Tuesday, April 24, 2012


A lovely mum I see at our local toddler group died last night. 

Today we're all in shock, numb that one of our friends has been cruelly taken away from her 3 beautiful young children. 

It's a week since I saw her and she was as bubbly and full of life as always. What an awful tragedy. 

Yesterday I paid my respects outside a standing-room only funeral of a dad of 4 - one of which is in my son's pre-school class. The whole school was in shock this time last week over his untimely death, now it's been served a double blow. 

It all feels so wrong. Seven children collectively robbed of a much-loved parent. It makes me numb to contemplate the devastating impact on their children over the rest of their lives. 

It makes me think how fragile life is. And how I've been in such a bubble this year, trying to get on top of life with 3 kids, not stopping to realise how lucky I am that my husband has been around to help, that we all have each other, my kids are healthy and we don't have any major worries or issues. 

So from now on, I'm going to be seizing every day, I'll be Carpe Dieming, living in every moment cos I really don't know which is going to be my last. It's a horrible thought, but it's really made me more mindful of the beauty in life, because some people don't have that luxury any more. And 3 children have just lost a gorgeous mummy. How truly heart-breaking. 

Monday, April 16, 2012


I've lived in Ireland exactly 5 years - the most transformative 5 years of my life. 

I've produced 3 little Irish babies. 

I've been fallow but creative.

I've done nothing to contribute to the stricken Irish economy, work-wise, sorry Enda. 

But my babies will become athletes and captains of industry and bring the country back to boom.

I've met hundreds of lovely people, who've all been so kind and welcoming. 

I've made so many friends. 

I feel I've really settled in this beautiful community. 

I can't imagine anywhere else on the planet where I would rather bring up my kids. We have loads of lovely local beaches, forests, parks and plenty of things for the kids (and me) to do. 

I have to drive everywhere - that's the only downside. After living in London for 13 years and walking or getting buses/tubes everywhere, this was the biggest shock to my system.

That and not being able to buy freshly-made sushi for lunch. But nevermind, I make my own now. Yum. 

After being in the UK for so long, the best thing about Ireland is its openness. Not only in open spaces and countryside but in the psyche of the people. 

Everyone waves and says 'hello', even strangers, which freaked me out a bit at first after arriving in from unfriendly, suspicious London. But I'm used to it now, and I love it. 

Everyone I meet is friendly, open, non-judgement and kind. 

And my accent is slowly picking up the sing-song Irish lilt. "Will we go so?", rather than "Shall we go then?"

I love saying "Thanks a million" and I've even recently shortened it to "Thanks a mil". Get me!

But the thing that has made me most native recently, is the good old favourite "Grand". It's grand with everything here. How you doing? "Grand", What do you think, "Sure it's grand", when the kids are trying to negotiate and I don't want to give in.... "Grand" said in the same style as "Whatever". Works everytime. Much better than the old Brit favourite "Fine".

It had to happen to me sooner or later. I resisted for so long. But grand is just so damn catchy. And everyone, including hubby says it all the time. I can't help it, it's sunk deep down into me now. In fact, I love it. It's my new favourite word. Five years here and finally I'm saying "Grand" like a repetitive parrot on uppers.

It's not such a bad thing.

Sure it's grand. 

Friday, April 13, 2012


I want to write. I have things in my head, but it's all jumbled up and the kids are around, so I can't concentrate. I should really be more present for them. 
I have a hangover. Strangely it's not too bad. Met up with friends for a charity quiz night last night, and rarely, I wasn't driving and I fancied a pint of Guinness (or two). 
Won a prize in the raffle - a family day out to a local farm. 
It's hailing outside, proper big lumps of ice, pelting down against the window. We're having a typical April - April showers all the time, then sun, lots of rainbows.
My little girl is singing, a sweet bird-like song, it's entertaining the baby, so for once he's not screaming to be in my arms. 
I've survived another week, my sanity intact, my babies flourishing. Today is Friday 13th, Lorci's 11 month birthday. A special day, because he was born on Friday 13th as well. Does that make him Satan reincarnate? No, he's not that bad, he's getting easier, I'm getting more energy for him, he's less on the boob and more adventurous on the ground. He's funny at the moment, because he goes off hunter-gathering. Exploring floors, searching for food. He always manages to find something to put in his mouth, no matter where we are, and if he doesn't, he goes up to people begging for whatever food they're eating. A few loud grunts and a mouth open in anticipation is all he needs to communicate what he wants. What an instinct to survive he has.
I've been trying to fix my broken body. I've been on underactive thyroid pills for the last week and I'm starting to notice a difference. It can't be placebo, because I'm actually waking up in the mornings now. It's a massive difference. Yesterday morning I amazingly got up before the kids. I've never done that before!
They normally wake me. I struggle to get out of bed. I struggle through the morning, grunting because I don't have the energy to speak. Normally I start to wake up by lunchtime - and then I'm ok for the day, until I slump again after battling them all to bed at 8pm.
But now I'm on these pills, I'm able to speak in the morning. I can smile. I don't want to curl up into a ball and stay sleeping all morning. I think they're making a difference. I'm finally looking forward to a summer doing lots of outdoor things with the kids. Hanging out on local beaches, taking them swimming, having outdoor picnics. Oh I hope this new kind of normal stays. 
I'm getting my sprained pelvis fixed too. I finished up with the chiro and found a local physio who seems lovely and is cheaper and more holistic. The whole 10 minutes of expensive chiro bone-chrunching without any massage just didn't sit happily with me. So my body is not feeling as sore, the sciatic pains are gone and my hands don't feel as numb and weak. Yeehah!
I'm optimistic - because if I can get my energy back and my body fixed, then I can have a great summer with the kids. I can start to enjoy them, finally, cos they are so wonderful and so sweet. 
Today for the first time, I sat with them and watched telly thinking, I'm so glad I'm a stay at home mum, because if I had a hangover and had to go to work today, I'd be very depressed. 
So I'm thinking how lucky I am that I don't have to work - and that the kids are healthy, amazingly healthy. I'm convinced my eldest is invincible as he's avoided direct-contact chicken pox about 10 times now and is the only boy in his pre-school class who hasn't had the dreaded spots. Amazing. 
I'm delighted I've got through the first year of 3 kids, and I'm getting my life back, and I'm taking more me-time to fix myself so I'm more able for them. At times I was so exhausted that I figured it must be depression, but I'm generally happy-go-lucky so I never stayed overwhelmed for long. And I got good at asking for help. For me, exhaustion and depression are so closely related. I started taking vitamin D, vitamin B, evening primrose and now thyroxine and I finally feel good on that potent cocktail.
Long may it last..

