12 February, 2017

One week down and ... sweet mother of god it just kept getting worse.

Monday:  

Firstly, this week started off so well with the healthy eating and everything but, by the end of it, I was eating anything that didn't move and drinking 2 litres of gin instead of water.  Small kids are gorgeous and so fucking noisy.  Especially the smallest one.  For something as tiny, google munchkin, it's very, VERY, loud.  Also, it never stops moving.  It's a good thing she is so pretty.  Otherwise I would stand on her.  

Monday:

We're all up with the alarm.  All happy and bright and breezy.  Himself is starting his new job.  Son no. 1 is off to the army for the week.  Son no. 2 is good to go with me, Stella in back of car for our big walk and son no. 3 is off to get his lift to school.
Child drop goes well.  Dog walk goes well, even if I am soaked to my knickers.  Bloody rain.   Home and showered and ready to work by 11???  That's far too late to start working.  Had just gotten into swing of it when alarm went off to say it's time to tidy up and get #3 from school.  Did that and went to arranged spot to meet kids.  Kids didn't show up.  Went to second rendezvous point only to find S but no #3  Mild panic and all into car to boot back to school and find missing child.  Meet missing child on way.  Miscommunication between him and S.  Fed child and started to work again.  Only to have next alarm go off to collect no. 2??!!  Tidy up and head out the door.  Get child, 15 minute scheduled bonding and home.  Think about taking work out but it's time to cook bloody dinner?!?!  Where has the day gone?  I've made a bear!  A fucking bear.  That's all I made all day.  Oh, and a goalpost.  Bed exhausted at 11pm but I've been to the cinema where it was quiet.  Went to see Jackie.  She was an odd lady. 

Dinner is a delicious stir fry and all is healthy and good.  Easy to eat well when there is no one distracting you with 'fancy a coffee and a bun?'

Oh and Himself comes in and starts unloading the dishwasher and reloading it.  Prick.

Tuesday:

More or less a repeat of the day before only #2 was sick.  If you believe that.  Dog is walked, freezing today, Irish weather is so mental, floors washed and I'm still only sitting down to work at bloody 11am.  Two little girls made today so that's better I guess.  Alarm goes off for #3 but that's grand, we know exactly where we are meeting.
Home, feed him and me and then look at diary only to have next alarm go off .. but son is, allegedly sick in bed so .. all is good.

Dinner a boring mashed potato (but nice mashed potato as I use the ricer and a tonne of butter, butter doesn't count if it's in mashed potato), fish and peas.  Fiona has bought chocolate and crisps.  Turns out I have no will power. Surprise, not.

Himself comes in and starts giving out that I bought 'Giant' rather than 'Large' dog food.  Bastard.  I noticed it was the wrong food the minute I cut open the bag.  The kibble is the size of rocks.  Royal Canin is sold in the following sizes: small dog, puppy, weak puppy, mid size dog, mid size dog with weight problem, mid size old dog and mid size dog with food intolerance's.  They also break the mid size dogs into breeds!!!  Then its more or less the same for big dogs and, it turns out, that there is a giant dog mix.  Nearly all come in a purple fucking bag and the lady gave me the wrong one.  THE LADY!!!!!!

Very much looking forward to Himself learning about body language next week so he can come in, notice me hunched over the table looking pained and note to himself that it may be best to say 'fancy a cup of tea or gin love?' rather than rearrange the bastarding dishwasher or moan about moon sized dog food.

Wednesday:

