Friday, November 4, 2011

the storm before the stormier storm

There they are, our little darlings working on a jack-o-lantern last week. Paudie is quite angry with his little bro - shocker. It's so hard to believe that this could be the last week of sanity for awhile. And it's hardly sane here. But two months into the move, I can say that I finally feel as if things are settling down. How naive of me to think we would have been settled before this point. Paudie just went through weeks of horrible separation anxiety - he still has his moments but he's starting to make friends and things are feeling more normal. I thought 4 was going to be like a totally awesome age and instead it has me banging my head against a wall. Paudie is such a contrarian. Everything is a battle. I hope it's just a phase and him dealing with a transition into schoolage. I don't know. Then there is Noel. The little devil/charmer. He is physically strong and strong willed. And loud. They are opposites. On Halloween Noel was a party animal and P a party pooper. Paudie ran away from every person who approached our door scared out of his mind. Noel meanwhile greeted everyone, hello and goodbye. 'Hiya' he's screaming on the porch meanwhile Paudie is rolled up into a ball on the couch watching some preschool cartoon of sorts.

Paudie hates to eat. Part of wonders, does this child have an eating disorder? He is skin and bones. We give him food and he just ignores it and Noel comes along and takes it off of him and eats it. They couldn't be more different.

This all makes me wonder what we are in store for. I found out I was pregnant back in mid-March and while I can't say it was a shock, it also wasn't entirely expected. Between anxiety around my 'advanced maternal age' and knowing we wanted to move, I really was able to turn my mind off from it for many months. Pretty strong denial that has carried me far. But 38 weeks in, it's pretty hard to deny. I am trying to savor the last few days and weeks here because this is definitely it. I can't believe this is a fourth baby for us. I feel like, well actually I have been, in some stage of pregnancy or post or trying for 7 years. This is an end of an era. While I have no idea how we are going to handle another child, I am at peace with how it worked out. I hate being on the fence and this pregnancy pushed us off of the fence. It also will be pushing me back into a darker place in terms of anxiety about the health of the baby. Hell even now when Paudie tells me his legs hurt it's all I can do not to think Wilms tumor. Sigh. That's what I worry about the most, going back into anxiety mode. The flashbacks to Cian's first few months of life and all of the trauma that came with being his mom and dad.

Funny how life works out. 5 years ago we lost Cian and here we are about to welcome his third younger sibling into the world. This is a path he set us on. If you'd told me five years ago we'd be here, I wouldn't have believed you. At that point I felt as if I'd fell down the side of a mountain and was standing next to it staring up to the top feeling like any chance of getting back up to the apex was slim to none. Thankfully I can't clearly recall the amazingly horrible feeling of losing our parenthood for a year, but I do try and go there whenever I feel overwhelmed by what we have.

There's safety in numbers, I guess that's become my parenting philosophy. So no matter how sleep deprived I am, or how rotten Paudie is to us, or how many times Noel tries to headlock new baby, this is a good thing for us. This is all a tribute to the little boy who so radically changed and touched our lives.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Live from Scottsville N-Y

Yup, I'm resurfacing. It's been almost two months I guess. Two obnoxcious, nutty months. I remember feeling right before we moved that there was light at the end of the tunnel for the stress. Hah. See, we had a difficult seller that we were buying from that was really complicating the overall process... a difficult lender that wouldn't close on a loan with asbestos wrapped pipes... then there was us doing the move mostly on our own to save money... I kept thinking, once all this is behind us it will get easier. But it really hasn't. It just got different. So we made it - got the loan closed, got our trailer empty and belongings in the house with the help of Larry, Darryl and his other brother Darryl, but then reality set in. No fence for weeks, no routine for the kids for weeks... it was pure chaos here. And me working from the turret in the meantime. We finally got going with preschool and daycare... and the kids hate it. Both of them can't seem to transition well. Someone is always crying.

Then there is the house. Our lovely pink Queen Victorian. So far we've had four gas leaks fixed. It's like everything in this house that has anything to do with gas had a gas line installed unprofessionally and not to code. Who spends gobs of money on a fancy kitchen (crazy seller) and neglects something as critical as the things that could blow the house up? But I think we have the gas issues behind us. Now John thinks we have chipmunk issues. He stayed up with croupy Noel last night and heard all sorts of noises that he couldn't tell where they were coming from, in or out. So that's the next project.

I know, I'm sounding very glass half empty. That's me. But if I try to take a step back, it hasn't all been bad. It's great living in a larger house in a nice community. We came from a small city with a growing drug problem and declining property values and now live in a small farming village where everyone knows everyone. It's kind of cute really. Quiet, safe, clean air. Kids had been sleeping so well (until all the separation anxiety set in, and croup) which we attributed to much more outdoor time and better air quality. So I don't regret the move, I just wish we could get our rhythym. I had hoped it would happen by now so I could spend the next few weeks more relaxed prior to the arrival of #4, but I guess for now I just try and cope with a few steps forward and one back. Everyone keeps telling me the kids WILL adjust. The crying and tantrums WILL stop. So I go with it. And at some point the boxes WILL be all unpacked. So I go with the power of positive thinking to whatever degree a pessimist like me can.

And did you notice that it's a week before Cian's 5 year anniversary and I'm only now mentioning it? Pretty good huh. We've certainly had a few awkward moments meeting people. Why is it when you're pregnant everyone must know what number baby it is? I try to answer the question honestly without making the asker feel too mortified. But it gets tricky especially when the questions persist. "So is this your first?" "Nope (smiling)." "Oh, your second." "Nope, we have two little boys at home." "Oh, so this is your third?" "Well, no, actually it's our fourth but our first is no longer with us, we lost him to cancer." Skidmarks.

