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November 28, 2013

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When I wrote my last post, I was just getting into the idea of posting more regularly throughout NaBloPoMo.  I was just getting into the swing of things, using blogging to recover from the painful grief of loosing my Dad in September. We were adjusting to a new normal.

Less than 24 hours after writing that post I was on a plane headed for NY.

Within a week I was holding my mother’s hand asking her to always look after the kids as she went to be with Dad.

Two months to the day we laid Mom to rest with Dad.

There are no words.
No words anyone can tell me.
No words I have that can make any sense of this.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am in NY.
The whole family is.
Mom should be here.
They both should be here.
We didn’t have a single holiday mourning Dad and now we mourn them both.

And yet life is still moving forward.
We’re getting up and moving forward everyday.
The kids need us.
We’re adjusting again…somehow trying to figure it all out.

But the truth is I have no idea how to do it. How do you keep going when the two people who have been there championing you and getting you through your entire life are gone so suddenly?

And then in my mind I can hear them…and all the years of love and wisdom and I know that somehow I’ll figure this out.
Mom wouldn’t have left so soon if she didn’t know we’d be ok.
But that rational side of me is too overcome with emotion now and all I want is for them to be here to make pumpkin pie.

Happy Thanksgiving Mom & Dad. I miss you both.

Living Abroad, Love Ireland, Visit Ireland

Irish Cold

November 9, 2013

One thing that I never seem to get used to is how cold it actually is here…..says the girl from New York.

I mean temperature wise it doesn’t often get below freezing but it’s FREEZING!!!!!

I grew up in negative degrees Fahrenheit so it still amazes me that it can be 9 or 10 Celsius and I am freezing!

What you need to know if you are coming to Ireland anytime November-March is that regardless of the temperature reading, it is cold. It’s like a damp cold that you can’t shake. And sometimes in some buildings, you might as well be outside.

Sometimes my job requires me to visit various schools and I always wear at least two pair of socks and even then I can’t feel my feet. I often see teachers teach in heavy jumpers and scarves!!! The kids don’t seem to feel it though.

The Irish also have a thing about not wearing your coat inside because you won’t get the maximum out of it when you actually do go outside, but sometimes I am too damn cold inside to take it off.

All is not lost though, I have some new Irish winter time habits that I absolutely adore.

HOT WATER BOTTLES

Hot Water Bottle Cover

Hot Water Bottle Cover (Photo credit: suziesparkle)

 

Amazing. My grandma used to have one of those red ones that had a rotten rubbery smell, but here hot water bottles go inside cozy, furry cover that just demands cuddling up with.  And of course with an electric kettle the water is hot in no time! The princesses both love going to bed when it’s been pre-warmed by a hot water bottle.

ELECTRIC UNDER-BLANKETS

It’s an electric blanket that goes under the fitted sheet! LOVE! (sometimes I take my hot water bottle to bed with my electric under-blanket…not sure how safe it is but so comfy).

SCARVES & BOOTS

O.K. this isn’t anything new for me since moving to Ireland.  Give me boots over flip-flops any day and I don’t believe you can have too many scarves.

To be honest I pretty much love winter both here and in NY despite the cold.  I do long for the snow back home (which started snowing this week apparently) though.

It makes me giggle when I see the Irish freaking out over the winter weather but to be honest, when it gets below freezing in this damp country quite often things are covered in a sheet of ice.  I however have yet to see a New Yorker wear socks outside their shoes for safety…..

 

Being Mommy, Love Ireland, mixed culture family

Maternity Leave Bucket List (Up-date)

November 8, 2013

At the beginning of the summer I wrote about my maternity leave and how I had every intention of making the most of my time off since I am so lucky to get so much of it.

My mat leave is officially over, and I am now on un-paid leave for the next little while.  I wish I could be taking the full 4 months I am allowed but it’s not in the cards and I’ll be heading back at the end of January.

Since things haven’t turned out how I expected/hoped during my time off I wanted to look back and think about the positives and the highlights of my time off so far because there have been many.  And I hope that revisiting our bucket list might inspire me to make the most of what’s left.  I know the holidays will be hard for me this year.  But it’s still our first holiday season as a family of five.  I figure we have a limited number of Christmases when the kids are really young and I just am not willing to let a single one slip past without joy.

So it’s time to remind myself what we wanted to do and to either continue with that plan or adjust.

Our Maternity Leave Bucket List

√  1.Pick strawberries.  While fresh strawberries are abundant in Ireland there are few places to pick your own, however I hear The Apple Farm in Tipp will have pick your own in a few weeks. Strawberry Picking for my birthday was an absolute highlight of the summer!

2.  Manis or Pedis with the Princesses now that there are two men in the house it’s time us girls start sticking together.  While we’ve done the at home kind I have been keeping this for the winter since it is not weather dependent. 

