Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I guess so.

I've gotten some grief over my last posting. I've mortified my inlaws.

This is how I look at it: Just about every woman of child-bearing age is either a) trying to get pregnant or b) trying not to get pregnant. I didn't consider subversive a topic in which on any given day you have a 50/50 chance of guessing.

But to save the sanity of my family, I am here on out instituting a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. If it works for the military, it can work for me.

So, ignore my last post. Besides, I didn't mean any of it anyway. Maybe I was just saying all of that to throw everyone off the scent. Maybe right now, I'm pregnant... with triplets. No! quadruplets! No! I'm going to be starting a new reality show called Manus and Kate Plus 8... I'll have eight babies all at once and the first episode will be about my funeral because my womb exploded.


On a related note, I did actually pull one of my old posts... someone came across it and wrote some very offensive comments on it. It was one from our trip to London and while I thought it all in good fun, someone else out there didn't. I must remember that strangers can read this blog and certainly, some are stranger than others.

Next post - nothing but good wholesome Christmas pictures!

Merry Christmas to everyone out there. I hope everyone is spending the day with the ones they love. I am so thankful that I am. Thanks mom and dad for making the trip over. I love you. Merry Christmas to all the Rices, my family in Pennsylvania and my beautiful Mum-mum. To the Loud-wigs and my (other) beautiful Mum-mum, we love and miss you and wish you were here! Have a shot of tequila for me. Can we play Pictionary over Skype?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Economic Crisis Hits Home

After yet another month of less-than-desired production, the Walsh family baby factory has announced some lay-offs.

That's right, it's another month with all of the baby fat and none of the baby.

On the bright side, the Kilkenny pub economy is expecting a boost to their revenues. Effective immediately.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sick Ain't Pretty

It's official: Katie is allergic to Ireland.

She got sick shortly after we arrived here in April and she is sick now. The first time she had a stomach bug and she was puking on me and the couch and the bed and aisle 5, but somehow even considering all that Vomitus Projectillus, this current cold/flu/upper respiratory infection is even more disgusting. The spaniards call it La Gripe and so do I.

Yesterday morning I went to get Katie out of her bed and found that she had been replaced by a mini Fuhrer. All of the snot that had escaped her nasal passages in the night had hardened and darkened into an Adolph Hitler mustache. I was repelled and intrigued at the same time. I was going to take a picture of her, looking so pathetic and yet dictatorial but, I, the girl who talks about poop at the dinner table, was so grossed out by the sight of her boogers I would not have been able to focus the camera. It was like petrified tree sap that turns into amber. I should have searched it for dinosaur DNA.

But then the question; how do I get this stuff off her face? 1) I don't want to touch it 2) if we just try to pull it off the top layer of her upper lip would have come with it. We hot compressed it with some wet washcloths, then burned said washcloths in the backyard.

This morning the nose was not so bad. However the 14 coats of mucous mascara had her eyes glued shut. We greeted the day with more warm water, permanently ruined washcloths and Katie screaming bloody murder, leading to more nose running, choking on spit and me cheerleading, "thats right baby, bring it on up" as she coughed and sputtered.

So now her eyes are goopy and puffy. Her nose is running. Her upper lip is glistening from the neosporin I have on the red chaffed skin. Her hair is matted with snot and I actually rug-burned her left cheek when I tried to wipe her clean while we wrestled this morning.

It is not pretty. But thank god she is whiny and irritable. That evens the whole thing out.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Friday Night Lights

We're just two wild and crazy kids living it up here in Kil-tothe-Kenny. Check out our HOT HOT HOT Friday night..

Apparently nobody can sleep around here...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Home Is Where The Hearth Is

God that is clever!

Manus said he's seen that saying before though, on a mug or a tee-shirt. Yeah right, who would put that on a tee shirt? I think he is jealous because I'm so punny.

