that over the next few months. 

Anyone else itching to try a new look? 

Precious Moments

From the moment I started blogging again, the first thing constantly in the front of my mind has been how you will grow up and learn that moments of your childhood are documented for all to see. I try to put myself in your shoes and wonder what it would feel like if my first moments had been shared so literally and digitally. My hope is that you will appreciate this documentation as a form of time capsule or baby book that you can look back on and not only read the words but see the dates and view the pictures that we have of these precious moments together when the world is all so new to you. I feel that if I write these moments down to you in a sort of letter, I'm not writing about you but talking to you, and always thinking about you and how you might feel when you read these words. I will not censor myself so to speak but will remember to always speak kindly to you and not share things that will particularly embarrass you, for this is my journey as your parent to share, but it is not my childhood to be free with. Children make mistakes, have hard days, short tempers, learn and grow and may not always want to be reminded of painful times and regretful memories, so I will strive to honor that. As far as a digital presence is concerned. I've agonised over sharing your image, name etc. online at all. While prohibiting their child's online presence does work for some of my friends, it doesn't seem to really suit our lives. We live so disconnected from some of our most dear family and friends that it is such an easy way to share our experiences across the pond with them and in turn feel a bit of a stronger sense of digital community. I know I've received great comfort in seeing the day to day struggles and joys of other blogging mothers, and rejoice in their children's joy and success and it feels cathartic to be able to share our own journey. I've decided for now; that this digital age may continue to be an ever growing presence in all our lives, that regardless of how I protect you online, your images may still exist and will be shared by family and friends, and that as soon as you are of an appropriate age, you may want an online presence yourself. I will do the best I can to make that image of you a positive one that you can look back on fondly, and at anytime if I feel it to be unwise or unsafe to be sharing about your life, the sharing will stop. I hope that as you grow you come to appreciate the story of our family  and that you too may share your experiences and joys as you travel on your own path.

With you always in mind xx


Love the place you live

One of my favorite blogs, Design Mom, has been running a series for the last few years called "Love the place you live." It's a wonderful concept. The owner of the blog, Gabrielle Blair is the mother of 6, designer, and overall crafty lady! She and her family love to travel (they lived in Normandy for a year which was fascinating to follow) but as she says, you don't need to go further than your own back yard to experience the joys of travelling.  Between settling in after our move and growing our family over the last few years, I'm sad to say we've hardly explored all the wonderful activities that living in Ireland has to offer. Still on our list are Giant's Causeway, Belfast, Cork, Kylemore Abbey, The Puck Fair, Newgrange and many more! Now that Milo is a little bit older, we feel a bit easier about heading out on adventures with the little guy in tow.

This weekend we had a little mini excursion to town, to experience a bit of the City Soul Picnic in Merrion Square Park. I have to admit I was a little reluctant to go as house work was on my mind (dumb!) and the thought of walking through a packed street fair felt daunting. I'm so glad we went and got out for a little while to experience something different. If I had know what the event was like, (loads of green space and picnic blankets, not a street fair) we could have made more of an effort, brought our own blankets, Milo's stroller and ear defenders and made an afternoon of it, but like I said, even just a few hours out was better than none at all! 

The real reason we went was to see the Dublin Gospel Choir, which Daryll will be performing with at the end of August at the Electric Picnic music festival! They were wonderful! The soloists were strong and the group had a very smooth and unified sound. We went around 12:30ish which was at the start of the event so it was actually lovely and relaxed, and there weren't too many people. There were loads of food stalls set up (Wok and Roll Thai looked/smelled especially amazing!)

 but we foolishly only had 6 euros to rub together so we ended up getting the smallest and driest hot dogs known to man. So sad! Ah well it filled us up at that moment anyway, just don't make the same mistake we did! After about an hour, Milo started rubbing his eyes and cuddling into us and we knew nap time was here. We only had our trusty Ergobaby carrier, so we packed up and headed back to the car. It was just as well because as we drove out of the city centre we looked back in the mirror and he was sound asleep. Success! We avoided the dreaded melt down that occurs when nap time is postponed and over tiredness takes over. We'll try for another day out next weekend.