Here's me last summer enjoying a picnic with newborn Lorci


Thursday, April 05, 2012


So I had my first chiropractic treatment. 

I arrived buzzing thinking "this is it, we're going to get stuck in to the root cause of my numb weak hands, sore neck and pelvis, general stiffness and occasional shooting pains down my left leg".

I had weighed up the cost of treatment. €45 for half an hour. We can't afford it at the moment, but I figured a couple of hard-core sessions would make a difference. It's time to give something back to me, fix me so I can be a better mum to my 3 kids...

"Just sit here and watch this video" I was told. 

I was left to endure 15 minutes of the smarmy pyschobabble of CJ Mertz or Coach CJ as he likes to be called. He is American and a spokesman for chiropractors. 

This is a trick, I was thinking. Why do I have to sit through this? How many times has he mentioned "vertebral subluxation"? Christ if he mentions "vertebral subluxation" again I think I'm going to go crazy. Why do I need to know this stuff anyway, chiropractor training will not fix my ailments, getting stuck into treatment will? This is a very annoying repetitive video, it's not endearing me to treatment one little bit.

Come on, where are you? TREAT ME PLEASE!

Then I was shown my Xrays and left for 5 minutes more to ponder the beautiful black and white of my bones. 

Yes lovely, they're bones, brilliant, but come on now, let's get started. I'm paying €45 for this!! The clock is ticking, that's 20 minutes so far!

Eventually, I was asked to lie on a bed and given a few crunches, then told to lie back on blocks and move my legs for 5 minutes (bit like pilates that I could do at home), then one twist of my neck, and I was done!

Is that it? At most, I got 5 minutes of hands-on treatment!!

I'm left feeling frustrated, still aching all over and concerned that I've got myself into something that is going to cost money that we don't have.

No doubt on my next visit, I'll receive 10 minutes of treatment and be told I need a course of 10 more sessions @ 10 minutes of treatment @ €45 per visit.

I've already paid €135 for an Xray that the chiro insisted was critical. Yet the xray didn't tell her anything that she didn't already know after the evaluation session. So what was the point of wasting my money?

My husband who is seeing an osteopath recently, was told that xrays are pointless, they don't tell you anything that an expert can't tell already. He got a thorough treatment in his first session, and then in his second, he received 40 minutes of hands-on crunching that made a big difference to his body.

Have I picked the wrong back specialist? Would a physio or a osteo be better? I'd love to see results sooner rather than later. It seems chiros prefer the long-game. I'm talking to so many people about this at the moment and doing a lot of research. There's a lot of negative stuff on the internet that is making me question whether chiropractic care is all that Coach CJ claims it to be. 

Shall I bail out before it makes me even more cynical?

I'd like to get fixed. 

So far I've paid €180 for nothing. 

I'm feeling a little bit powerless and frustrated today. 

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


1) "You've got your hands full"
- Do I always look overwhelmed?

2) "Just wait until they're teenagers, it gets worse"
- At least I won't have to wipe their bums!

3) "He's a really calm baby isn't he?"
- Er no, he's proper fierce with me!

4) "Kiss my bum better, I hurt it"
- Er no thanks (my little girl)

5) "Let's play mums&dad's. You be the mum and I'll be the tiger"
- Interesting take on mums&dad's from my little boy

6) "How are you coping with your husband away working?"
- I'm surviving, bit busy though

7) "Have you thought about stopping breastfeeding him?"
- Er no, he's only 10 months

8) I'm loving your blog
- Thanks, me too ;-)

9) "Your spine is badly twisted and you're 2kgs heavier on your left side!"
- Oh crikey, I'm broken by having babies, gonna need a lot of chiro realignment!

10) "I thing what you're doing is wonderful. You are so there and utterly available and open to our babies, laying yourself bare, honest and vulnerable. Thank you for your unconditional love"
- Finally feeling appreciated by my hubby, ahhhhh...