Alas... I stand corrected.
Anyhoo, we have been working hard to get our house a bit more homey. This isn't like we put baggy jeans and a skull cap on our house - it's just not that kind of homey. But I think we've done a really good job. I refer you to a picture of our first floor circa May '08.

And now look at her -

You should see it at night when we have a fire in the fireplace. Last night we had a fire going, the tree lights on, Christmas music piping through the house speakers, Katie was playing with blocks on the rug and Manus and I were in the kitchen preparing mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts for dinner, sharing a bottle of red wine and I said, "Ugh, aren't we just Norman Rockwell's idea of an all-American family right now?" Note: Irony. We are in Ireland... But, okay, so I got the nationality wrong, but it was all just so picture perfect.

It warmed the cockles of my ice cold heart.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Home Sweet Ireland?

We are here. We are home.

We survived the trip with minimal cuts and bruises.

It is freezing. I am cold.

Will update more when my brain defrosts and I can feel my fingers again.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

That's not MYami

I, like scores of other young children that grew up in South Florida, used to get a little confused by the name of my town. I thought adults were talking about it in the possessive like, "we are going to my Ami". It was as though the town had a counterpart of 'Your-ami'. I'm pretty sure I got pissed off when people would try to claim the Ami for their own. Cuz, it was mine. However, if there ever is or will be a town called YourAmi, I've got your very first citizen. We here in Myami are willing to give him up...

Yesterday we got home to a notice on the front door from FPL, the local power company, and their inability to enter our yard for the scheduled maintenance because Poochie the Man Killer was loose in the yard. However, the message continued, if we could "Keep the dog in the house, they would combat tomorrow."

Maybe Ireland isn't such a bad place to raise our children....

Sunday, November 30, 2008

ExtendedStay America

Through the magic of Manus' job, we have extended our stay in the states for 3 days. We will now be flying back on Friday, Dec. 5th.

This means more time for Katie to bond with her 'gog' Poochie.

Which is good because Poochie has been teaching Katie how to survive in the wilds of Kendall. Like when you are outside and you are thirsty...

The puddle by the pool is refreshingly delicious.

ugh! Hairball...

Though we tried to present her with a socially more acceptable alternative...

She just didn't get it..

Who says an old dog can't teach a new kid bad tricks??
I wonder what they are scheming now...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Giving Thanks

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day for the Americans. It conjures images of nice, white, Protestant pilgrims fresh off the Mayflower sitting in boy-girl, boy-girl order at a long picnic table with the scantly-clad, hard-bodied burnt umber savages as they break bread and offer second helpings of cornbread stuffing in the spirit of harmony and peacefully coexisting... ah yes, that is down-home American. Yee haw. It's also delusional and a sorry statement on the skewed version of history we teach our children. That and how good old Chris Columbus discovered this place.

However, the concept of a day to stop and reflect on the good in your life and give thanks for those gifts- that is a good idea on a global scale. (the mounds of food are just a bonus)

It is with that in mind that I do offer thanks for all the amazing riches I have. I was in America for Thanksgiving and the family, with the exception of cousin Jenny, was able to be together to celebrate. My parents are still in love (with each other) and perpetually young-at-heart. I have both of my grandmothers alive and well. I am married to a kind, patient and hard-working man. I have a beautiful daughter. We are able to live out a dream of living abroad. We have our friends and family and our health and if you have those things, you have every reason in the world for thanks giving.

Now if we are talking about the Hallmark Corp. American holiday that boast recipes for deep-frying your turkey, drinking your mashed potatoes Cola Cola style or serving the almighty Turducken on your silver platter, I have some other things to mention that I am thankful for.

1) That this is my blog and if I want to end a sentence in a preposition then I can. See above.* *above - also a preposition!

