Pointing to the picture on the right
“Mommy, those are your bones! And heart!”
They’re masterpieces, sure, but there is no doubt that from now I will sleep with a knife under my pillow.
When I moved here in 2005 I told my mother I would be back in the US in five years. As of yesterday, I have been living in Ireland for eight years and she now been here so often that I’m pretty sure she can claim herself as a resident to avoid joint-filing in the US. (You know, not that she’d do that or anything.)
Like being married, I can’t believe eight years in this country have passed so fast. I’ve stayed through the wet weather, the bad customer service and the massive recession. We’ve gotten married, had a baby and bought a house. I’ve learned that I don’t always need to have everything I want at this very minute (Bisquick) and what online shops to avoid if I don’t want to pay a hefty customs fee (Customs really likes looking through boxes of lacy underthings).
I’ve seen the sea almost every morning, I’ve made life-long friends from Ireland and the US (and a few countries otherwise) and I’ve seen probably eight million rainbows. (That’s one million rainbows a year; it certainly rains enough.)
I’ve been confused by proportional representation, Dublin bus schedules and roundabouts. (But I still passed my driving test!)
However, sometimes I find myself giving directions, explaining the law or defending a funny particular bit of Irishness or two to Irish people. I think this means I’m home. I might still be American but I hope at this point, after eight years, I’m a little bit of a Dubliner.
You’ll have to forgive me for not keeping up with my promised second resolution. The site is being tempremental for reasons we don’t understand. Every time we think we have cracked the problem, we encounter another problem and then the whole thing falls over. It’s frustrating when it takes 30 seconds to navigate to a page for a new post, and even more infuriating when the fecking thing times out all together. I’m out for blood when I know that people who are kind enough to read my rambles are encountering the same issues when they visit.
So bear with me for a few days while we figure this out. And by we, I mean Bub. And by figure this out, I mean hope it fixes itself so we can stop thinking about it.
Also, if anyone has any helpful tips for an imploding wordpress blog, let me know
Seven years. I can’t believe seven years have gone by since I put on the big white dress and walked down the aisle. I cried while marching down on my dad’s arm not because I was scared or nervous or upset or even overwhelmed but because that’s what Pachelbel’s Canon does to any person who doesn’t have stone residing in the centre of their chest. Still to this day I’ll tear up if I hear the tune.
And, as I sit here and look through the photos the thing that stands out the most right now is that I just could barely breathe with that corset on. I had to choose whether or eat or drink and I wisely chose food. And then later this happened:
I’ve only gotten classier with age, too.
Seven years, three moves, one house and a gorgeous little boy later we are still together and I’m not feeling very itchy. I’ll love you forever, my darling.
The weather has been wet, cold and, now, snowy in some places and so all of Ireland should decide to just take a duvet day. Mister Man and I are still in our pyjamas and everyone in the house has had a cup of hot cocoa. If we didn’t have an anniversary dinner to head to tonight (lobster for seven years, right?) I wouldn’t move from the sofa.
However, while the rest of us were slogging through the freezing rain to get to work, my dear mother decided to staighten out the risers on my stairs.
They were boring, white risers and after endless searching and pinning of different risers on pinerest done by me, she took matters into her own hands, made a small template and did it herself.
If there was light from, I don’t know, a big ball of fire in the sky I’d have a picture of the whole staircase but since it looks like we may never see something like that again, the corner pictures will have to do.
Next week she starts on the bathroom remodel.
Yesterday, Bub, my mother and I were in charge of 12 13 14 four year olds at Dublin’s Childrens’ Museum to celebrate Mister Man’s fourth birthday. You see how that number changed there? It’s because some people apparently don’t know what “ARRRRSVP” means. It’s pirate-speak. Who doesn’t speak pirate?
That’s the invite we made. I don’t know where our crafti-ness came from but I enjoyed designing it, and then we had a cracking good time setting them on fire and using our first wax stamp. I now own a wax stamp. I don’t even recognise myself anymore.
The party was even better than than the invite. As the old saying goes: the more, the merrier. Regardless of the bad manners of some of the parents, the kids were amazing. Not one fit was thrown; not one tear shed. They said please and thank you and most of them even ate the grapes that were given instead of the jello, lollipops, popcorn and chocolate cake. I was genuinely but pleasantly surprised by how wonderful so many four year olds can make a birthday party.
And we didn’t lose even one. Best birthday ever.