I will try and post some pics but you know how I am about that, delinquent. Just wanted to say that we're here and we're okay for the most part. It's certainly been nice being out of the city, away from traffic and closer to my family. I just long for the day that I finally say, "we're settled." The last time I felt so very unsettled was when Cian was sick and after his death (which this pales in comparison to of course) but it does take me back to feeling like someone is sitting on my chest/wanting to jump out of my skin. Similar ick, different degree. It's just hard being type A and being trapped in like a type F environment.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Well we're moving on up...

For five years John and I have toyed with the idea of moving to upstate NY where I grew up. I actually still have a sticky note on my desk from the week that Cian was diagnosed with cancer - on it I was writing notes from our nanny about what he had eaten in her care while he wasn't feeling good (i.e., had cancer) as well as two zip codes in Rochester I wanted to check out. After Cian died we were left to rebuild our lives. Back to work we went and started our family again. The years just sort of ticked by. We worked, had more children, settled into our home and our routine here. But we always thought it would be nice to be closer to my family, in a reasonable housing market where we could get a larger home and some land in a good school district. Well this year we finally put our money, literally, where our mouths were. It's been a summer of angst and stress but it seems we are almost there. The vast majority of our house is packed into a large trailer in our driveway. New owners are preparing to move into the house that my husband basically rebuilt by hand. We are going to be closing on a historic Queen Victorian in a small village 15 minutes or so outside of Rochester. It's all really happening. Shocking. It's scary and invigorating at the same time. Is this the right thing to do? Will we like it there? How will we survive the winters? When I start to panic, as I often do, I look at Paudie and Noel and think of our dear Cian and calm down because this move is all about them. And if nothing else, it feels good to act on the fantasy. You think and you think about the things you might like to do and then one day turns into the next which turns into a month and then a year and there you are, in the same place. I feel accomplished that we set a goal for ourselves and seem to be on the path of accomplishment. I wonder what this new chapter will bring for us - in the matter of a few months we are going to settle into a new home in a village we really know little to nothing about, and then welcome another child into our lives. I feel like somehow Cian set this all into motion and when I feel pain over leaving the house that he lived in with us, I just remind myself that he's always with me, regardless of where I am. So that's it, I'll undoubtedly be out of touch for awhile as we try and settle in (shocker I know). Boston gave me the best (meeting my husband and our kids) and the worst (losing Cian) times of my life - can't wait to see what comes next... hopefully more than snow.

Friday, July 22, 2011

out of control

That's me todya's title refers to despite the photo of a frosting faced Noel. Okay so maybe it's me and the kids and the dog but mostly me. I can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted. The past month has been consummed by real estate transactions. Our house has an accepted offer and will no longer be ours on August 23rd. It happened really fast, which I think was a good thing because if my mind could have really processed what it all meant, I might have jammed on the breaks. it's so hard to leave a house in which I did so much growing up. When we moved in John and I weren't even married. It was the house he rebuilt. The house we brought our babies all home to. The house we wept in. But we are moving on to a new chapter in our lives. One that isn't fully defined yet, but hopefully will be soon. Real estate transactions really make me nuts. From dealing with so many people who claim to have your best interests at heart but really only have their own, to lack of timely response, to gobs of money changing hands... it's all so nervewracking. I feel so ignorant and it's so hard to rely on basic strangers helping me get from point a to point b. Then throw in two small kids on top of it all... and another on the way... and it's like, what were we thinking? But hopefully we're just in the thick of it and it is going to get a little easier, soon.

I've lived in Massachusetts for 17 years. I have no idea where the time went. That's verging on half my life. God I loved it so much here as a twentysomething. And now as a married mama it just grates on me. The traffic, the cost of living, the accents. But we also have the ocean, the sports and liberal idealism. It's all sort of like a metaphor for my time here, the best of times, the worst of times. But this was the plan we'd set out for ourselves even before Cian got sick and it became more crystalized after he died and we were blessed with more kids. Our lives are all about them, what's best for them, what is going to be as close to pony rides and space camp as we can give...

Friday, June 17, 2011

pinto bean quesadilla

Yes it's sad when all you can come up with as a posting subject line is your lunch because 1. it is making your office smell and 2. it is repeating on you. A PBQ always sounds like a good idea and even tastes like a good idea as it's going down but about 30 minutes later, grodiness. To the max.

So I've been out of touch for about a month. Things are hectic. For once instead of talking a big game about selling our house, we're actually taking the steps to sell our house so that has been pretty consuming. It's amazing all the little tasks you have to do to get some curb appeal going on. But we're almost there. We also had a trip to Rochester a few weeks back to spend some time with my family and take a look around the place. Paudie and Noel had a blast - they always do. The drive back was a little nightmarish, but it always is. Why can't there be some alternate form of transportation? Snap your fingers? Click your heels? Wiggle your nose? 7+ hours in a car with 2 kids and a dog = mental exhaustion.