Sweet fucking jesus.  I have had enough. No matter what time I get up at I still end up not getting to work until 11am.  Today had the added bonus of Stella knocking a woman into the air and winding her so badly everyone in the castle could hear the air leaving her body.
We were halfway through our walk when Stella found another dog to play with. Nothing better than a chase, eh, Stell?  Anyway, the owner of the other dog was running and she called back over her shoulder to me that Stella was gorgeous when ... her dog and Stella, mostly Stella who, while gorgeous, is fucking useless at noticing what is going on around her ... ran straight into the back of her legs.  Which meant she was flipped into the air and flat on her back.  I'm not joking when I say that you could hear the air leave her.  She lay there, crying a bit (I would have been howling), and I was hyperventilating   A lovely old man came back towards us and we helped the woman up.  She was lovely, and kept saying accidents happen and sure what can you do? etc. and I was just frantic.  I don't think I am going to see her for a week or so as I imagine she is very bruised and sore.  Shall have to take to carrying a bunch of flowers around with me every where I go for next week as .. ouch.  Thank God Stella knocked over another big dog owner.  Small dog owners are very cross most of the time.
Walk cut short as my nerves shredded.
Work like a demon and get all cakes finished.
Fiona collects child #3 and S and I clean downstairs.  Amazing how quickly one can clean up when under pressure.  Fiona also cooked dinner .. found something that most of us like.  #2 doesn't care for it (pork, chorizo and prawn pie).  Seriously, what does one have to do to get them all to eat the same bloody thing.
Mind you, think #1 would eat anything.  Army training has him exhausted.
Bed at 10.30 but too tired to read so found The Code on Netflix.  Watch it, it's brilliant.  

Thursday:

Walk Stella at the ungodly hour of 8am to avoid all other dog walkers.  Fear everyone is going to be knocked over like skittles by donkey dog.  Home, showered and text from B. looking to go for a coffee.  Bad feeling.  You know that feeling you get when someone, headmistress, boss, etc. asks to see you?  Well that's how I feel when we meet for coffee.  Never get that feeling when we go for a pint or dinner but coffee is scary.
Right to be afraid.  B has gotten a job.  Which is fantastic.  I am thrilled for her as I know how much it is needed but .. oh fuck, poor me.  I'll have to bake or fold the company or ... fuck, I'll have to bake because I need the money.  Why is it when life suddenly clicks into 'it's all going to be ok' does it go tits up so quickly thereafter??
G. and everyone else I know and love in the cake world offers to bake for me.  Even Himself says he'll bake but .. I think me and G are going to be working together quite a bit. Providing I don't break her.  
Dinner?  Can't remember but lots of chocolate was eaten, ditto crisps.  Drank lots of water (tonic) mixed with gin.  Life less grim.  Oh, we had chilli.

Friday:

No dog walking.  Am too tired.  Have had enough.  

Saturday:

Met B.work was great but she says the standard is waaaay lower than anything we have ever made.  She wants to work for them part time so, touch wood, we can keep working together to some degree.
Hung out in B's for hours.  Did not want to go home.  Had described the scene, downstairs, to Himself, whilst getting out of bed:

Picture it.... you walk downstairs marveling at how, despite numerous instructions and a map detailing the location of the laundry basket the kids, i.e. eldest and middle, are still dumping their clothes, under the landing window.  Basket hasn't been there in weeks but they still chuck their foul clothes there.  You continue downstairs and stumble over several pairs of shoes scattered about the bottom steps and in the hallway.   You glance into the playroom as you go past and discover that, yes, the blind is still down and there will be a child on the sofa, bowl balanced on arm, watching tv.  It doesn't matter which child it is that is how the room will look.  Also, said child, rather than removing anything that is on the sofa, will use his feet to push everything down to the other end. 
There will be cereal scattered all over the counter and floor and back door will be wide open.  Tv will be on, chances are nobody will be watching it as they will on laptop or DS.
Ironing and underwear that was neatly laid out and sorted to be brought upstairs will still be on the sofa but ... knocked about and no longer crisp looking.
Breakfast dishes will be dumped in sink and .....

That's exactly what I came downstairs to.  I went to B's leaving it like that and Himself came down and cursed loudly because I was right and he doesn't like that.  

Whilst in B's he threatens kids with skinning and losing everything they own.  Which is unfair on the youngest as he does clean up after himself.  #3 is so angry with the injustice of it all he cannot speak.  #1 is grounded and has phone and anything else that connects to the interweb removed from him.  He takes to the bed.  

Now it's Sunday.  I am nervous of what the week ahead brings.  Apart form small noisy girl who never stops grumbling I am enjoying having my sister here.   I even like the small grumbling girl, kind've. 




06 February, 2017

It's been a while, huh?

