Archive for February, 2008


What’s in a name?

I’ve only just started blogging, so it’s all new and strange, and I find myself fixated on how people have come to find my little page here. Yes, I have a strong obsessive-compulsive streak! 😀

For people who don’t know me, the search that seems to bring most people here is the name of my oldest son, Ricky. I find this really interesting! I’d love to know why people are searching on that particular name and then viewing my blog. Are you looking for Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs? Ricky Gervais? Ricky Hatton? Or (even worse) Ricky Martin?!! If you’re reading this because of a search you’ve done on Ricky, please take the time to comment on what you’re searching for! (Or is this a blogging faux pas, I’m never sure!)

Just to put the record straight, my Ricky is not named after any of the above, though I have a massive soft spot for Ricky Wilson! His given name is Richard Graham, Richard for Ian’s grandfather, and Graham for my own Dad.

Makes me laugh even more when I notice noone searches by “Robbie”, my younger son’s name(who, incidentally is also named after a grandparent and my brother!). How Robbie Williams has fallen from grace!!! 😀


At last! He finally sleeps!

Wow- my beautiful little son has finally given me the gift of a good night’s sleep.

 I woke up at about 4am, and then lay in bed sweating because he hadn’t had me up yet. Finally I crept to his bedroom door so I could listen to him breathe. I still do that sometimes with Ricky, who is over 3 years old now, I wonder if that “oh shit, what am I going to do if something’s wrong” feeling will ever leave me! Probably in 15 year’s time, Ricky and Robbie will be waking up in the middle of the night to find me hiding out, stalker-esque, in the corner of the room.

I hope not, because it would be kind of creepy…

Anyhow, I managed to wake him up in the process, so I guess my stealthiness isn’t so hot these days. BUT he was only up for about ten minutes and then slept on until I woke him at 6.45am!

Last night was also the first night ever when Robbie has been put to bed by bottle, not boob, and only given bottle during the night. I wonder if he’s trying to tell me something! 😦

I think I should start a support group called “Addicted to Breastfeeding Anonymous”. Though I’d probably be the only member! I never thought I’d make it this far- my goal was to do it for six months- we’re now well over the nine month mark- and I’m proud of my achievement, but now that he has teeth, it’s getting less comfortable and, once I can get past my own (rather pathetic) psychological need to continue, I will be ready to be done.

Hmmm…if last night is anything to go by, maybe he is ready to be done too. Waaaahhhhh!


New bathroom scales!

Our bathroom scales have been playing up for a long time. Now, to be fair to them, they are probably older than I am and I inherited them from my grandparents, both of whom have been dead for the last fifteen years, so they’ve led a long and happy life.

I have traditionally loved my scales because during my first attempt at dieting, I discovered that if you leant all your weight on your left foot, you had an extra weight loss of 2lb. Even though I am absolutely aware that this is cheating, I always count the lower figure. However, despite this wonderful and beneficial feature, I have recently become aware that they are getting less and less accurate.

Despite having been good this week, and VERY good yesterday, when I got on the scales this morning and leant hard to the left, they advised me that I had in fact put on 4lb since yesterday. This put me in an unspeakably foul mood for the rest of today, but has forced me to accept that my period of self denial is now at an end.

To this end, I have now purchased some ELECTRONIC scales from Amazon which I imagine won’t respond to coercion and will tell me, at last, just how overweight I am.

Here is the link-

Now, I am going to have to face up to my true weight when they arrive, which will no doubt leave me in a state of horror and incredulity for several months, and may risk my diet altogether. But it’s just something I have to do!

Once they arrive, I will write a review! If I can still type/speak…


Doubting my header tag!

OK, so I state in my header “who needs sleep when you’ve got great kids”. However I think it is universally accepted that, in order to live, you need some sleep. And it just isn’t happening in my house.

 Crying it out is just not an option for me. I know it’s controversial and everyone has a different opinion, but it just isn’t for us. I did my degree in psychology, and all the research I read back then told me that it can damage your child. While I am sure most kids are absolutely fine, and it works well for some people, I just can’t do it.

Ricky has only just started sleeping through the night on a regular basis, but is still up once or twice a night at least two days a week. That isn’t a big problem. I am so glad he’s finally sleeping better!

However, now that Ricky sleeps better, Robbie’s sleep has totally disintegrated. Last night was a good night- and I was up for hours with him. The night before, I had a total of about 1 hour of sleep, and then had to get up and drag myself into work. Zombie wouldn’t be in it!

Sorry for moaning and complaining. I am feeling rather run down and sorry for myself! I know we went through this with Ricky too- at length- and I am praying it doesn’t go on as long with my sweet little bundle!

That’s just it- they are WONDERFUL kids, lots of fun, beautiful and the lights of my life. It’s a shame they are knocking my head in as they grow! 😀

OK, grumble over. One day, they’ll be teenagers and I will spend my life complaining about how they won’t get out of bed. I’m never happy!


Letter of thanks to The Cuan

We were so impressed by dinner at the Cuan for Dad’s 60th birthday that I wrote them a letter of thanks! Anyone reading this because they have searched for The Cuan on the web and are thinking of eating there should go ahead and book- it’s lovely!

 Here’s the letter I sent!

Dear Caroline and Peter, and all at the Cuan,On behalf of all our family, can I pass on our huge thanks for a wonderful night last Saturday, when we attended your restaurant for my Dad’s 60th birthday party.From a planning point of view, you made life very easy for us and nothing was too much trouble. Caroline’s emails were timely, friendly and helpful. Peter was so kind to agree to make the lemon meringue pie, which turned out magnificently and was greatly enjoyed by my Dad!

