Monday, April 27, 2009

Eiredate: 27/04/09 Day: 369

We have passed the one-year mark in our "Adventures in Ireland". I tried to celebrate our one-year anniversary yesterday only to have Manus inform me I was 3 days late. Time just flies when you are having fun... I can't believe we have been here a year. Though we did have that time in California, so-

Started my adaptation course in the Dublin hospital. Last week was three days of orientation lecture, today was the first day on the ward.

I hate being the new kid.

Maybe someday I'll have the energy to describe, but someday ain't today. I haven't done twelve hours in a LOOOOOONG time. And I have to do it again tomorrow (and Wednesday)...

Friday, April 24, 2009


Friday, April 17, 2009

Basket of Chocolate Eggs and Easter Pictures

Once upon a time in a land far, far, far away (Kilkenny, of course) there lived a beautiful young princess named Princess Katie. Princess Katie was sad because she didn't have any new clothes to wear for Easter. The evil custom's office in Portlaois, Ireland was holding her magical package of dresses hostage in a tall tower that was guarded by cruel customs charges and tax fees.

Just in the nick of time, Katie's fairy Grandmother appeared at the front door disguised as the Post Man. S/He waved the magic wand and...Hooray! The box had been delivered! Everyone in the kingdom cheered as Princess Katie was once again the most beautifully dressed girl on Easter Sunday.

Princess Katie spend her formative years watching E! Red Carpet specials and studying imported People magazines. She was, therefore, well prepared for her princess posing duties in the new royal gowns.

Like a true diva princess, Katie insisted on multiple costume changes throughout the holiday. As she wore the plaid dress for Saturday night mass, she said she would rather eat a poison apple and sleep for a thousand years than be seen in the same thing Easter morning.

The king and queen wished their royal camera had a video feature in order to catch Princess Katie as she twirled around the bedroom to show off all angles of her polka dotted dress.
That magic box from Grandma was surely magical indeed, for in addition to many beautiful clothes (more even than shown above), there was all kinds of easter goodies for Katie's Easter basket. The Irish have different traditions, giving all the princes and princesses in the kingdom large hollow chocolate eggs that are filled with other chocolate treats. Katie had bestowed upon her many of those cocoa confections from her royal Irish subjects; Lord Papa and Lady Nana, Count Brian and Countess Bronwyn and the great court jesters, Oisin and Connor.
The day's festivities began with the Royal Egg Hunt. Princess Katie insisted on imported plastic eggs as again, the tradition was foreign in the land of Erin. Once again, all the king and queen had to do was wish upon the brightest star and the fairy Grandmother made a multitude of plastic eggs magically appear.

After the eggs were found and the chocolate consumed, they all lived happily ever after, at least until the sugar rush kicked in.
The End

Saturday, April 11, 2009

400 reasons to love Kilkenny (and springtime)

Kilkenny celebrates its 400th year as a city this year and Saturday was opening day of the festivities. We walked into town to enjoy the blue skies, warm weather, blooming flowers, and, of course, U2..

We walked into town on Saturday, ran around in the castle park, drooled over the baked goods and artisan foods for sale at the farmer's market, then met up with Nana and Papa for lunch OUTSIDE at Bollard's Pub.

Bollard's is on Kieran Street, a pedestrianized lane that has become home to a number of cafes and coffee shops and also, a new Kilkenny find; the Hemporium. And it only took 400 years for that beaut to show up. (omg, I am getting old... frowning upon the patrons oogling the glass pipes and such. Le sigh) -Also note, next to the House of Wacky Tabacky is the "Playwright" Pub.. Those Guilfoyle brothers are at it again- Eamon runs the Miami Beach locale and Richie does a bang-up job here. For me, it's a little taste of home. There are 4 small tables outside Bollard's usually reserved for the desperate few that must brave the cold, damp wind for a smoke during their imbibing sessu'ns, but for that one day a year of warmth and sun...Look out sista- we were there, enjoying a Toasted Special and a front row seat to the passing street acts in town for the quadricentennial.

Our once smile-at-everyone child hated every minute. She liked to hear the drums and I saw some covert toe-tapping, but for the most part...

In a valiant effort to believe that Spring warmth is really here to stay, we bought Katie some outdoor toys. She loves playing with "VA-TA" and though Nana will let her splish and splash with her tea set at the kitchen table; mama no likey. Water, rocks and dirt are great "Outside games", as we say here at Ol' #9.

I remembered playing with rice as a kid and my friend Mary once blogged about how much her daughter loved dried beans so when I saw that bag of red lentils in my pantry...

And the asshole thing is that I really thought she would keep the legumes and water separate...

We shall be blessed with a bountiful crop of lentils this year in our garden. Soup for everyone.
And now, for your "GLIMPSE of S.I.M.P." (Self-Indulgent Mother Pride)
Note the lentil by her mouth. yeah. she ate some. It was a beautiful teaching moment.