I bought a journal to give this bullet journal thing a lash.  I is not enjoying it.  My journal is not pretty but ... it is useful insofar as I now have a record of the things I forgot to do and a way of tracking my headaches.  So far it would appear that all headaches have been brought on by stress.  I know this because I had my first headache in ages yesterday, exactly three days after the sister and kids arrived home, to my home, to stay for three weeks.  However, I also had a very fast, very strong gin.
I'll tell you more about that another time, the sister visit that is, the gin?  Nothing to say other than it was needed and I was in bed by 8pm on a Sunday night.  

So the journal thing doesn't appear to be for me but it has made me realise I miss this page.  Not sure why I haven't written anything in so long.  May have something to do with the fact that we have been so under pressure with Himself not working and lack of funds to do fun stuff that I had no fun stuff to do and tell you about.

Here's to that all changing.  As, fanfare now .... HIMSELF GOT A JOB AND STARTED TODAY!!!!!  Isn't that fucking brilliant???  Yup, after eight (you read that correctly) years and two degrees Himself is back in the land where he belongs.  I can't tell you where he works 'cos there is a secrecy form signed.  Not by me mind, but by him and he may not be impressed with me blabbing on the tinternet.  He has told everyone that he is going to be a something something Officer!  An officer I tell you!  But not a police officer and he definitely doesn't have a gun.  Grunkle Bill is convinced he will have a gun. 

So, in the hope of fun money finally being back in our lives I am going to attempt to resurrect this poor thing and give Gertrude a laugh every now and then.  

Also, for the first time in years I am fully responsible for getting everyone to and from school, getting them fed, keeping the house looking as if it's loved and walking the dog.  Oh, and working myself.  Yup, no one to turn to at 1.45pm and say, 'cos I'm up to my ears in icing or it's raining, '.. so, er, you're getting the kids then, yeah?'
Nope, it's all up to me.  If I can do it for the next three weeks when we have guests (are family guests or just a nuisance?)I shall be the mutts nuts by the time his training is finished (9 weeks in total) and the shift work starts.  Shift work means I have to cook a Sunday dinner, meh, and stand at a football sideline every second Sunday.  Double Meh.  Apart from meaning that the buck really does stop with me now I am very much looking forward to this new phase.  Kind've.  No I am.  I am.  I think.

p.s. I am so stressed by having very small people in the house I took the dogs for their walk at 8.40 this morning.  We were back in and showered by 10.10pm.  I have done my full 10K steps and both dogs are still asleep.  It's 4.30!!

22 January, 2017

Wow

I'm just home from seeing Colonel Chris Hadfield (a very happy birthday present from Himself ).
WOW!!!!!

I could listen to the man for as long as he had a voice.  He was wonderful and funny and ...wonderful.

He said two things that have really stuck with me.  The first is: Consider your next decision.  That's all that is ever important, it's all that matters.  Your next decision shapes your life.  Life is made of 'next decisions'.

Secondly: You learn more from failure than success.  It's okay to fail, it's good to fail, that's how you learn.

Sigh, I do admire that man.  

04 May, 2016

It's been 7 hours and 15 days

Tonight at roughly 10pm, our time, radio stations across the world are going to play Nothing Compares 2 U, as sung by Prince himself.
Tomorrow, two weeks ago, I was sitting in the car waiting to collect Harry from school when Matt Cooper announced there was to be a breaking news bulletin.  I kept reading my book, thought it was something to do with the government, except it wasn't.
Prince had died.
My Prince.  
Harry arrived seconds later to find me sobbing.
I cried the whole way home and Himself gave me a hug when I walked back into the house.   I rang Colette and we cried together and then I just sat and listened to the radio.  For hours.
The lads kept looking at me like I was mad (I probably looked mad, I was snotty and red eyed and full of fat tears), I mean, I didn't know him.  I'd never met him but .... I did know him.  He has been part of my life ever since I was given Sign o' the times by my mam.  He has been part of every major event in my life and many of the just normal, boring days.  I woke up the following Friday to the sound of Prince on the radio, a bloody brilliant thing to wake up to ... until I remembered why.  If's funny but, you know how, when someone dies, everyone comes together and remembers funny stories, sad times, gossip and, in many a case, the parties?  Well, that's how it's been here.  I have spoken to so many old friends since that Thursday afternoon.  All conversations starting with 'do you remember?' 
I was lucky enough to see him live 4 times and every time was a blast.  Company was always epic and the music was legendary.  I think I cried for all the happy times I had with his music in the background and all the sad times were his music made me feel better, either from dancing or crying.  

