Thursday, June 28, 2007


1. Last day at work.

2. New kit for Europeans.

3. Kids spending first night in our house.

4. It's stopped raining. Momentarily.

5. Grace is going to Spain with her friend's family on Saturday.

5. We will be childless all weekend so we're going to Cork to see this.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Are you a List-Maker?

I make lists.

That's what I do. If I have something to do I will break it down into smaller pieces and write it all down until it gets done.

This is my second last day of my job and I've only just today realised that that's what I do for a living. If a job has to be done on site, I develop a list of sequentail checks in order that that item of work gets done correctly and then I go out to the site and tick it off.

In real life I do it cos I'm so forgetful. Take for instance this evening I am race director for the mountain race in Tibradden. There are lots of duties for a race director and the organisation involved has the duties on their webiste. But there are always other things to remember in a practical sense so I've been busy making lists this morning of all I have to remember. They're not always neat and tidy lists, I quite like it when they look a bit scruffy.
The busier I am the more I need the lists. I'm useless at remembering things like what day Grace has home economics at school or when Tony will be away. But there are other things I never forget such as numbers. My husband calls me "Rain Man" as I never forget numbers; credit card numbers, RSI numbers, hotel booking references etc. If I say a number once it never leaves my head. Kinda useless in this day and age where we can store everything in our phones but Tony finds it amusing....

Monday, June 25, 2007

Zoo Day

Day 3,456,674 of miserable, wet weather. The greyness continues. But we got a semi-good day Saturday so we spent it at the zoo with the kids. It was brilliant! All went well and by the end of the day the shyness of the 11 year old had begun to dissipate a little bit. It's lucky I run around so much cos it was my job to stick like glue to the 5 year old who just flitted around everything like a giant blond butterfly! We had a picnic , which was the only time it rained but it was actually ok under a tree! Really! You have to be thankful for the small stuff!
We got home and printed out all the photos we had taken and made a scrap book for them, the 11 year old loved this.
The 5 year was buzzing around the house like a tornado! He loves his room! Thursday night will be their first sleepover which should be fun. They have no school so we will plan something. All suggestions welcome, bearing in mind the little boy won't sit still so a movie is out.

This is my last Monday morning at work. I have some stuff to do but can't get motivated cos I know I'm leaving. I better go do something besides blogging!

Funny things the 5 year old has said so far: "Where did you buy your hair?" He said this to Grace whose hair is so beautiful people think it's extensions, I guess he does too.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday fluff! Woohooo!

Thanks to Midget Wrangler I've decided to become part of the group blog For Nine Pounds! Go and have a read, it's a great laugh. I haven't written anything yet! What to write..what to write....?

Only a few more days of work for me....ever....oooh that's scary! This is my last ever Friday as a builder!

We had our second meeting with the 2 new arrivals yesterday and again it went very well. They came to our house and saw their two new rooms. The little boy was thrilled, kept asking, is this mine? is that mine? Like all 5 year olds there was questions every ten seconds being fired at us! He's so funny. He has this permanent cheeky grin on his face, never stops smiling! He got very excited by his school uniform that I had gotten for him, he even brought it home to show his other foster family. I had completely forgotten the simple things that excite 5 year olds, like seeing a train; he nearly leapt out of his car seat, or even an airplane, we passed the airport a couple of times.

The 11 year old was much quieter, but seemed very happy with her room. It's all girly and pink with lots of places for possessions and photos and things, so she spent lots of time there fixing the things she had brought over to our house, the stuff she was planning on leaving there. Circumstances have probably affected her much more than him and she has spent years raising him so it's now her time to just look after herself and eevn act like a child herself for a while. It was a very tough day for her as it was her last day at her old school and she loves her teacher, so she was quite sad about that.

Next visit with them is Saturday for a whole day. We had planned on going to the zoo but the weather is craptacular (thanks Jothemama) so I'm not sure. Big moving in day is getting closer: July 12th.

On a completely different topic: this time 17 years ago I finished my Leaving Cert and headed to Glastonbury! And the world cup was on and life was completely different and I had a brill time and saw things I'd never seen before and never have since and it was brilliant. I don't know what Glastonbury is like now but back then anybody of any age could happily walk round the dozens of tents with all different types of music. There was food from every corner of the world not just overpriced burger bars. There was even lots of kids there. Now I wasn't exactly roughing it because I was working in a beer tent (yes we got free beer and cider) and we had proper showers but my Glastonbury experience is still one of those memorable times I think of and smile :-) . Not like my experience soon after of Irish festivals which seemed to consist almost entirely of very drunk 14 year olds in comas on the side of the street.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For.....

If it wasn't for blogging I don't know how I'd sort out all the mush that goes on in my head. I have so much going on at the moment that at least when I sit and write some of it down it kinda straightens out a few of the issues.
I ran last Sunday in a trial race for the Irish team for the European Mountain running championships and managed to gain a place. Luckily for me it wasn't downhill (just 3 miles uphill) or I'd never have managed it but uphills suit me. Anyway gaining this place has left me a slight feeling of sadness of what I will be missing out on by accepting this place (which I have accepted BTW). First let me say that an opportunity to run in an Irish vest is a HUGE honour and I am very pleased and grateful to be able to run and will be very proud on the day itself. But this is a personal blog not a running blog so here are some of the issues: I will miss out on my best friend's wedding.