2) I got to play doctor with Mr. Gobbles, our holiday bird. First you have to clean out the body cavity. I was all Dr. G, Medical Examiner. "C.O.D: beheading with a sharp instrument. And, the bird has no heart. The liver appears to have been torn from the abdominal wall and placed into a plastic baggie." Then you search the exterior for any residual feather nubbins and you pop them out like a big juicy blackhead on a fat man's back. Then you massage the turkey breasts for a while, for no legitimate reason. It just feels cool. (okay, I'm not a perv... but it was a little fowl) Ha. Finally I teased away the skin from the viscera to create pockets for some herbed butter. I kept shouting out, "Nurse! Scalpel!". It probably stopped being funny after the sixth or fifteenth time - but not to me...

3)I found out where stuffing comes from. Oh Stove Top, you had me fooled...

4) I am thankful for football games on TV on Thanksgiving Day because it keeps the boys busy while we girls do what we do best

5) Cards and Tequila

6) I am grateful for modern technology. Mummum was able to read all the birthday wishes on my brand new handy-dandy laptop-ette. I am sitting outside on the porch enjoying Miami's finest weather while I type this wirelessly. And we hooked up our slingbox. Greatest invention known to modern man. We can piggyback off the cable here at my parents and watch AMERICAN TV in Ireland. What more can a girl ask for? Dustin, you are my hero. I am forever in your debt. You are now in the will.

7) We were so happy that Katie's German Tourist alter-ego flew in for a visit.

8) Thank you so much Bill and Carolee for the big bottle of Jameson whiskey that we used to cheers my dad on his 60th birthday. It washed away the taste of tequila beautifully.

9) But I am most thankful for the fact that I had my camera and could capture this.

God Bless America and bring on the leftovers.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

This Amazing Woman

Turned 95 years old on Thursday.

She is still gorgeous.

We went over to her house to celebrate her birthday. And as we do whenever the family is together, we spent the whole day playing cards.

And drinking tequilla.

Katie is such a bad influence... just look at what she made her cousin Nicholas do -

They couldn't even stand up!

Or maybe it was the shoes..

Nicholas shows Pop and Katie the birthday cards.

And puts Mummum and Elissa in a double headlock.

Then helps mummum blow out her candles. Katie just wants the cake.

Happy Birthday to my Mummum, the most beautiful woman I know. And look! now she is good enough to eat

Monday, November 17, 2008

Here we go again...

If my life over the last two months were a pie chart...

And here we go again.. Our California adventure has come to an end. I'm actually sad to leave. I really like California. I love having friends right down the street. And Target. Sweet Target...

I'm sure I will have more to say about living out here once I've had some time to reflect on it all, but no time for reflection today - today is suitcase packing day. I don't know how we fit all this stuff into our bags to come out here. It is amazing the amount of crap you accumulate.

We leave tomorrow for two weeks in Miami. November 27th is not only Thanksgiving, but my dad's 60th birthday so I am really happy that we will be with our family for the holiday.

I am actually getting excited about getting back home to Ireland. I told Manus that the day we get back I want to go out and get our Christmas tree. I need a project and decorating the house for Christmas will do just fine. I want our house to look like Mama Perrin's - Like Santa came in and spewed red and green and holiday cheer all over the place. And I want a fire in our fireplace at all times. And S'mores for breakfast. Graham crackers, mmm. That's another thing you can't get in Ireland. Note to self: ship some Honey Maids...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Eleven eleven

Three years ago today...
I married my best friend. (or some crap like that)

11-11 was such an ideal date to get married because we knew we would never forget it. We even get two times a day when our digital clock reads out a reminder 11:11! and if one of us looks at the clock at that very moment, we shout out, "Eleven - eleven! I love you!" But 11-11 doesn't tell us how many years. When we were trying to figure it out last night we couldn't believe it'd been only three. Yes, sometimes it feels like forever.... But then, we think about how much has happened. Manus started a new business, we had Katie, and we moved to another country. We've been to Tahiti, New Zealand, Ireland, England, France, California!