Have no pictures to post of the kids, well any that are ours anyways. Found this one of P from his daycare's FB page - he has a knack for finding snails. His eyes look so big and dreamy and almost cartoon-like in the photo. And he kind of looks like my mom which is about right since he frequently acts like her. He scraped his knees yesterday at daycare. Not a peep about it until he didn't want to eat his dinner and then you'd think someone busted his kneecaps with a baseball bat. The tears, the drama. The limping. He's been regressing lately and we're finding it hard to handle. The more communicative Noel gets, the more reressive Paudie gets. I try to see it from his point of view - Noel gets to do a lot of messy, destructive things and Paudie does not. Well it's not like we let Noel or encourage Noel to be aggressive and bull-like, but that's how he's wired and he's still too young to know better. Unlike Paudie, which is unfortunate for Paudie. Noel is a real sweetheart though even if he is a pure thug. He is starting to do some sign language and more mimicking of us. Last night he pulled a kleenex out of the box and blew his nose like a pro. His obsession with the garbage and the bathroom - yes the two germiest places in our house - continues. Will really be good to get over that phase but I give it another month or two.

We've also been busy getting ready for John's Training Wheels bike ride for Jack's Magic Bean Fund. And by getting ready I mean fundraising - John has made it out on his bike once since the last ride, last year. And that was two nights ago for 6 miles. But I know he'll be find, he always is. Procrastinating really works for him. I'm so impressed with our fundraising progress, the support we've gotten from friends, family and many perfect strangers who are moved by our story and the mission of the group. Maybe next year I'll get my arse up on a bike and ride along.

So that's the last month in a nutshell. Some day I'll post some recent pics of the boys. I just uploaded like 400 of them off of our camera but they haven't made their way to Snapfish yet. I'm telling you, wireless 4G memory card!

Friday, May 20, 2011

all outta ideas

Ugh it's like almost the end of May. For the love of god, where does the time go. The last few weeks at work have been crazy. I feel like I never even get the chance to get outside for fresh air these days which I guess is fine since it's mostly raining out all the time anyways. But it's hard to be so busy all day - mainly lots of meetings which if you knew me better than my occasional musings on this blog you'd know I generally don't like to focibly interact with people. By the time I get home I feel so spent - who doesn't though. Whine whine whine. Make it stop!

Yeah so life is busy. Busy here, busy there. But kids are great. Noel is such a little scoundrel! He's also s sweet boy who loves to hug and literally does a little dance in his crib every morning when I open his door. He and Banjo are the morning people of our house. The rest of us? Brutal. I so fondly remember sleeping in until 12 or 1 in my teens and twenties. Agh, good times. Now I awake at 5:45 for no other reason than to think about to-do items. Grim. I don't know what would be more pathetic to 20 year old me, the fact that I get up at 6 even though I don't really have to, or the fact that I go to bed at 9:30 cos I can't stay awake past then. I would totally fit in at a retirement village - that's a lifestyle I could get on board with.

Paudie has been challenging us lately. Noel physically challenges us. He is still obsessed with our bathroom which has a pocket door on it that he can now easily open. And like his brother before him, it's really fun to put things in the toilet. This week: a cup and a spoon. The spoon then made it's way into th eclean utensil tray in the dishwasher. Conamination! The garbage can has also been moved since it's also just as fun to put non-trash items in there. He just doesn't stop and has Jason Bourne like intuition and skills. He'll be completely engrossed in a bottle laying down and it will occur to him that minutes earlier he didn't hear the stairway gate click shut. He will expolit your every exhaustion induced oversight.

Oh, sorry, I forgot it was Paudie I was about to whine about. Paudie. Can anyone out there help me understand pre-school little boys and how their minds work? He has a penchant for grossness. Licking his feet after we take off his grody socks, licking food off the kitchen table. Then there is the awful humor. Like he puts the word 'stinky' in front of nouns on a pretty frequent basis and cracks himself up. And he's insanely jealous of his little brother who he feels gets away with a lot more than he does. True enough. This isn't to say I don't love him dearly because for all his behaviors that I don't get or I'm aching to modify, there is the sweet little boy who came to the eye doctor with me this week to check out the machines and was as good as could be. A lot of people tell me it gets easier when they turn 4 so we'll see. It's just so hard when you know you have an amazing, bright kid on your hands but you only get to see that person for pieces at a time, on his own terms.

I really hope the sun finds its way to the east coast because there are a lot of us that would really, really, really like to leave our house. I think Banjo is going mental. 6 months is a long time to be basically stuck indoors. I actually spend energy fretting that the entire summer is going to be cool and rainy. My seasonal affective disorder can't take it much longer. I'm going to get scurvy. There now you know the only fact I have retained from middle school health class.

Oh, and if the rapture really is tomorrow, we're convinced our dog will eat us. Starting with John.

Friday, April 29, 2011

happy days are here again

Spring may have finally sprung here in New England and boy what a difference some sun, a little warmth, budding trees, singing birds - you get the idea - makes. Remind me again why we live here and torture ourselves through months of frigid temps? The kids are great, so happy to be spending more time outside, playing with toys and taking in nature. I'm happy to strip away a few layers, put the coats and hats away and have tired little kiddies who are easy to put to bed at night from all the fresh air and running around.

Had a good easter last weekend. It wasn't great because 1. Saturday was 40 and rainy all day, 2. P woke up grumpy and confused about the Easter Bunny and 3. the Easter Bunny did a crap job with the Easter Basket. P was less than thrilled with it and I have to concur, it was lame. I failed at Easter this year. At least I can do better next year. The weather was amazing though and we had a fun afternoon with the cousins and an egg hunt. Noel wasn't really digging the egg hunt, he was more focused on experiencing grass for the first time. He was intrigued yet put off. He kept falling on his bum but he couldn't stand to touch the grass long enough to push himself up. They spent all afternoon outside - slept so soundly that night.