As Prince himself said, Life is just a party and parties aren't meant to last.  

Still hurts though. 


15 April, 2016

.... and then I tried TRX


You know GerA, my gorgeous fabulous strong friend?  Well she does Rip60 which is pretty much TRX by a different name.  I conveniently forget that it's taken my mate a couple of years to get to a fitness level of legend!!  Ger is gorgeous and I want to be equally fabulous and strong (she once kicked me up the arse and it really, really hurt) so decided that 'yeah, I'd been going to the gym fairly regularly (i.e I joined it a week ago), I was ready for TRX'.    I was so ready for TRX I had booked a yoga class in for later ... so I could relax and stretch those achy muscles.
The blurb on the class says it's suitable for all ages, weights, fitness levels etc. etc.  
They lied! 
Apparently TRX was "Born in the Navy SEALs, Suspension Training bodyweight exercise develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously. It requires the use of the TRXSuspension Trainer, a highly portable performance training tool that leverages gravity and the user's body weight to complete 100s of exercises."
It also requires a certain level of fitness to start with and a better than I have sense of balance.
The class began with a gentle warm up (I went puce and thought I would die).  The lovely instructor made us do jumping jacks (WHY??) and I wasn't expecting to do jumping jacks ergo wasn't wearing er, any protection from peeing (kids ruin your bladder) and started being nervous.  I also hadn't copped, when I was picking my spot, that I was at the front of the class.  Right in front of the instructor who was teeny tiny and kept looking at me in a worried and perplexed manner.  The girl immediately behind me was trying it out for the first time so I felt relaxed.  Stupidly. She was fitter than me.
We did bicep work, tricep work, we did stuff with our shoulders, legs and .. fuck it was hard.  I exercised muscles I didn't know I had.  It all started to go tits up (literally) when we had to hook our foot into the strap, keeping the strapped suspended leg behind us, we were then to do lunges.  I explained that my balance was pants and er..... 'yeah, I'll give it a go, you're right, I won't know til I try it'.
I fell over.  And got tangled in my straps.  The instructor said 'you weren't lying about balance .... hey, you're not the trampoline girl are you?'.  AAAAARGH.  There is video footage of me boinging off the window. I explained that I was and she advised me to just do normal lunges and 'em, be careful'.  Everyone wanted to know about the trampoline.  I let the instructor tell them.  I went more puce. 
Then we moved onto floor work.  This means you sit on your bum, hook your feet into the straps, cross your right foot over your left and flip over onto your belly.  I got knotted.  Again.
Then you do press ups, mountain climbing or running and planks.  Whilst your legs are suspended.  Balancing on your arms!!!!!  Turns out I have no upper body strength.  I have noodles for arms.  I tried so hard, honest I did but I ended up faceplanting my er, face into the pretendy grass and ... fuck, I wish I could just have died.  Then it was onto stomach work.  I threw up!  I actually got so sore and was trying to hard I puked.  I made it to the loo but still, is there no end to the horror?
Finally it was time for cool down and stretches and I got tangled in my own legs again and ... no yoga.  Home.  I rang Ger and cried down the phone.  She laughed, kindly I hope, and said I was trying too hard and should have a little lie down.  I lay down and cried.

The next day I rang Ger.  I rang her to tell her I couldn't put my clothes on because my arms weren't working.  I swear to God that my arms were like cooked spaghetti, limp and long and useless.  If I thought my useless arms were the worst of my problems I was wrong.  Not only did my arms not work my stomach muscles seemed to have siezed up so the only way I could get out of my bed was to roll s-l-o-o-o-w-l-y onto my belly and slide out of the bed.  Good fuck, even worse was trying to stand up.  Nothing worked.  I'm not lying when I tell you I wore the same socks for three days on the trot because I couldn't bend to reach my feet.  I could change my knickers by shimmying but socks were a no go area. 
Oh, and when I needed to sit down and pee..... I looked like a giraffe trying to drink water.  Legs akimbo and stressed looking.  
The next day I was meant to go to spinning and pump.  That didn't happen.  Instead I moped, ate painkillers and cried softly into cake. 

p.s. It's now been three days and the only bit that is sore is the crook of both elbows.  Time to to back to the gym methinks.  