If you are interested in similar upcoming events around Dublin, head on over to the Dublin City website. There is a festival coming up next weekend that we might look at; An Urban Fleadh over in Wolfe Tone Park, that looks like it celebrates Irish traditional/fusion music. Also, night street fairs are ongoing for the months of July and August in Temple bar, which sounds like a great potential date night out, with dinner and browsing while meandering around the city. For a complete events and recommendations listing in the city, I love Time Out Dublin. The New York site always served us well for fun activities that you might not come up with on your own. If an adventure elsewhere in the country strikes your fancy, check out Discover Ireland. They have a great list with enough diversity to suit any one's interest! The Galway Races start this week and I'd love to go but we haven't really budgeted or planned for a big event like that. We will definitely have to make it a priority next year.

We wrapped up the weekend with a bit of grocery shopping and an early night. We all pretty much looked like this little guy here! Exhausted!

Family, Friends, etc. have any fun plans coming up?! Leave a comment and let me know. I'd be so interested to learn about fun events on the horizon! Also, if you have a blog or similar outlet and would like to do a "Love the place you live" post to share, get in touch. I'd love to check it out!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hazy Lazy Day

What a scorcher (for Ireland that is!) I think the temperature got up to about 23 degrees Celsius (that's 73ish in Fahrenheit for all you Americans) which is not really hot at all, but when you have been experiencing 40-60 degrees F for most of the year, with 73 you might as be in sunny Spain! It helped that there wasn't a cloud in the sky as well, making it a very bright day from start to finish. Even as I type here in bed it's still a perfect clear evening. 

Because of whatever jet stream Ireland is under/near/around, its rare to have a day where the clouds don't fly in by lunch time at least, which usually means by the time we've noticed a nice day, packed our things and have headed out, it's just starting to rain. Ah Irish life. 

As it was so lovely I needed to do something outside my four walls, so I rang my mother in law to see if they had any plans for the day. As it turned out, she was hoping to get to visit with her mother (Milo's great Nanny! He has a Great Nanny and a Great Grandma, what a lucky boy!) so I said I'd take her over. It was perfect as we had been hoping to take Milo for a visit with her for a while. 

He turned on the Milo charm which usually includes faces like this 

...And entertained himself and us by throwing a DVD case and a rattle book around the room with great force. He loves to practice shaking items, letting them fling mid shake and then act completely perplexed as to how they ended up on the floor. Magic Milo....Magic.

The drive back down from Howth was amazing. The mountains in the background almost looked painted on the horizon in periwinkles and grey blues, as a light haze washed over the bay. It really was as pretty as a postcard. 

The rest of the afternoon was nice and lazy. A quick stop at the shop, lunch at Nanny and Grandads, and then home for a long nap. We had been out so he was up much longer than his usual 2.5-3 hour wake time but was good as gold (I really won the baby lotto with this one!). Of course midway home I looked back in the mirror and saw this..

(Taken parked in our driveway. I don't advocate driving photo opps people!)

Sleepy baba! He recharged his batteries and I recharged mine with a good hour and a half of couch R and R (a few chores mixed in) and then it was back to the races 

More wakey wake smiles.

And then breezy baby playtime. It was just too warm for clothes. (Just a note. Irish houses don't have screens in the windows which = house being the equivelent of a tent when windows are open = lots of creepiest moving on in = me barely cracking windows to avoid my worst nightmare of bed share with spiders = warm house).

Finally we had dinner alfresco and a swift bedtime as he was exhausted! 

Just our little slice of the day to day. As the temperature starts to dip a little bit, I'm reminded it is Ireland after all and warm days are a precious few, so better get back to knitting that scarf... :) 

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