Noel continues to get more communicative. Starting to imitate now - likes to try and blow his nose, use a fork, give kisses. 13 months is an exhausting age, but it's also an exciting one where every day you start to see something new in your child. With Paudie things are kind of leveling out, change and advancement is incremental. But with Noel, new skills just suddenly seem to appear. I had forgotten what that was like. With Paudie we were so focused on it because he was the only child so I know we drank it all in, but my mid-life mind can't seem to retain very much of anything.

Like billions of other people, we did watch part of the Royal wedding this AM. Paudie was interested in it given his own relatively recent pageboy experience. Well that and all the horses. He suggested I wear a veil to work today. I was surprised to get as sucked in as I did, but I think I'm just thirsting for some feel good type stuff right now. Is it just me, or do things feel really, really bad? Did my parents feel this way in the 70s and 80s? Were things as bad then as they are now? Everywhere you look, sadness, anger, idiocy. From the weather to politics, everything seems like a struggle. I also can't tell if I'm more interested in current events and politics now because I'm a parent or because things are so bad. But suffice it so say I'm very uncomfortable with where things are heading. The morons that get elected to make decisions for the rest of us. Forget the birth certificate, how about an IQ test?

Wait, this was supposed to be a happy post. Why can't I stop being Debbie Downer for the time it takes me to type all of this out?

So to recap, spring = good. Kids = great. State of the union = verging on Idiocracy.

Have I posted about the uptick in crime in our city? It's getting bad. Granted I understand we live in a city and cities have problems but the problems are spreading over into our quaint little section - and from all that I read, it's almost entirely drug related. In fact I tuned into Intervention the other night, one of my favorite shows to feel better about myself and my coping strategies and it's like, hey, this heroin addict is walking her dog on the beach... at the end of our street. Made us feel all warm and fuzzy to see her shoot up and then drive around. Watch this space, 3 bd/3 bath colonial coming soon...

Ugh there I go again.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

where is my mind?

Here's a pic of Noel opening his present at his daycare party. P is looking on, being pretty reserved since afterall it is his official job to open all of his younger brothers' presents and play with-hoarde them. I'm also pretty impressed Noel is actually opening the gift himself since only the night before he was more interested in eating wrapping paper.

Noel continues to get more expressive and interactive. So fun to see a baby's mind really start to evolve, the things he is starting to grasp. Is at that stage where he puts things in and takes things out just about wherever he can. His milkaholism is also in full effect - the other night he sat crouched in the corner of our kitchen with nothing but a diaper and t-shirt on pounding a 6 ouncer. We've taken to watering every bottle down since it was all getting a little out of control. He doesn't seem to mind.

Paudie is Paudie. Hates to wake up on weekdays, balks at getting dressed in his room, has OCD about being the one to pick up his cup of milk and vitamin off of the counter every morning; turning off the TV; watching How Its Made. He's going for a dental checkup tomorrow so that will be interesting since I missed the first one. He actually went to the doc last week to have a cough checked out and I think it's the first time in over two years he wasn't screaming in hysterics. Haircuts still remain slightly problematic for him, I'd be perfectly fine to just let his hair grow a little long but problem is his hair grows up and not down. He has his father's hair for sure.

Hard to believe Easter is coming soon. I think we have to do a real Easter basket for P this year, though we haven't exactly talked it up, the Easter Bunny concept. He keeps asking about an Easter Egg hunt and all I think back to is the one (and only one ever in my life) we went to when he was about 1 1/2 at a neighborhood church. Massive hunt yes, but a little too much, how should I say this... propaganda... for my comfort zone. Raised Catholic, any sort of formal religious event that includes holding hands, dancing, guitars and clapping makes us, how should I say this... extremely nervous. The hunt itself was enormous and fun for the kids, but really does Easter have to be all religious? I jest! I get it, but it was just a bad scene for a little kid who wanted to get be outside picking colored plastic eggs off the ground - you know, picking things up and putting them in.

Also hard to believe is that next week marks the 11 year anniversary of that fateful night that John and I met at JJ Foleys. Have I already remarked on how cliched it is to pick up a Paddy in an Irish pub in Boston? Well I didn't exactly pick him up but whenever people ask how we met, it's like, he's Irish, I'm American, he's a carpenter and I work in software - take a wild guess how we met. Lot has happened in 11 years. It's always something to think of fate, to think, what if I hadn't had those X drinks on a pseudo-bender that took me from Davis Square to Landsdowne Street to last call in Downtown Crossing? That'll be a good story to tell the kids in like 20 years and they'll be all horrified that their crazy mom used to be fun and tie one on here and there.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ode to Noel