07 April, 2016

Yeah, that's pretty much me! (Turn up the sound for watching that clip.. for full 'oh sweet jesus' effect)



So, I joined a gym.  Needs must and all that.  Having undergone my assessment.  The chap who did it was lovely.  He was so upbeat and happy with life (I think everyone's life would be so much nicer if they could hang out with a personal trainer all day).  He asked what would it take for me to achieve my goals and I told him 'constant supervision'.  He recommended classes!  He also tried to allay my fears that everyone would be looking at me.  Apparently it's not good for a person's morale to say, as your mammy would, 'Jesus, sure no one is looking at you', so instead he said everyone would be concentrating on their own thing and not to worry. 
Last night I went to my first class.  It was called Rockin' Rebound.  A fancy name for jumping on a mini trampoline.  A trampoline, I'd like to add, that has no handle!!!  I'm still not sure why I thought this would be a good idea, I mean ... I've had a couple of kids, pelvic floor not what it was.  Sneezing can result in a mild 'did I pee panic' so why I thought leppin' up and down (fucking jumping jacks?) would be something worth doing I'll never know. 
Long story short... I know how to get EVERYONE to notice you whilst working out.  Bounce off your trampoline and hit the plate glass window!  Yes, that will guarantee a couple of hundred eyes looking your way.
It's 12 hours later and I'm still puce with the mortification. 
The trampolines are on the first floor, set up beside the TRX station and the chin up bars and ... you know, where all the really fit people hang out.  Anyway, I was bouncing (trying not to pee.. unsuccessfully as it turned out, three quiet cheers for tena lady.. hip, hip ....).  So bouncing away and wondering why I thought this was a good idea when I kind've missed my bounce.   I don't know what happened other than one minute I was going 8, 7, 6, 5 and the next ...?  Oh God!!!!  The next I had bounced right off the bloody thing and hit the plate glass window to my right.  With a squelchy thud!  Much like old wile e up there.
I was so hot and sweaty I think I stuck there for a while.  Then, slowly, slid to the ground.  Whilst sliding downwards I noticed lots of people outside the building looking up, at me.  Me, squashed against the window!!?  Oh.  Sweet.  Jesus. 
Not only were people looking up, the gym had gone quiet (think old western movies when a new cowboy walks into the saloon and even the piano stops playing).

EVERYONE was looking at me.

I may die of puce-ness before the day is out.  Needless to say, I'm not going to the gym today.  Going for a coffee and cake instead, I need comfort x

04 April, 2016

I love you this much .........................

The youngest chap kept talking.  And talking.  And talking.  Before begging him to be quiet I decided to sweeten it with a 'how much do you think I love you?' To which he replied 'Just enough to keep me".

02 January, 2016

I'm bored

I know!!!!! For years we've had to entertain the kids, especially when the weather is as brutal as it is now, but now ... little or no entertaining needed.  No. 1 is off to play poker, No. 2 is playing with No. 3 and ... I'm bored.
Of course, I could tidy the house or some such shite but I really don't want to.  I mean, it just gets undone again so quickly.  Mind you, if I don't tidy on an hourly basis I get stressed and become convinced I am going to end up on Channel 4 on one of those 'manky hoarder house' specials.
I joined a site called Unfuck your Habitat and it sends you reminders to do things e.g. 'clean the counter' (which I clean by moving stuff to the table) and 'clear the table' etc.  It get's me nowhere fast.  The only way I really get into cleaning is if everyone leaves the house and I can mutter about what bastards they are by leaving me home alone to clean, even though that is what I asked them to do.  Or, someone rings to say they are calling around.  I can clean the house in 10 minutes tops in that instance.
Nah, don't want to clean.  Don't want to upload photos or do cake stuff or anything.  
Properly bored.  Do hope this boredom doesn't inspire me to clean out presses and stuff, that always ends up with empty presses and me rocking backwards and forwards in a corner somewhere.  
I could ..... what?  What can I do today?  Afraid to fall back into the telly, watched three seasons of Scandal in two days, and, sad sigh, my eyesight is so shagged I am struggling to read my new book.  Eeeek.  
It's too muddy and filthy to go for a walk in the mountains so what's a girl to do? 
Okay, c'mon Niamh.  Up and .... hello Twitter!


