Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Onwards and upwards...

...we are very excited and hopeful in our barmy little family.  We finally have the keys to our very own house!

Here is a picture of the little Toot climbing the hill behind the 'nee haas' as he calls it himself.  He hates to have to leave it.  Always protests loudly when it's time to get in the car and return to the place with a kitchen... and beds... and running water... and food.  You know, the kind of things that are sort of helpful for everyday life.

He loves the garden though.  And I so agree with him.  Don't you?

We are so grateful to St Joseph for his intercession up above.  Míle buíochas Naomh Iosaf!

By the way, the photo was taken by Roo, who at 6 and three quarters, is quite the budding little photographer.  

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Too long....

..since I last posted.  This little blog has been quite sadly neglected by me in the last year or so.  I have started writing posts on various devices, got distracted or had them inadvertently deleted.  The story of my life at the moment.  Never manage to finish anything. 

At the end of this Mother's Day, I am determined to post this one though, because it relates to someone very dear to my heart.  Someone who knew and loved the greatest mother of all, everyone's mother, Mary.  I'm talking about the glorious St Joseph, of course, whose feast day is fast approaching.  And with that in mind, it's time to get our skates on for the novena.  I do love an old novena, don't you know?!

I have a few books with suitable prayers and even a St Joseph App on my phone, but if you haven't, don't worry, just pop over to The Virtual St Joseph Altar and the prayers will be there for you.  

Now.  Must.  Press.   Publish.  Button. Nnnnnnnnnnnnrrrrrgggggggggh! 


Sunday, 6 January 2013

We Three Kings of Orient are...

...One in a taxi, one in a car. Sorry, couldn't resist. Roo got quite upset when I told him the Christmas decorations were due to come down. It always makes me feel a bit sad too.

Actually, the tree must have known it was the twelfth day of Christmas, because it FELL down last night, spilling the water at its base all over the books that the Three Wise Men left for the children.

There was some consolation for Roo though as the cribs will stay up for a while. After all, our friends with the camel have only just arrived from the Orient so it would be a bit rude to pack them up already. Roo spent a happy spell arranging them in the Playmobil Nativity scene and he did a great job as you can see from the picture.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

The Christmas Rush in our barmy little household

We were busy today.  In the morning, the two older boys took part in an Elves' workshop at the Hunt Museum.  They enjoyed making cards, pom-pom hats, badges and stamps although Lee and I were a bit disappointed at the lack of pointy ears and pixie hats on the organisers.  It was more than a little mental trying to get there on time now that there are four little pixies in our house!

Then in the evening, the elves turned into shepherds as we got a last-minute call-up to take part in the Live Crib! It was dark and getting cold as our turn came.  A crescent moon shone in the sky and the choir from our local church sang carols as we came out of the camper van in our borrowed costumes. Lee looked the part dressed as Joseph with a stripey headdress and staff.  The less said about Mary the better, but I don't think there's been a less dignified portrayal of Our Lady!  As for the baby Jesus!  Well..... our little four-week old was the picture of tranquility as she lay in the manger.  She was so quiet and serene as the choir sang Silent Night and she actually smiled at the end!  It was really magical!   The boys were delighted to meet the babba oo (calf), mummy ba (ewe) with her twin lambs and the little donkey that shared the stable with us for those special few minutes and Roo took his role as chief shepherd quite seriously.  I was so proud of my little brood that I cared nothing about the fact that my veil was falling off and making me look a complete Charlie in front of everyone.  My family are the best gift that I have ever received.  Thank you Lord for them!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

St Nicholas' Day drawing to a close and the lads are snuggled asleep in their new (monkey, Mike the Knight, Spiderman) pyjamas with tummies full of chocolate. They were delighted to discover that he had paid them a visit last night.

The last 24 hours have seen one house deal fall through and another possibly open up. I'm not sure what to make of the timing. Maybe I'm reading too much into the fact that it has all happened on the 12th anniversary of myself and Lee's starting out together.

Not that I made the connection then about San Nioclás and his uncanny gift of knowing just what your heart desires.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Our little Pixie-girl's birth story

We still don't know why she decided to stay so long past her due date (twelve days in all), perhaps she was enjoying Daddy's dinners.  At least I was, at any rate.  Mind you, I would have preferred to have been having the tea and white toast that the midwives present you with after giving birth (best meal ever!).  Things were getting very uncomfortable for me as the days wore on.  I don't think she would have been my daughter though if she hadn't left things til the last minute.  I was booked in for induction three hours after she finally made her appearance, but after all the waiting, it was the shortest of my four labours.