Ah Noel. One year ago today you entered the world and brought more light and love into our lives. You were the quietest, happiest baby. You never cried! You were a complete and utter delight. And those blue eyes of yours - killer. A little gift from your brother in heaven I think. And now as I think of you turning one... How you effectively dumped a full bowl of Special K onto my lap/the ground/the couch this morning making everything wet and cold and smell like milk. The cherished time you spend molesting Banjo's food, throwing it around the kitchen, and finishing with a hand-wash in his bowl of water. Your incredible armspan that has forced us to move every kitchen tool/foodstuff to the very backs of our counters and all of our piles of random things that don't have other places to go to the very center of the dining room table. Watching you take down your 3 year old brother, wrestle him into a headlock, steal his toast as he is trying to put it into his mouth - priceless. The morning earlier this week that you were sleeping so soundly next to me then woke me with a head-butt to my face with your humongous head, splitting my lip open - charming. Yes our little Noel is growing up - what a difference a year makes eh? Watching him go from this quiet, placid cuddler of a baby to a complete terror and roughneck has been, well, a surprise quite frankly. I always thought he'd be the calm one. But even though he's a squirmy, strong willed bull of a little boy, our special bond is intact. Noel was the first of our three children I could just completely enjoy in infancy. With Cian I was clueless and then, well, you know the rest. With Paudie I was still grieving Cian, felt guilt at any glimmer of happiness and was consumed with cancer striking again. With Noel, I just felt love. I was calmer and more confident. Things just clicked. So happy first birthday to Noel. Too bad you couldn't squeeze yourself down the birth canal only 35 minutes earlier, then you wouldn't be an April Fool's baby. But I digress. It's been a wonderful year watching you grow and change and I know that the best is yet to come. We're so lucky to have you in our lives.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Ah March, the lion and the lamb. Here we are, on our way to April and today it's going to be lovely and mild - and I will get outside and experience it dammit. Then tomorrow the lion returns. Drat. It's funny how you managing through the winter is all about rationalization. If it's a blizzard, well maybe you don't have to go into the office. If it's just arctic, hey at least it's not a blizzard. When it's 30, you think, at least it's not arctic. But once you start to get a taste of spring, that all starts to go out the window. You are no longer grateful. You want 65 degrees every day, then 75 and 80.

I really don't belong on the east coast. I see no value in winter. I have no love in my heart. I do not ski, ice skate, or partake in any other winter sports. Oh, and I'm cold all the time. Like I probably have a circulation problem or something. I have a space heater on my desk at work that I use every day - it's about 6 inches away from me. I hate being cold. There are few things worse than feeling cold. So yeah, it's a bummer cos I don't see myself heading south unless I'm ready to trade in my car for a golf cart and have the grandkids down.

Still no pics of the kids. So bad. We have albums and albums of Paudie's pics. Noel, not so much. All of his photos live on our laptop. I feel like now that he's turning one it's time to get a nice picture taken of him like we did Paudie. He still has such a chubby baby face. He is not walking yet though trying to get brave about it. he also won't wave bye-bye but get this, I guess it's his first word. He always has a strong verbal reaction when we say it to him. So damn cute. Paudie was not really verbal like that so maybe he'll be an early talker. He's been staying up later - the past few months it was a struggle to keep him up past 7:30 - now he has no intention of going to bed before 8:30. Damn you daylight saving time. And he's super bitchy about it. Before we'd just put him in his crib and he'd turn over and go right to sleep. Now there is lots of screaming involved. Sigh. Could also be due to the transition to more table food. He seems to have a few faves - fish, beans. And Banjo loves Noel even more now. He parks himself under Noel's highchair as he eats and gets in on everything that fails to make it into Noel's mouth, which is substantial.

Paudie is definitely at that kids-say-the-darndest-things stage. This week there were two gems - "oh great. someone forgot to flush the toilet. (it was him). and "shh guys, i'm trying to sleep" - he came out of his bedroom and went back in. Okay so they really aren't the darndest things I guess, it's more his tone. Very serious and adult like. And he's taken to quoting "An Idiot Abroad" because he watches way too much Science channel. He must have said "congress tarp" 20 times last night. I couldn't even understand what Carl was saying but apparently P could.

You'd think being a semi-Irish family we'd have had some big St. Patrick's day to-do. But we didn't. Kids wore their Ireland rugby shirts. That's about it. No boiled dinner, no parades, nothing. The closest we came was an at-home Irish breakfast with some friends last weekend. Oh man, Irish sausage and puddings are some goooood stuff. I'm not a huge carnivore but damn, I like myself an Irish fry. Nothing beats being sweaty and dehydrated all day long after. The boys love it as well. I think if we lived in Ireland we'd have cholesterol and/or blood pressure problems for sure, though perhaps the thrill would fade.

There you have it, another riveting update. When I see all the chaos in the world, all the troubling things, I am thankful for our quiet existence. It's true I feel restless with where we are, but I appreciate all that we have and hope things improve for those living through just incredibly hard times.

Friday, March 11, 2011

i will be happy today.

Yup, still no pictures to post. It's been ages, I know. We never take pictures anymore with our SLR - John takes them all with his iPhone and I never even see them.

Today I am going to be happy. Because it's Friday and it's looking like a decent weekend. Because Noel is on the verge of walking which I find very exciting if for no other reason than I won't have to bend down to the floor as much to haul up the 28 lb bundle of joy that is wrecking my back. I do think once he walks, he and Paudie's relationship is going to blossom. They have been playing together a lot more lately. Gets a little rough sometimes - and more often then not it's Noel making Paudie cry. He doesn't know his own strength.

Spent last week with the fam in upstate NY. Noel reverted back to basically a newborn with his sleeping patters while there - couldn't seem to sleep more than 3-4 hours at a stretch, up at the crack of dawn each morning. Within about one day of being there, I was wholly sleep deprived. Between bad sleep and chasing him all over the most baby unproofed house, it was a rough week. We were able to get out to the Science Museum one day and it was totally empty so that was nice. Also hit the Children's museum which is like perfect for kids Paudie's age. Noel got in on some of the fun, but really everything is perfectly oriented for pre-schoolers. Also ate a lot of tasty upstate NY junk food. Schalers, Abbotts, DiBellas, Dinosaur, Zarpentines... jaysus it's easy to gain 5 pounds there. Plus hit Wegmans a few times. Such a great store - I'm so jealous of my fellow massholes who live west of 495 that will be enjoying a brand new Wegmans in only a matter of months I believe.