Proud

The middle chap has been asking me, nay, hounding me for weeks to work out how to get all his photos off the camera and onto the computer.  That bit was easy btw.  Then it was all "How do I make a stop motion movie???"
Yeah, not so easy.  
Long story short, here's no. 2's first stop motion video.  I, why me?, have to work out how to add audio but I'm alright with that.  It'll be worth the hours of googling just so you can hear the script he put together with no. 3.
Oh, and I got the stand here!

video

23 December, 2015

Norad make Christmas magical for me ... every year xxx



    Photo source here

I didn't intend to blog today, it's Christmas Day after all but last night . . . well, something really magical happened.  We had everyone over for our annual Christmas Eve dinner and it was a bit sad because it's Eoin and Za's last one here with us for a while and it was also a bit sad because during the year my mam's big serving plates got smashed - not normally a big deal but it was a way of including them.  This year though we invited Himself's family and boosted the numbers up to a whopping 12 adults and 3 kids (my Turkish Delight doesn't count yet as she doesn't need a chair).  It was a great night, kids were delighted with themselves, the gravy was out of this world and the company was second to none.  But the 'magic'?  Well, Himself handed me his phone and said 'you're onto Norad - Santa Tracker'.  There was a lovely man at the end of the phone and I told him who I was and were I was ringing from and then I asked the big question 'When will Santa be here?'  He said 'M'am, he'll be in Dublin, Ireland, between nine and midnight but ONLY if the children are asleep.  He'll call back later if they're not.  He's making good time because of the winds, Happy Christmas Ma'am.  Goodnight.'  To say I nearly peed with excitement.  I love that there are men and women (I rang FOUR times) who are at bases and doing this for all of us.  
I pulled the following article from ABC News. Promise me you'll ring them next year, you can check the whereabouts of the Big Man on 001 719 556 5211.  It's the most wonderful thing ever.

On Christmas Eve, children all around the world will lie awake  wondering if, at any moment, Santa Claus will slide down their chimneys and leave the presents of their dreams. But all they really have to do is call in or go online to find out where Santa and his team of reindeers are at any given moment.
Every year, the North American Aerospace Defense Command tracks Santa’s journey around the world, using radar, satellite, fighter aircraft and, of course, a “Santa Cam.”
The tradition began as so many do – by accident. In 1955, a little girl who saw a Sears and Roebuck ad called in to what she thought was a Talk-to-Santa hotline. But she did not hear Santa Claus on the other end of the line.
Instead, she heard Col. Harry Shoup. He was working in the CONAD ops center (NORAD’s predecessor) and was shocked to hear a child’s voice. According to a NORAD spokesperson, John Cornelio, only two people had the number for that line – the president and the four-star  commander.
As it turned out, the department store had printed the wrong number in the ad and alas, a  tradition was born.
“It’s the innocence of the story that makes it so special,” Cornelio said. And Harry Shoup was given a new title- he is known as  Santa Colonel.
Since that innocent phone call more than 50 years ago, NORAD tracks Santa’s progress around the globe, year after year.
To track his journey this Christmas Eve, you can visit the NORAD website, or call in to 877-HI-NORAD.
The NORAD Santa Tracker also uses social media to connect with Santa enthusiasts. NORAD has Facebook and Twitter pages, and a YouTube channel. And this year, for the first time, NORAD has a smart phone application for Andriod and iPhone users.
NORAD expects more than 80,000 phone calls and 20 million people using its website to track Santa this year.
So come Christmas Eve, when not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse, break the silence and see just how close Santa is to bringing joy to your area.