We've been friends since school, she's one of those people I admire most in the world, she's getting married in her own unique and special way and I am going to miss it. I phoned her yesterday, than called up and broke the news. She was very understanding, as all good best friends are, but I am so disappointed. So disappointed was I, that I have offered to make and ice her wedding cake. Never having done anything like this before, you could think this was a huge pressure but I'm actually looking forward to it. As long as the cake is unique to her and doesn't poison anyone I actually know she will be happy. So all is good, but if you have any helpful suggestions post them here. She just wants a sponge cake (I know I know it means it has to be cooked right before the wedding and not weeks beforehand but I'm off work) and (rough) butter icing, 3 layers. This gives me something to think about other than the lifelong happiness of 2 new children and a race in France in which I will likely be last!

The second thing I'm missing out is running related. The next attempt on the Wicklow Round is planned for 30th June. So I miss out on being in the first group of people to complete it. And Tony will have to be without me.

The third thing I will miss out on is the next few Wednesday night races on the mountains which I was growing to love but I need fresh legs for France so will have to ease up and I was doing quite well and the competition was heating up!

Anyway the cake is the issue now. I better get googling......

Monday, June 18, 2007

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Happy Days

Just back from meeting the two kids we're going to tbe fostering. I wasn't half as nervous as I thought for some reason, don't know why cos I spend half my week being nervous before every single race but today I wasn't too bad. Myself and Grace drove down and Tony followed on.
We walked into the house and met the little boy first. He was so cute with beautiful blond hair and cute smile! He looked healthy and happy (they're with a foster family with other children) and initially he was shy and quiet. The little girl arrived home from school then with some of the rest of the family and the house was full! The two of them are gorgeous and appear to have settled into their short term foster family well. The plan is for them to be with us long term.
The little boy soon loosened up and was the centre of attention quite quickly! He was showing us his photo album and was quite chatty and asking us questions. The little girl was much more reserved, I tried asking her lots of questions and telling her about us and what we're like. It's hard for the five year old to understand what's going on. He took a real shine to Tony so that's a great start. I can see Grace and the girl getting on great, I'd say they will have music and clothes in common so that's a good start!

The other foster parents were lovely and gave us lots of advice and direction. They've been fostering for about 6 years and have done a great job, they have a lovely family; some their own kids, some fostered.
I hope it'll work out just as well for us, there's a lot at stake and I don't mean for us. These kids have had a hard life and they deserve to be spoilt rotten, but we can't do that either. I'd love if they were with us for a long time and were just like as if they were our own. Maybe that's selfish of me but I just want them to reach adulthood with happy childhood memories of raucous games of Monopoly and picnics in forest parks and summers in our holiday home and Christmases with hundreds of family members around them. Simple stuff....I feel happy now so I hope it continues. Another meeting next week in our house and a sleepover the week after. The moving in day is July 12th.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Another Week Off

brigid and andys wedding 025

Cracking weather we're having and I still have a week off work! Woohoo! Because of the sun I'm spending more time flat on my back soaking it up in the garden than doing all the work I should be doing round the house but hey, you have to make the most of the rays when you can eh? (As soon as the exams are over it'll start lashing right?)

I have done some work though: I've been trying to sort out school places for the new arrivals. We'll meet them for the first time on Thursday. Pretty nerve wracking! Have to get some gifts for them and for the foster family they are currently with.

I was blogging here and here about our all female Clonliffe team of super mountain runners. The Wicklow Way relay (120k over 8 legs) is a great event, nothing like it on the running calender. Some photos here.

Just back now from a visit to see my Dad in his nursing home. One can go from crying to laughing in seconds on one of these visits. They sometimes keep him in a chair when his level of aggression is up. It's dreadful to see him in it and also this aggression is something that was never there his entire life and is only there now because of frontal lobe damage so it's not nice. There are some funny moments too, usually involving the other residents. One of the younger ones was asking my Dad if he ever smoked a spliff, if he was a dancer, if he knew the words to "Young hearts, run free..." Luckily for us this place is a million miles from Leas Cross and is really nice actually.

Next race for me is the trial for the European Champs, which I have little chance of making but it's also a Club Championship so will give it a go. It's uphill only which suits me down to the ground because I'm not one for the downhills!

I'm just watching Bear Grylls on Discovery Channel scree running down a hill and eating a zebra which looks like it could still have a pulse. I love his programmes, he's just amazing! Right now he's getting a warning from a hippo!

Oh and the wedding was great last week. Tony's sister got married last Thursday and it was a brilliant day. I had to run out an hour and a half before the wedding and buy a new dress but at least I got one I was comfortable in.

brigid and andys wedding 031
Me and Grace and the beautiful bride.

Grace's exams are going well, thanks to everyone who sent good wishes! She'll be finished Friday!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I'm still off work and the weather is good......

Grace started her Junior Cert this morning and so far she's happy. She doesn't like English so at least she has that out of the way first. (Second paper this afternoon).
Thankfully she'll still be going to the wedding tomorrow after her exams, as she only has CSPE on Friday morning (that's Civics to you and me).

And I got my nails back this morning, thanks to the wonders of gel technology. Oh I feel so girly again, short nails just aren't me, I can now type again!

I was blogging over at Team Geared Up about the fact that's it's the perfect time to start training for this years Dublin Marathon. The beginning of June is roughly twenty weeks from marathon Monday so if you're thinking about it there's training plans in this months edition of the Irish Runner magazine.
It's 4 years since I did my first.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, June 04, 2007



Bee's/ Wasps nest in our Shed

Found this funny looking item in our shed today. There was life in it (bee or wasp)!