Given our sheer exhaustion all week, really made us ponder how we could ever manage having another baby, assuming that would even be possiblt. I think we realized we probably, realistically can't do it again. It's not even a financial thing or the notion of being outnumbered. It's that I'm sick of being tired all the time. I want a life back. But it's hard for me to come to terms with 'being done' because of all these pent up fears and anxieties I have about childhood cancer combined with prolonged grief from losing Cian. It's just this extremely complicated thing but I think I realized I don't want to be a miserable, tired mum. I need to enjoy what I have and be in the moment with it. But it's all easier said than done. It's a process for me to internalize it.

So got back Saturday evening, got a great night sleep (all of us did actually) - and my god, isn't it truly amazing what a great night sleep can do for one's body and mind? I think it is the best medicine. Had a quiet day Sunday to gear up for Cian's 5th birthday Monday. I thought this might be the year we involve Paudie, maybe get a small cake. But we just couldn't do it. I came to work on Monday, which was a first. And a mistake. I really had no right being here and my disposition and overall miserable attitude really showed it. I think it was the first anniversary I didn't cry - and that's not because I'm okay with it, despite my showing up to work, it's because I was completely numb this year. But it's behind us now and we are free of anniversaries for a little while.

Looking forward to a weekend witht the boys. 3 1/2 is such a great age, minus the occasional and horrible temper tantrum. We took P and N out for a walk last sunday as it was quite mild and there P is, pointing out conifers. The stuff pre-schoolers understand and maintain is just nuts. He's also really into watching Man Vs Wild. He's a riot. Likes to pretend he's Bear Grylls. Gets a total kick of out him. I know, not the most age appropriate programming but I think it's better than any cartoon. And Noel is Noel. Doing better eating tablefood though still seems to wear more than he ingests. He's starting to point a little bit, take a few steps here and there. Getting more interactive, playing little games like handing us things. Pointing the remote at the TV (sigh). I cannot believe he is one in only about 2-3 weeks, where did the last year go?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

i am i said

That's a great Neil Diamond song. Not as great as America, but what is, really?

Don't have any new pic to go with this update. Please someone, a wireless SD card for our camera.

Am going to try to be more upbeat in my musings today. Because I'm sure that people who don't know me read this and think, wow this is one morose, sad, whiny woman. And those that do know me think, well they probably think they same thing. I really believe for the most part I am okay. It's balance. For me to get on with my life and be a productive part of society, a good mom, a... well, an employee, I can't let the grief off of its leash. It grounds me. And maybe I need to stop being grounded but it's a little too comforting to cut it loose. Because I know I can't get over losing Cian. That doesn't mean I walk around dressed in black crying like John Boehner, that just means there is a sadness I live with every day. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy life or laugh, it just means my highest high right now is let's say a 7.5 and not a 10. But I'm pretty happy with a 7.5. That is my cross to bear.

I think what people can't understand until they are in the shoes of a parent dealing with a terminally ill or dying child is that you would do anything to save them. Literally. If a doctor had said give us every single penny and we'll save your son, no brainer. If some higher power had said, mama, you take the cancer and we'll save your son, yup, that would have worked too. So when you actually live like that and ponder those types of things, when you are so desperate... how do you rebound from that once the inevitable happens? How can I care about money any more when I would have given it all away? How can I worry about death when I would have taken it to spare my son? This is just part of the mental damage you are left with.

I love my family. My living children saved me. I am thankful for every day that I feel healthy and wise. But I just can't and never will shake the grief. I've come to terms with that much.

In just over a week Cian would have been 5. I'm supposed to be the mother of a little boy starting kindergarten this year, instead I'm the mother of a little boy who was supposed to start kindergarten this year. After Cian died I thought I'd be some neuroblastoma warrior mom. I started an organization in his name to spread the word - the disease is out there and most docs don't have a clue what it is or how to diagnose. But then I realized, I don't know the first thing about the disease really. He was sick for seven short weeks, then he was gone. He only managed through 3 rounds of chemo. So what the hell do I know about this disease besides it is evil and should be eradicated post haste? Not much. I tried to go there, to learn more, to throw myself into the disease and I realized, I hate this little mf so why am I burdening myself any further with it? I hope Cian understands.

Ugh and that's another thing, living your life out with this sense of being watched over. WWCT? What would Cian think?

The other night I was out driving alone thinking about Cian and I had one of those, "did that really happen" moments? Did I really have a child and he died? Really, that really happened? To me? I think that's why I am fascinated by the stories of other bereaved parents. It helps me deal with what I'll call low self esteem that stems from his death. We brought him here to give him a great life and protect him. Fail and fail. And while I know it wasn't our fault and there was nothing more we could do beyond what we did do, none of it helps.

So this post didn't really turn out as positive as I thought it would - but really I'm okay. It's just late February, that's all. And this is all part of the lifelong healing process. I'm sure just about the time I've internalized it all, when it finally clicks, I'll be sitting in some SNF with diabetes, dementia and heart disease telling Paudie that my pants are too tight and that I need to go to the bathroom.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Yeah I got nothing for a title today. I am completely out of any ideas and there is no general theme to this update I can try to work with. Happy it's Friday. Happy it's springlike out. Happy my husband told me I looked skinny this AM. Look at that, I'm actually copping to being happy!

This pic was taken late last week at daycare - was for our Valentine's day card. Cute stuff huh. To me these two boys look nothing alike. I think the main resemblance is between Noel and Cian which is something I am grateful for. It does my heart good to think that Noel can help answer many unaswered questions I have about our first born. Who knows really but it works for me so there.