Everything on the night went very smoothly. The food was all absolutely delicious and the service was, as always, perfection. Once again, nothing was too much trouble, and the personal touches showed a real dedication to customer service which I found very impressive. In particular, the personalised menus and your help with serving the cake were much appreciated.

Once again, many thanks for an outstanding night in every way. We will be seeing you again very soon!



ARCHIVE- Robbie’s Birth Story

Please ignore if you’ve already read- I just want this where I can read it from time to time! 🙂

Robbie’s birth story!


Robbie’s birth storyIan is giving Ricky his bath so here goes and am hoping I can get this typed up before Robbie wakes again!

We got to the hospital as planned for about 7.30am on the morning of 5.22.07 for my scheduled c-section. We got checked in and were told we were fourth on the list for that day, but that they expected it would be around lunch time.

After what seemed like an interminable wait, we eventually got the call about 2pm to go down to surgery. Then we hit the first problem! We had to walk to surgery- with me wearing a backless surgical gown and no underwear- and I forgot to bring my bath robe with me… so long story (and a lot of hysterical laughter later) I ended up with two royal blue surgical gowns on, one the wrong way round, and this white sheet draped round me! I looked like something from a junior school nativity play but as the midwife commented, I was hardly the Virgin Mary!

We got to surgery and there was a huge team waiting to do their work- I think there must have been fifteen or so people, between anaesthesiologists, dr’s and a variety of nursing staff. They all introduced themselves, and then they ushered Ian out so they could prep me. It was incredible- the head honcho kind of clapped his hands and more or less said “OK, let’s go” and they all kind of converged on me! They were amazing- they all took the time to explain exactly what they were doing whilst being sooo quick! I got the spinal very quickly, which was unpleasant but OK, and several different drips put in, and then was transferred very quickly to the operating theatre where they set up the screen and brought Ian back in.

Robbie was born at 2.38pm on 22nd May, weighing in at a much smaller than expected 9lb even and 22 inches long. He was sooo perfect!

Once he was out and cleaned up, they gave him to Ian who sat and talked to him and me for the rest of the (very long) surgery. Unfortunately I had a lot of complications yet again with my uterus failing to contract, and even though they were very well prepared for that eventuality, the drugs were slow to work and they had to spend a lot of time getting the bleeding under control. I lost more than a litre of blood in the end which has made me rather anaemic but never mind!

Finally they got everything under control but the surgery lasted more than two hours in the end! They were so good at explaining what was happening, and so CALM, that everything was a stress free as it could have been under the circumstances.

Robbie is gorgeous and much more mellow (SO FAR!!!) than Ricky. We’re having some trouble persuading him to sleep in his crib, as he just wants to sleep on me, but breast feeding is going great now that my milk has come in. He was weighed today and has only lost a few oz’s since birth- after all the problems I had feeding Ricky I am delighted with that and feel like I am really achieving something!

The worst thing about the whole experience was that they had to put a drain in my c-section wound and then took it out the next day- I have never felt anything like that and hope I never do again- but apart from that and the complications I am happy with how things went and am totally besotted with my new son!

Thanks for reading!


ARCHIVE- Obituary for my Mother

This is a note I put on Facebook before but want to keep. Please ignore if you’v read it before!

Written 5.12.07

My Dad wrote this obituary for the local paper for my Mum. I think a few of you know how dissatisfied I was with the obituary the minister gave at her funeral, and WISH he had done something like this!

Sorry if this is morbid, but I love it, and hope that it gives you a positive reflection of who my Mum was, in spite of all the illness which had recently dominated her life.

Thanks for reading…


Alison was born in Belfast in 1949, the younger daughter of Rev. & Mrs. Pritchard. She was educated at Methodist College, Belfast, following which she underwent training at Queen’s University, Belfast as a medical doctor, qualifying in 1973. Whilst there, she met her husband-to-be Graham and was married by her father in his then church in Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal in 1971.
They set up home in Belfast, where Alison subsequently worked as a specialist dermatologist in the Belfast City, Ulster, Lagan Valley and Musgrave Park Hospitals. In her chosen profession she was always a favourite with the patients, renowned for her thoroughness, caring nature and sympathetic manner, perhaps arising out of her own skin problems whilst a child.
During this period, their daughter Suzy and sons Martin and Brian were born, and her family were always a joy to her, and at the centre of her thoughts. The recent arrivals of two grand-children, Ricky and Robbie, were particularly special to her.
Outside of her family life, Alison had a number of abiding passions. Her childhood ambition to have her own Connemara pony was realised in 1986, when she got her pride and joy “Song of Morning”, and this led to a series of equine pursuits for both she and Suzy, including a personal interest in long-distance riding, at which she and the pony excelled.
Her expertise as a plants-woman shone out, knowing most of her garden plants by their latin name. Following the move to Downpatrick in 1999 to the house on the River Quoile which she adored instantly on sight, she soon set about matching plants to places. This interest extended into her love of all things in the natural environment, where she had a particular keenness for the identification of wild orchids.
She was a voracious reader, which was a great comfort for her as she gradually descended into ill-health. Loss of mobility, and increasingly frequent visits to doctors and hospitals in the last five years, as both out- and in-patient, proved very difficult for her, yet she bore it all with great strength of mind.
Alison will be sadly missed by her family and wide circle of close friends. She is survived by her husband, daughter, sons and grand-sons, and her sister Rosalind.

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