Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mysterious Flaming Orb in Sky over Kilkenny

Well wonders never cease, the sun is shining in Ireland.
Katie doesn't want to miss a minute of it (and we've learned that a minute is sometimes all we get).

This weekend has been beautiful.  Blue skies and a nearly steamy 24 degrees Celsius (that's 75.2 degrees Fahrenheit for all yous Americans).  I can now calculate C to F quite efficiently.  If I learned nothing else during my 7 weeks in an Irish hospital...  Imagine my panic the first time I took a patient's temperature and the thermometer read 36.8!  Does one run for the ice packs or chart as afebrile?!

Our backyard is rocking this summer.  Nana got Katie a swing and Daddy put it together and Katie proved you don't need a big scary, upside-down roller coaster to wear your "Oh-Shit-but-I-love-it!" face.
Sidewalk Chalk.  BIG hit.  Katie likes to tell Mommy and Daddy what to draw.  Add, "Em....Boy!, em....Girl!, em.....Circle!" and this picture pretty much sums up all that we ever draw.  She loves her mooo-cow and bah, bah sheep.  The devil snowman... that one surprised me a bit.  
Our newest edition:
Its a big elephant slide paddling pool and you can hook up the hose so that water rains down from the trunk.  And only 13 euro!  What a bargain.
I've got my project for tomorrow...
Not nearly as much fun as my project for today... I'm absolutely spent!  But on a day like this, even I couldn't justify using the dryer.
When I told Katie the sun would be out again tomorrow, she laughed hysterically.
Once she realized I wasn't joking, she caught herself and said, "yeah, okay mom, I'll believe it when I see it."   
Yeah, well... me too.  Cross your fingers for us.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

24 Month Checkup

Dear Katie,
    Happy 2nd Birthday!  This was not your cake.  You sort of got the shaft this year, celebration wise, but you were blissfully unaware and it was this complete and utter disregard for fanfare that we were counting on.  Thanks for letting us off easy this year.  Ponies and Bumper Cars next year.  I have been traveling up to Dublin Sunday nights til Thursday mornings the last four weeks to do an Irish Nursing Adaptation course at St. Michael's Hospital in Dun Laoghaire.  I have three more weeks to go and I will then be eligible for registration with the nursing board (finally... this process has taken most of your life).  This past week, Manus had to fly to Miami for an important meeting.  He left here Tuesday, took a bus to Dublin, stayed the night, flew out Wednesday morning and hauled butt back to make it home yesterday morning, just in time for your birthday.  Clearly this was not the week for us to plan and execute a party.

   Daddy saved the day though, bringing back some goodies from the Disney store in Miami.  So, you had gifts.  And you even had cake.  Albeit a slice of defrosted pound cake with a tub of chocolate mousse spread on top.  Again, you were a champ and ate every bit.  Thanks.
Nana and Papa came over to wish you a happy 2nd.  They brought gifts as well, from themselves and from Aunt Peig.  N and P got you your very own swing for the backyard.  Whenever it stops raining, she says, looking out through the rain-streaked window to the swamp that was our yard, Daddy will set it up.  The swings are your favorite (again) at the playground.  There was a phase you went through, not wanting anything to do with them, but that appears to be over now. 
Your talking has really exploded in the last two months.  I couldn't compile a list of words if I tried.  Every day there is a new one.  You repeat too much of what you hear - especially after mom spills water or stubs her toe.  Being gone half the week I am amazed when I return how much change happens so quickly.  Lots of words sound alike still, but you are getting clearer.  I taught you to say "Two" when asked yesterday how old you were.  So proud.  Then you proceeded to say that Daddy was two and Mommy was two and Nana.... oh well.  By three...
You know your farm animals, all the colors, and numbers 1,2,5 and 9.  Your favorite color is pink.  I even found some pink cookies for your birthday and yesterday you ate half the pack.  You have discovered TV.  Big Time.  Its all you want to do.  Watch Fifi, watch Barney, watch Turtle (a Baby Einstein video) and especially - Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!  You sit, completely entranced.  Already it's tempting to let you just sit and watch.  I am trying really hard to limit your shows and to make it an educational experience.  Any day you are going to roll your eyes and tell me to chill out.  Nope.  I just got an armful of parenting books.  Look out.  You are fast on your way to becoming the most well-adjusted, happy, confident, intelligent, appreciative, goal-oriented kid in all of Kilkenny.  Or a sociopath.  
For whatever reason, you are afraid of Uncle Brian.  You even held his card at arm's length.  We have asked you why this is and you reply, "Brian; Shy."  Okay then.

Friday was the very first day you let me put your hair up in a pony tail.  With the lifting of your hair, I saw the transformation: 

Gone is my little baby.  You are now my little girl.

We love you so much,
Mommy and Daddy

Friday, May 15, 2009

Is it too late..

to decide I don't have the stomach for motherhood?