With how I feel these days it's pretty clear an anniversary is bearing down on us. Cian's 5th birthday is March 7. The birthday is the hardest of all for me. Because it really marks the day that was the most life-changing for me, the best day of all. Every February the feelings of hope I had in 2006 are just so palpable to me. I think I am trying to get more comfortable with denial. I read recently it's not really any worse to deny grief than to embrace it. Cian turning 5. Wow. So hard to think of having a little boy ready to enter kindergarten this year - wonder where we'd be living. Cos I don't think we'd be living where we are - especially in light of the neighboorhood crime watch that is being formed on our street. Crimony.

But I digress.

These next few weeks are hard, on March 8th things will be a little easier, especially as we look forward to Noel's first birthday. Trying to figure out what we will do to celebrate - definitely won't have the huge party we had for Paudie, but we'll put something together. I have to say, raising Noel this year has been a wonderful experience. With Cian I had no idea what I was doing - and that was before he even got sick. Once he got sick, it really all went out the window. I'd never even given a child medicine before - I was a deer in headlights for the 7 weeks he was sick. With Paudie I was an obsessive, anxious, depressive mess that was still grieving for Cian and worried the same thing would happen. With Noel it's been a completely different experience marked by confidence, and what an enormous difference a little confidence makes.

So what else is happening? Paudie had a great Balentine's day as he called it. Lots of candy. Candy good. Noel is all up in Paudie's business these days which is driving him nuts - I do feel for the boy. All he wants to do is put a puzzle together or read a book or even drink some milk and there Noel is, in his face. And he's an aggressive little fella. He remains on the verge of walking. Like his brother before him, he can already open doors and pull things off of the counter. It's a whole new way of living all over again. Shutting the doors and gates, locking the doors and cabinets. He's at the stage now where the most fun best thing ever in the world to do is take things out of something and thrown them on the ground. I can't say I understand the fun in that but it does seem to be a universal desire at his age. It's exhausting though. For us mind you. John and I are always talking about how parenting would be so much easier if we were younger. Well easier in some ways I guess.

Okay so this entry is wandering off into extremely dull territory. Shocker. I think it's all the carbs I had this AM. Why can't I be the type of person who can haul her ass out of bed and exercise then have a high protein breakfast? There are some days at work I actually consider napping under my desk, there I said it. For the record, I have never done this. So I'm not quite George Costanza but perhaps not far off. Sad.

Friday, February 4, 2011

getting sick and tired of being sick and tired

Yeah, I'm Debbie Downer these days. Jealous?

And I know that my entry from last week was like, totally lame. Uninspired.

But that's me right now, uninspired. My corporate job has sapped me. I can't lie. You can only push a large rock up a steep hill so many times before it rolls you over. I think I might be there. And this isn't to say I don't enjoy the people I work with or flexing my problem solving muscles. But it's reaching that, "is that all there is" point. So I want to blog and be all witty and clever and talk about my wonderful children and their amazing little milestones but most days it just feels like I got nothing. And I can't even take the laptop out on the weekends because Paudie will stalk me. I guess I could try and be a little more inspired after they go to bed but truth be told, that is the time I sit on the couch and stare into space or watch semi-educational TV with my hubby. The lights are off by that point.

So I really gotta get out of this funk. I guess like 70 inches of snow isn't really helping. Look at P in his little igloo. Pretty sweet huh? Jaysus can you imagine having to live in that?

Noel is officially ten months old and a complete terror. I just got a message from daycare that he wouldn't nap and was screaming. When he is home, he is screaming. He has a set of lungs on him. He is also pushing around anything he can to try and walk. Highchair, cardboard box, anything that he can move across the floor that will get him from Point A to Point B without crawling really. And he is obsessed with the dog's bowls. And touching the toilet.

Paudie is also acting a little challenging these days. He is so jealous of Noel right now. I think it's because he is coming less of a baby and more of a toddler so he is getting a lot more of our attention and it is driving Paudie mad. The tears. The tears start and just don't stop. I worry he's not going to have friends because he cries so easy and so hard. But maybe that's just being 3 and really for our beneft. As we sit on the fence about having another, with them both screaming their bloody heads off morning and night, it's pretty hard to grasp. "It's just a phase" I keep telling myself.

Really I'm not this brooding depressive type. I guess I'm just overwhelmed by my life which I really wouldn't have any other way. I guess it's the whole balance thing with motherhood. Everyday is the same really. I wake at the same time and do the same tasks in basically the same order to leave the house within 90 minutes. Then I come here and angst all day over my rock and the steep hill. Then I go home and try to enjoy the loves of my life without thinking about the laundry to be done or toys to put away. Wash, rinse, repeat. I feel like life is passing me by with the rote nature of my days. If anyone is reading this and can share how they lept off of the hamster wheel I'd love to hear it. That is what I'm wrestling with. How do I make it stop? How do I get engaged in my life, a life I so desperately wanted and needed after Cian died and here we are and I feel like a zombie.

Or is this simply a mid-life crisis? Anyone who thinks wine may be an acceptable response please raise your hand. A lot of my friends seem to cope better with wine but see the problem is I've never really been much of a wine drinker. Feels good going down but the headache the next day is mostly always unbearable.

Blerg. It's just been a long week I guess.