Post Script: The weather has been shit since Saturday. (%#@! Ireland!)

Post Script II: Perhaps the SON will come out in August... BOY! oh boy!... wouldn't that be a nice addition to the Walsh family? Too bad the delivery won't come by male.. (if you voted hot dog - you were right. Manus says it's sure to be a 'footlong'. Just so long as it's a kosher weiner... okay! enough!)

Rule No.1: Begin to embarrass your children as early as possible

It will give you a clear head start against the stress, hell and angst they will cause during adolescence.

This is the "money shot" for No.2... Any guesses before the official announcement is made?

Or as my friend Debbie so poetically and graphically put it, perhaps in honoring the start of baseball season, "Do you see the cheeseburger or the hot dog?"

And in other sport related news, it was opening day for Potty Training season. Rookie K.A. Walsh shows definite promise. The will is there, now we just have to work on the aim.

Clearly, she takes after her father.

Which brings to mind a joke... A man walks into a psychiatrist's office wearing nothing but Saran Wrap. The doctor says, "Clearly I can see you're nuts."

And finally, a picture of the smiling face of what is clearly the alien life-form residing in my uterus.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bit by the Horse of Good Luck

Before starting our weekend review, I'll say that I am well again and feeling great. Even feeling a little baby doing 'it's' daily calisthenics. Once you feel the baby moving around each day, the reality of the situation sinks in fast- but that's a story of excitement and absolute fear for another day.

Saturday we went to
Nore Valley Open Farm in Bennettsbridge, Co. Kilkenny. It's a great family run farm with animals that visitors can pet and feed. They had sheep with their lambs, goats, deer, geese, the world's ugliest turkey, and bunnies you could hold.

Katie, though afraid of most of the animals, was enamored with the birds and has perfected her "gobble, gobble, gobble". The weather was nice; cool breeze but blue skies and a warm sun. In an ongoing attempt to win me over to the Irish-side, Manus commented frequently on how "we wouldn't be doing this in Miami..." As our visit ended in altercation with an ill-tempered Shetland, I concurred with Manus that this could be available in Miami but for one word; "Litigation". That fecking bastard of a pony (hereto forth referred to as a 'Shitland Pony') reached out it's plaque-ridden maw and clamped down on Katie's calf like a Hungry, Hungry Hippo chomping on a baby-pink marble. Little turd didn't break skin, but left a mark. I've documented it here for the future lawsuit.
The Grand National horse race was also held on Saturday and the In-laws, as most red-blooded Irishmen, placed their bets with the bookies. Picking the right horse comes from hours of arduous study, pouring over stats, considering expert predictions, weighing the stakes and odds and finally choosing your winner by how much you like the horse's name. (duh)

Nana picked out a horse for Katie based on the similarity of the the name to her great-grandma's; Mon Mome, the 100-1 long-shot, was Katie's horse because it sounds so much like our "Mum-mum".

The headline on soon after the race reads, "First 100-1 winner in 42 years takes 12-length victory". Mon Mome won Katie over $850.00!! (And that on a 5 euro bet)

Sunday I went to Carlow to meet up with the American gals again. This was our third lunch together. Somehow when we get together, time goes by so much faster and before we know it, five hours have passed and we've discussed everything under the sun from politics to religion to men to culture and beyond. Yesterday we talked our fair share of babies too, as we had an impromptu baby shower for one of the girls, Michelle. The Irish don't do baby showers, but dammit, we do! They also typically don't find out the sex of the baby before birth. But dammit! we do - when the baby cooperates. Michelle's hasn't so we covered all bases:

(l-r) Laura, Helena, Candi, me, Michelle, Carrie

I want to thank Carrie for hosting a great party and apologize again for leaving her with a mountain of dirty dishes! Thanks Michelle for staying and helping with the clean-up after (talk about the best guest of honor!). Claire was missing from the soiree as she just had her baby boy. We haven't spoken to her yet, but her due date was in March so we assumed... We missed you, Claire and hope all is well. Laura came to meet us for the first time. She lives with her family in Co. Clare and made the 2.5 hour drive to Carlow. She must have heard that Carrie was making her amazing Lemon pie! I hope she feels like she has made some new friends from her old country...
Candi lives in Waterford and had come to the last lunch as well. She and I have a lot in common - first and most important, we are both Gators. nuff said. Friends for life. But also, she has a daughter nearly Katie's age and is pregs with no. 2. We're talking plans for beach trips this summer and playdates in the park playground. I hope we really get to do those things, cause I do think she and I could be good friends. Plans were made for lunch this Wednesday with Michelle and Helena. Hopefully Candi and her daughter will come up to Kilkenny too.
Tomorrow we have our big ultrasound appointment. As long as our kid cooperates and bares all, we will find out if we are having a boy or a girl. In deference to our family here, I will not be announcing anything until after we have told our kin in person on Sunday. (i.e.- look for blog on Monday).
Busy week and new friends... and I've learned; Don't look a gift horse in the mouth!