Katie and I were at the mall today to jump and play in the toddler play area (big surprise, it was raining and therefore unsuitable for a trip to the park).  So, we aren't there five minutes when, as Katie is standing atop a soft block square, basking in the glow of her climbing accomplishment, another kid (boy, of course) tackles her at the knees and knocks her to the ground.  The event goes apparently unnoticed by everyone but she and I and as she is not hurt, I try to laugh it off and encourage her to reclimb.  She does and a few minutes later I see the kid coming at her.  Without enough time to intervene, I can only watch as she is thrown, ricocheting off the smaller soft blocks, to the ground.  At least this time the male adult chaperone saw what had occurred also and he was quick to apologize, but not as quick as I was to show fangs, extend claws and growl, "Yeah, well, that's TWICE!"  So he retorts something partially unheard that ends with, "of course, he's only two so, you know..."  Mother Bear was reduced to impish cub in moments.  I don't even know what he said but I could feel my face redden and I was blinking back tears.  For the next... hell, I'm still... replaying the scene and wondering, did I over-react?  Was I just bitchy?  Is this the kind of thing I should except and accept by letting Katie play with others?

I just think it's a parent's responsibility to watch your kid to a) keep them safe but also b) make sure they aren't infringing on the rights of others (or going after a small girl like a linebacker).  Am I wrong?  So then I'm watching Katie play and some other toddler scrambles over the barrier wall and sets off for the far side of the mall.  His mother hasn't looked up from her laptop since she sat down and I found myself torn between running after him or at least alerting the mother and keeping quiet and letting Little Missy Whatserface learn herself a right lesson.  I opted to sit back and observe, mostly out of immaturity and flagrant self-righteousness.  When she did finally realize he was gone, she still appeared nonplussed.  She stood, scanned, located and sat back down.  He was still across the mall!

When Katie came over to me, performing some rhythmic hand-beating on the bench, twisted her hand and thumb in an unnatural position and winced and I was the one to let out an audible cry, I decided it was time to go.  We'd had enough fun.

So I'm second-guessing my ability to handle the minefield that is motherhood.  I was incensed, aghast and reduced to tears at someone else's injury all in the span of less than an hour.  Last night a program had me in hiccuping, chest-heaving, all-out bawling as I watched a brain damaged woman try to remember her daughter and her daughter's resentment at having to visit the mother's rehab hospital.  (Alright, maybe that one deserves a few tears.)  I give myself a free pass.  But can I do all this feeling and hurting and loving with another kid?  I'm overwhelmed.  

Perhaps its the hormones?

Because, clearly...stomach is not something I'm lacking these days...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This time last year...

While I am working my 12 hour shifts in the hospital these days I just don't have the energy/ability/desire to blog much. My dogs are barking and my belly is tipping me over.

So, how about just a walk down memory lane?

This is what we were doing this time last year...
(Original post date May 5th, 2008)
Hola! Para cinco de mayo, yo voy a escribir en espanol solamente. Primera, felicidados a mis amigos Kristy y Nick. Es un ano que ellos son casados. Por favor, bebe son cervesas para mi! quesadilla, tamale, conquistador, siesta, la isla bonita....
okay, those are all the spanish words I know. Sorry to say, but that language is
about as useless here as my Pilon cortadito cups and my frozen margarita yard
dog are. I've just packed them right back up...

But sincerely, Happy Anniversary to the Hajimahalis-es
How do you pluralize their name? (And notice when you say it in your head its hard to stop the sssss sound)

As promised yesterday, here are some pictures of our Sunday: The weatherman predicted rain storms for the day. Fortunately for us, their accuracy ranks right up there with the Miami Dolphin's... well, anything, so as you can see, it was nothing but blue skies smiling on me.
This is what Katie and I look like everyday as we walk along Kells Road going into town.

We had lunch at the Ormonde Hotel with (clockwise from the bottom) Katie, Niall, Nana Kay, Brian, Bronwyn, Manus and Empty Chair.
After lunch, we walked over to the castle park. Kilkenny is known as the medieval capital of Ireland. Maybe even the world. But anyway, right in the middle of town there is the Kilkenny Castle.
It was in the Butler family for about 800 years, but they donated it to the
national heritage conservation perservation league organization in the 1960s.
(see pictures below). The castle's backyard, slightly larger than our own, has
become a public park with a jogging trail and a small playground. The swings are
the only thing working on the playground. Fortunately for Katie, its all she
could have played on anyway!
Katie looks on while our friend Jimmy (a small man; only the size of Katie's head, Jimmy was at a distinct disadvantage when it came to sports), Manus and Brother Brian (sibling, not monk) puck the- whack the puck -hurl the - what's the terminology? They play catch with their hurleys and slioters (bat and ball)
After the boys wore themselves out running after the missed balls (5 minutes) we walked down along the River Nore on the edge of the castle grounds and to our left was this ruin (pronounced roooooon) of what may have been a mill. - One hundred years from now will someone be stopping to take a picture of an abandoned Wal-Mart? I don't think so. There is just something magical about Ireland....
We were sitting outside of the Rivercourt hotel across the river from the castle having a few cold ciders with friends Jimmy and Pat when Katie said, "Hey, Mom! You and I should take a picture together in front of the castle!" (bossy turd... always telling us what to do) Then we went home, had a pepperoni pizza and watched some movie with Zack Braff. You can take the girl out of America, but you cant take the america out of the girl. Least not yet... A couple more picture perfect days like this though, and we might be able to work a deal...

Can you dig that hair on Katie? And, p.s. Happy Anniversary
(again) Kristy and Nick. My, what a difference a year makes, huh??!