3.  Lunch at The Pink Elephant on a sunny day.  With a nice beach walk and shell/rock hunt after. I had really hoped for this to be a summer day with a walk on the beach but we never did make it.  We were however lucky enough and blessed with the sunshine to make it to the beach lots this summer. 

√4.  Paint Rocks  We spent an entire summer painting and selling rocks when I was small.  My dear Princess M loves painting rocks!

√5.  Homemade popsicles/ice lolls

√6.  Visit Dublin Zoo and FOTA Wildlife Park in Cork.  Well FOTA at least anyway. But we did TWO zoos while we were home in NY over the summer so I think we are all had our fill of animals, I am sure we will make it to Dublin some day.

√7.  Have a sleepover with Princess M on the futon in the play room.

√8.  Splash in muddy puddles….this is Ireland after all

√9.  Eat chocolate/vanilla twist soft serve ice-cream in NY. Twice…and also in Canada.

10. Swim in a lake in NY. we never did make it to the lake, we opted to take the kids up to Niagara Falls instead so the only swimming there was the hotel pool!

11.  Have a fondue party.  My sister and her family gave us a fondue set and we don’t use it enough.

12.  Picnic in Fitzgerald Park, Cork.  We love picnics and Fitzgerald’s Park in Cork is a special place. How did we miss this one?  We picnicked A LOT this summer but it was mostly at the beach because the weather was THAT warm. 

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√13.  Wash cars with Princess M.

14.  Visit the M.O.S.T. in Syracuse.

√15.  Visit a farm.

16.  Spend the day in Cobh, Co Cork when a cruise liner comes in. The cruise season might be over but Cobh is pretty in the Christmas so maybe we will still get down there. 

√17.  Participate in World Social Media Day.

√18.  Have an indoor picnic on a rainy day.

√19. Water gun fight.

20.  Fly kites.

√21. Take family photos. We did this in NY and if you are in the Syracuse area there is no one as talented as Lisa Rossi Photography for maternity, new-born, and family shots. I swear.

22. Visit the Ewe Sculpture Garden

23. Afternoon tea with the princesses.  This is one of my favorite treats that I do with my girlie friends and it will be a nice treat to introduce the girls to. I’m waiting for the Christmas decorations to go up around here because Princess M will love it.  The King actually took Princess B for afternoon tea.  He didn’t get it.  She loved it.  

√24. Library story time.

√25.  Enroll Princess M in a class.

√24.  Try a new park.

25.  Go to the drive in

√26. Go to a concert with the King…like Bruce in July!!!!!  If I actually had a real bucket list seeing Bruce live would be on it.  We were so lucky that he came to Cork this summer and the King and I had a great date night!!!

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√27.   Plant flowers

√28. Take a road trip somewhere new.

√29.  Make sundaes

√30.  Have a make your own pizza party. Is it possible to do this TOO much? I like to think this is making pizza a ‘healthy dinner’ since we are making it at home….I’m not so sure our Make Your Own Nacho Parties are remotely healthy though.

So that’s where we’re at.  All things considered I think we did a good few Irish and American things on our list.  We’ve done so much more over the past few months and I am really looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving  and the month-long celebration that is Christmas over here!  I love Christmas in Cork and I can’t wait to talk about it all through December!  Our first Christmas party is actually the day after Thanksgiving.  That whole weekend we are doing Christmasy things and I can’t wait!!!!!

Blogging

Late to the Party- NaBloPoMo

November 5, 2013

So last week- when things were a million times calmer in our castle- I registered to participate in NaBloPoMo or for those of you who don’t know National Blog Posting Month it is committing to posting every day for the month of November.  Every day.

NaBloPoMo November

And here we are November 5th and I have yet to publish a single post!!!!

So as I lay in bed last night beating myself about it I got to thinking….

I know I’m pretty new at this blogging thing but I am pretty sure the kind people over at BlogHer.com didn’t create this event so people could feel inadequate or like failures…in fact I’m pretty sure their intent was the exact opposite

It seems since I became a mom I find myself feeling inadequate about plenty of things and that needs to stop…or at least I need to vow not to let blogging become another one.

So I began to think why I initially thought signing up would be a good idea in the first place. I was all for it last week.

On reflection I realized the reason I signed up was to make a commitment to myself (not some blogging gods somewhere on the web) to just write.  That for the month of November I would just commit to writing more.  I’d ignore all the other stuff like widgets, and themes, and social media and just see what happens when I write.

So that’s what I intend to do.

I don’t know how it’s going to turn out, maybe I can start my month today and post every day until December 5.  Or maybe (probably more likely) I will miss a few days because who knows what life’s going to throw our way next.  But I’m just going to commit myself to writing more and see where it leads.  And if I go to bed at night not posting, well I am not going to feel bad about that or feel like I have let myself down because those feelings are pointless and not helpful at all. Whether they be about blogging or whatever…

So I may be late to the party…I might not stay for long…but I am here and I came for myself to have fun and maybe learn something and meet a few new people along the way.