Friday, January 28, 2011

the winter of our discontent, 2011

Some recent shots of the boys taken at daycare. We haven't uploaded photos off of our SLR in about six weeks. I like the photo of P because he has the cutest little nose I think. And Noel looks like such a doll in that picture even though over the last two weeks he has become tyranical. I don't know what happened to our nice placid baby. Ever since Noel started to be more independent he has become incredibly dramatic. Lots of screaming and crying, particularly when you take something away he wants or close a door. It's not at all becoming. I'm sure Paudie was the same way it just feels more pronounced with Noel since he has always been a happy go lucky kinda bub.
It's been three weeks since I posted. January has felt long and rotten. Yes I am aware that it was only weeks ago I was chomping at the bit to get past the holidays and into hibernation. But I've really been feeling sort of blah lately. Seasonal affective disorder? Maybe. Feet and feet of snow? Yeah that sucks too. I just haven't felt inspired to post. Boys are great. Really. Paudie continues to impress and amaze with his imagination, comprehension, vocabulary. So fun watching him develop. Noel is getting more teeth and working on learning how to walk. He's sleeping brilliantly - actually P is as well. Sleep really does wonders doesn't in? Nothing like a solid 8 hours. We've been trying to stay as busy as we can to help pass the time, burn the energy. Hit the Harvard Museum of Natural History a few weeks back. Not a bad little day out for the family. Interesting to see such an old school museum. Then this week John had the two over at the Museum of Science - he's brave going it alone. But they had a great time. I worried Noel was too young but he enjoyed the hands-on room for the youngins. John continues to be a wonderful husband and cook like every night and P has emerged as his helper. Or his hindrancer. P really can be an amazing kid but he still throws the occasional tantrum like nobody's business. Got to experience that last night about one minute after walking in the door after working late, taking the T and navigating huge piles of snow and slick sidewalks on the walk home. God I just wanted to turn around and walk out the door. I long for the day he is old enough to reason with.
Work has been steadily busy which is good for making the time pass faster and keeping my mind off of things that are sort of eating at me. I wish I would say all the busy-ness is from selling lots of product. It's not. But I do feel much more engaged in life when I am engaged at work. There's nothing worse than feeling unproductive and bored for 8+ hours.. Okay that's not true there are a lot of worse things but I do feel that when my mind is working well, I've got my lists, I'm taking care of business, that somehow it translates over to my personal life, like carry-over. I get home and feel energized to keep things moving forward.
It's almost 4:00 on Friday. Kids are at daycare and will sleep well tonight. I'd like to say I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow but I can't think of the last time I slept past about 7:30. No real plans for the weekend - exactly how I like it. Oh - so John and I committed to trying to live on a budget this year. Ha! OMG - have you ever tracked every penny spent every single day? We are almost done with month one and it has been eye-opening. I really can't believe how much we spend but I really don't see where we can cut back. Food shopping and gas are where we seem to spend the most. I was thinking maybe we could become crazy obsessesed coupon people but the minimalist in me doesn't want to have shelves and shelves of toilet paper sitting in our garage. So yeah, a budget.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy New Year, I guess.

So in my last post when I was all, yay, about 2010 being a pretty good year for our fam but worrying that my premature good feelings about the year would doom me... let's just say I know myself, our life and circumstances that can't be changed a little too well. And that I'm just going to keep my mouth shut in the future. 2010 ended on a lousy note - the raison d'etre for this will reveal itself in future postings.

Lesson learned cosmos.

Today's pic is hot off the press. This is Noel at daycare this AM. Noel has a new obsession - standing. Noel cannot fall asleep anymore because he has to OCD stand. He can have one eye closed and be 90% asleep and he will still attempt to pull himself into a standing position. He perfected standing over our Christmas break in NY. He really gave us a run for our money. Waaayyy too much energy! Or maybe I'm just old and sluggish. But he's definitely in that stage of total troublemaking. No clue what he is doing - that you can't crawl down stairs head first, that kind of way. We had Noel at the doc this week for his 9 month visit, doc was impressed, said he's looking 'awesome.' Clocked in at 25 lbs and 33 inches - this is four lbs and two inches bigger than his bro at the same age. Such a big boy.

Even though both boys had irritating coughs over the holidays and even with the issue that shall not be named, we had a pretty good time I guess. Time away from work and routine is always cherished, though too much time away from routine makes everyone a little zany. One great thing about being in Western NY - no blizzard! How fun to watch the east coast blizzard on TV from the middle of a snowbelt and not have there be even one flake falling. So we didn't get to go sledding or build a snowman, but we did eat at our fave Rochester spots (Schalers, DiBellas and Pontillos) and hit Wegmans a few times. Visited with my mom at the nursing home - we found a small centipede (gross I know) under her bed so that was like 30 minutes of excitement for Paudie. As you can imagine or perhaps know from experience, pre-schoolers aren't wild about spending time in nursing homes. We got a lit of mileage out of the centipede - even talked him up the next day, saying we needed to get back and make sure he didn't find his way out of the trashcan we left him in.

Got back Sunday afternoon. Our car was jam packed. It was absurd. There are still toys and things all over the house. We have to get the tree down too. So depressing to un-decorate. So yes this weekend will be about trying to take control back. Blerg.

One more cute kid thing to share. Paudie has a new thing - it's called, "right Mom?" He makes a statement and it ends with 'right mom?" A statement that is true. One that is clearly false. One that makes no sense at all. Doesn't matter, he defers to me. Makes me feel all-knowing and wise. He has also developed an obsession with "How It's Made" on the Science channel. Doesn't matter what is being made, he will watch it. It is like some huge treat for him to be able to watch it. He barely watched any cartoons or kiddie TV in NY, was all about How It's Made and Factory Made - let's face it, they really are the same shows.