I love my husband. I make his life amazingly difficult and he still wants to keep me around! I think that with every year together we learn a little more of what it means to be married. (I really thought it came with a handbook). I'm still not as good as I would like to be at telling him how much I appreciate all the sacrifices he has made for us. He works so hard, so many long hours and he doesn't complain. I am still struggling with "loving him FOR his faults, not just in spite of them" and he accepts and loves me for everything that I am. Sometimes I read his silence for indifference and I am wrong. Sometimes I am angry. Sometimes I am selfish. Sometimes I am childish. (shocking, I know...) I am so sorry for what those feelings bring and I am trying every day to grow and better myself - not just for me, but for my husband and the vows we took on this day three years ago. We are a team. Go team Walsh!

C'mon! Look at this GQ guy... What's not to love? Eat your hearts out, girls...
We were so amazingly blessed with friends. Manus more friends than me, obviously - but I'm lucky nonetheless. I know that we will have these people in our lives forever. And family too... Thank you to all of our family that were able to make the sacrifices to be with us on our wedding day. We have often talked together about what it meant to us to have so many and from so far away there to celebrate this life that began that day.

Going through all these pictures that I probably haven't looked at in two years has brought so many great memories back. I wish I could post all the pictures. It has been such a fun walk down memory lane. Does anyone know if Flickr allows these copyrighted proofs to be posted?
Christy Moore once said, "Life is an ocean, Love is a boat - In troubled waters, it will keep us afloat" ....So what if he failed to mention the occasional seasickness?
I love you, Manus.
Here's to another great three years. (at least, of course) Just keeping it to realistic goals... ;)

Monday, November 10, 2008

YO! semite

Scenes from Yosemite Valley.

We spent the weekend with the McErleans in a little cabin in the woods just outside Yosemite.

We left here around 1pm on Friday and travelled down the long and winding road that leads from the golden rolling hills of Folsom and El Dorado Hills to the fall colors and sheer granite faces of Groveland, CA and the Yosemite National Park area.

If we arrived at 3:30, we were unpacked by 4 and by 4:05 the first bottle of wine was uncorked. (I love a vacation)

I was really disappointed when I saw that the fireplace in the house was not wood-burning but propane-fueled. But my dreams of throwing another log on the fire, roasting marshmallows and singing campfire songs were not dashed for long. While exploring the property, we found a fire ring in the yard and were quickly scrambling around for the perfect s'more-making twigs.

Dinner, campfire, ghost-stories and molten-lava marshmallow treats. A few glasses of wine and we were all in bed by 9.

Saturday morning we loaded up and drove into the park. Stopping along the way at (almost) every scenic overlook to capture that Kodak moment.

This is the view Katie got every time we stopped too. Poor girl... drew the short straw and had to stay behind in the car as bear bait. Well, we didnt want them to eat our picnic lunch!

To be fair, we left Ciaran locked up in the backseat sometimes too.

Katie loves the boys. She wants to do everything they do. She follows them around like a puppy dog. Isn't this what every Northerner's senior picture looks like? Katie is very advanced for her age.
I was dying to see a bear in the park, or at least a little mountain lion, but had to settle for some deer. These were so close to the trail and they didn't seem the least bit fazed by the deer paparazzo.

Saturday night it rained and rained and rained. We had three bottles of wine, six bottles of beer, two games of Blackjack, seven temper tantrums, five fights over the toys and four time-outs. ...And that was just the adults.

But all that rain in the valley...

...was snow up the mountain.

We hiked to a grove of giant sequoias Sunday morning. It was so beautiful. A winter wonderland. And it was cold.
Just another thing we put Katie through, and she is too young to appreciate it.

But the boys loved every minute. It is safe to say a few snowballs were thrown.
Okay, maybe Katie had a little bit of fun.

She shows off her very first fat lip.

The "tunnel tree" hollowed out in 1858. Covered wagons and later cars drove through this giant sequoia. The road was closed in 1993.
Now the tree's primary use is the background for the obligatory family photo. Talk about a demotion.
And today, Nov 10th is my friend Naomi's birthday. Happy Birthday Naomi! I love ya. (not that she ever reads this, the turd..)