I went to bed feeling quite disappointed the night before, resigned to someone else dictating how my baby would enter the world... but I needn't have worried, because I was woken a couple of hours later by an almighty contraction, which happened again two minutes later and again two minutes after that!  I checked with Mum, who felt my bulging tummy and agreed that they were contractions alright.  So Lee and I went out the side door into the car about 30 minutes after my first contraction at 2AM.  It was the first time one of our babies' arrivals has got us up in the middle of the night.  It was also the only time I've been afraid we wouldn't make it to the hospital in time, as the thought of Lee and I dealing with a newborn baby on the side of the road in the cold, wet, windy and wild darkness did not appeal to me!  Despite (and in turn fuelling) my worries, the contractions didn't slow down on the journey.  They were quite powerful, with none of the slow build-up that I experienced with the boys.  But thanks to deep yoga breathing, I was able to cope with them.  I was just so relieved that our little baby was coming without intervention or drugs.

It was definitely the most dramatic journey I've made into the Maternity Hospital.  She is literally a born romantic, choosing a night worthy of Cathy and Heathcliff to venture out into the city which looked lovely, its deserted streets shiny with rain and twinkly lights ready for Christmas, or at least the shops' version of it.

Once we were at the hospital, I got the usual checks before walking up to the delivery suite, annoying the impatient accompanying midwife on the way as I had to stop occasionally with the frequent contractions.  Once I was in the Delivery 'Suite', I was pretty much allowed to do what I felt like doing, bouncing on the Giant ball or moving onto all fours, so different from Roo's birth when I had to stay on the bed strapped to the foetal monitor.  This time around, I can't remember them actually examining me internally at any stage.  I think because I was coping quietly, they didn't think I was very far along.  Also, my waters hadn't broken yet.  But then, they hadn't broken spontaneously with the boys' births, so even I was surprised when I started feeling the urge to push and felt a delightful 'pop' before the midwife jumped up from her notes and came over to catch our little girl!  And so, three hours after my first contraction, we found ourselves in the irresistible company of our first daughter!  Lee had been my quiet, solid source of strength, as ever, calmly backing me up and making me feel safe.  

Who is she like?  Of course, once again, I don't get a look-in.  She is her father's daughter, quite like the Toot when he was born.  Dark hair like two of her brothers, and also like them, lots of it.  Even more actually, as it spreads down her neck into a funky little spiky do.  She cries more than they used to.  But sleeps more during the day.  Swings and roundabouts.

The following day provided more lovely moments, as the 'three proud brothers' as one friend called them, met their little sister for the first time.  I will treasure those first moments forever.  They arrived in with my Mum and Lee.  The look on Toot's face was completely new to me as he warily entered the room, but he was so gentle with her.  He was wearing the stethoscope from the doctor dressing-up set around his neck and he sweetly checked me and the baby to make sure we were doing well, just as he had done while I was pregnant, patiently placing the stethoscope on my expanding belly each day.  Poonch was beaming as he bounced in to see his 'little buddy' and his enthusiasm towards his sister shows no signs of waning.   Roo was his usual sweet self, marvelling at her gorgeous little hands and feet, 'Ah!  Look!'  They were all thrilled, with no hint of jealousy or rivalry.  It was enchanting, being surrounded on the bed by these great little guys, sharing their first wonder-filled moments with their tiny sibling.

And so, we thank God for this 'indorable' little babe.  Yes, we are delighted to have a girl, but we are more delighted that she arrived safely and is healthy.  We would have been just as happy to welcome another boy into our family, because after all, whether male or female, they are all children, each a unique, marvellous and unrepeatable gift from God.  And I feel so blessed to have been entrusted with their care.

Our fabulous little pixie girl is here, just in time for Christmas.  Be good boys.  The Pixie is watching!!!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

A little girl

Hello again! Well, I am writing this hastily on my phone as a nearly-week old baby girl snoozes in the crook of my elbow. I had gone to bed on Sunday night last expecting to be induced the following morning, 12 days after my due date. A few hours later, someone finally decided she would come out on her terms and a stormy dash into the maternity hospital in the early hours of Monday morning resulted in us meeting our fourth baby, an 'indorable' (the lads' word!) little cailín with lots of dark hair, heavier than her big buddas. I will bore you with more details later, such as the magical first meeting with her brothers and the full account of the labour, but it is bedtime now so I will say good night and thank you for your prayers and good wishes.  We have been truly blessed. Thank you, Lord. xxxxx