I have always heard stories of people who came home and unexpectedly didn’t have heat or electricity for one reason or another and marvelled at how well they seemed to handle it. It seems most people deal with situations like that without much fuss. They might complain but they sort of get on with things, like it’s Little House on the Prairie and they were just waiting for the lights to go out so they could try those neat oil lamps they had been keeping in the closet.
Yeah, I don’t do that.
I deal poorly. I cry, panic, get snarky. I yell at Bub on the phone to get his ass home and I snip at people who don’t do what I say fast enough. And you know what they say about yelling at people when you want them to do something? They say nothing about it because people are rarely stupid enough to yell at the person they need the most.
Today I came home and found our boiler broken. That means we don’t have any heat. My mother has been in this house all day without heat. Our house is cold in the summer; in the winter it can be a training camp for adventurers travelling to the South Pole.
When I evenutally got the guy on the phone who was meant to service our boiler in September and again in November but didn’t show up, I had to do everything in my power not to tell him that THIS IS ALL HIS FECKING FAULT. Just like that. In caps.
Instead I told him that he blew me off twice and that if he wouldn’t mind coming tonight so my family and I didn’t end up reenacting Alive that would be great! And he showed up. And the boiler is well and truly fecked and won’t be fixed before tomorrow at the earliest.
Tonight Mister Man is sleeping with the electric heater in his room, mom will have the electric blanket from our bed on her bed and Bub can have the hot water bottle under the duvet to keep him warm. Know where I am sleeping tonight? Right in front of this:
Just call me Laura Ingalls.
I now have a four year old. Wasn’t I just in high school? How has so much time passed so quickly? How am I still so good looking? I’m pretty sure parents to newly four year old boys look tired and worried that their precious child will throw himself off the side of his new bunk bed. Yet, I don’t worry about that at all. I know it will happen.
This year he learned to ride a bike, he jumped into a pool, and showed a love for soccer which continues to perplex us both.
He gave up his high chair, learned to awkwardly balance himself on a toilet, and can now easily reach all of the doorknobs, open them and walk in on you naked with zero warning.
He tells brilliant jokes, will choose chocolate over cheese any day of the week, and can work the DVD player to get it to play Mickey Mouse any time he wants.
This year he has probably challenged us the most. In the past parenthood has been a challange on its own but Mister’s third year just transformed him into a human being who believed that everything could be his if he just stomped his foot enough. At first he succeeded; lately, not so much.
On the other hand, we’ve been so impressed with how he can handle himself in situations where I thought about crying and throwing my own body on the floor. When we flew into Hurricane Sandy in October and then lost power, I panicked thinking he would be dirty and bored and screaming, but instead he was fascinated with the flashlights and burned off energy running around the empty mall during our search for electricity. He adapted so easily and we were, and continue to be, so incredibly proud of him.
Below the jump are some lovely moments from his past year. The last, from his birthday-pancake dinner, is my favourite.
Something you might not know about me:
I have been really into space since I was quite young. At my insistance, my Pop brought me up to Rifle Camp Park Observatory when I was five years old to see Saturn and its rings around the time of my fifth birthday. Twenty-something years later and still find the planets and the greater universe fascinating (even if I received a low C in astronomy when I attempted the class in college — too much fecking math). When they dropped Pluto’s planet status, I might have cried a little, but I knew it was coming. Poor Pluto just didn’t measure up.
Below is a video of former Commander of the International Space Station, Sunita Williams, giving a tour of some of the space station. Her hair is amazing, she gives detailed descriptions on how to use the toilet and she just flies about the whole time, making me incredibly jealous. I want to push off the floor and fly into my bedroom. Stairs are for suckers.
Hey, remember the other day when I said I would stick to my weight loss regime? I’d stay healthy and lose weight and basically be awesome for June and beyond?
Well, I went to my WW meeting today (like I promised) and easily gained a newborn. Not even one of those tiny newborns, either. Like, a proper, fully-grown, possibly over-due newborn.
I’m trying not to have too many feelings about this and power on.
As I sat there in the meeting, being told that I am still awesome even though I ate all the foods in Dublin over the Christmas break, I started thinking about how poorly timed my annoucement of my weightloss was. How maybe I should have waited until today to spill the beans. Also, why is it so hard to be motivated in the winter? Why is that? Why is it harder to just eat less during the colder months? It’s not like I’m running outside in the chilly, wet mornings. I’m just not putting excess into my body. I was far more enthusiastic about this concept in July. But a promise is a promise, amirite?