Archive for March, 2009


Nothing-to-say Tuesday

I’m having a sucky day in work, which thankfully doesn’t happen all that often. Stress levels are high and tempers frayed! The result is probably that this will be short and rather pointless.

The time change seems (touching wood) to have improved the kids sleeping. Robbie had been going to bed at 8.30pm or so and getting up at 6am. Now, he’s still going to bed at 8.30 but is staying in bed until what is now 7am. This makes me feel less cheated!

Ricky is FINALLY out of nappies at night! It’s been four nights now, and he’s been dry each night. I’m so proud of him for making this step, and he’s proud of himself. I know most of you out there will be incredulous that a four year old could still have been in nappies at night, but he was late to toilet train and it’s been an uphill struggle, so I am very pleased.

I’ve now been for a brisk walk in my two lunchbreaks so far this week, and am pleased that it is going well. I plan to introduce a little running next week, but don’t want to banjax myself by going too fast too soon, so I reckon I need to walk before I can run, so to speak! 🙂 I already seem to be 4lb down on the horror that was last Friday, so hopefully I am going to make progress quickly, which will give me the incentive to persevere!

Question for you fit folk out there- do any of you have one of those heart rate monitor watches? If so, what make/model do you have and what are the pros and cons? I am considering buying one, and want one of the ones which beeps if you go above or below a certain heart rate when exercising. It would be nice to get one which also tells you how many calories you’ve burned and how long you’ve been going. A lot of them look way too complicated for me, though, and a lot of them are massively expensive, which I can’t justify for me doing a quick jog round the park.

Spring is definitely in the process of arriving. The weather is lovely and mild. I hope it lasts for our break at Easter, especially as the holiday house doesn’t have central heating!!

Not really much else to say today- hope everyone is well! 🙂


The little things

I just went to tidy our kitchen, which was the usual cess-pit, while Ian read the kids their books and put them to bed.

I picked up two open milk cartons (yes, I know) and took them to the fridge, where I discovered a third, open and within date, carton of milk. WHY?!!!

Ian has been working from home today. He doesn’t really think about things like whether there’s already some milk that’s open, he just goes with whatever comes to hand.

Now, we have a very happy and successful relationship, and in part, that is a by-product of us BOTH being messy pigs. We were together for nearly ten years before we had kids, and we were nearly as bad before the kids came along as we are now. That said, silly things like that drive me completely insane.

In our (nearly) thirteen year relationship, here are Ian’s crimes-

          He is unable to load the dishwasher to my liking. He puts the cups where the plates should be, and the plates where the cups should be. I find myself constantly reloading the dishwasher. This, for some unclear reason, greatly amuses him.

          He is unable to put clothes pegs back on the line so that they can be slid up and down. Despite constant nagging, he has been unable to rectify this glaring fault.

          He will only shave under heavy duress and after I have accused him hourly of looking like a hobo over a period of several days.

          He won’t clean the bathroom, no matter what threats are levied.

Despite these heinous shortcomings, he has some pretty sweet plus points.

          He is a wonderful father, much more patient than I am, and the kids adore him. He’s never afraid to horseplay with them, even though he always ends up getting hurt (I dislike the whole rolling around on the floor, accompanied with frantic giggling which inevitably ends in tears, for this very reason!)

          He’s DAMN hot

          He’s never, ever said a single word about my weight gain, and often tells me how beautiful I am, even now when I have no hair and am in danger of being attacked by the Japanese every time I hit the beach…

          He can cook really well, and often does (in fact, not only has he put the kids to bed tonight, he’s also cooking me dinner)

          He’s not afraid to cry in front of me- this is a strength and not a weakness.

          When I feel down or afraid, he can ALWAYS put a positive spin on the situation and make me feel better.

          He “gets” my eccentricities

          He can make me laugh until a little bit of wee comes out

          He’s a good time keeper, because if he wasn’t there is NO WAY we would still be together

I could go on, but you get my gist!

When I look at how wonderful he is to me and the kids, it makes me realise that stupid stuff like toilets that could use a scrub, and a poorly loaded dishwasher REALLY doesn’t matter.

The clothes peg thing is something we need to work on, though… 😀


It is what it is!

Here’s a rare picture of my two boys together. Normally, they are heading off in opposite directions, and it’s impossible to get a photo of them standing together, or they’re attempting to murder one another (all in the name of play, of course) and picture taking would be pointless.


It’s not perfect by any means, but I’m pleased with it, given the circumstances.

Ricky wanted to go to the beach at Kilclief today (pronounced Kil-leaf), but when we got there, there must have been some kind of Equinox tide, because the sea was too high and there wasn’t really enough beach to take two small children onto. Hmmm…new plan needed.

I thought I’d take them for a walk to the St Patrick Monument, which bizarrely and inexplicably, I can find absolutely no reference to on the internet whatsoever! This is a huge monumental statue of St Patrick which sits atop a hill with mesmerising views of Co. Down, and it can be seen for miles around. I have searched on Google under Raholp (the locality that it’s in), St Patrick’s Monument Co. Down, Lecale (the greater district) and some other searches, and they have all come up with zero. I am flummoxed.

Anyhow, it’s a steep ascent to the statue. I thought the kids would be able to cope OK with it. They were doing really well, and we made it about two thirds of the way up. There’s a statue of the Virgin Mary around that point, because it’s a ceremonial place used by the Catholic church, and (forgive me for the irreverence) Ricky saw it, and piped up, “Look, Mummy! Cinderella!” 😀

Not sure where he got that idea from, but it was the highlight of the walk! Just past that point, BOTH boys seemed to completely give up the ghost, so far as walking was concerned. Robbie was holding my hand, and he suddenly went limp and threw himself to the ground, screaming his head off. Ricky simultaneously followed suit.

I have NO CLUE why they did it- it was kind of weird- but when I prised Robbie off the ground, I became concerned about his elbow, and worried that he might have dislocated it again, because he wasn’t using his right arm at all. Regular readers will remember that he dislocated it a few months ago.

I picked Robbie up, got Ricky up, and turned to head down the hill again, thinking I was heading for A&E at the nearest hospital. The views were incredible, but sadly taking any photos was now obviously out of the question!

We got back to the car, Robbie and Ricky both stopped crying, I gave them some juice, and they started laughing and smiling.

By the time we got to my Dad’s to feed the horses, five minutes later, they were running around like hallions again and there were no further problems.


I don’t even begin to pretend I understand my own kids.

Maybe the hill was just too steep!

Edited to add- my brother kindly emailed me to point out that a search under Slieve Patrick would bring up the place immediately. D’oh!!!! 😀


The training begins!

Leigh and I met up this morning for a walk at Stormont Estate, which is where the Race for Life will be taking place at the end of May- we’re both taking part.


It’s a lovely day here, sunny and not too cold, so conditions were perfect.

For those of you outside Northern Ireland, Stormont is home to the Northern Ireland Assembly (local parliament). It’s set in beautiful park land, with the paths leading through the woods.



My cousin Astrid recent emailed me saying she heard that the Race for Life route makes you run up the hill to Stormont- it’s quite steep, I can’t really see me making it all the way to the top without having a coronary (though Leigh’s a nurse- I’ll be in good hands) because even walking it is still puncturing me!

View from the top of the hill-


I feel like we had a productive walk today- we probably walked most of the route we’re going to be (cough) running in May. It’s fun too when someone is with you- we had a great laugh.

I did take some pics of me and Leigh, but was under strong instruction not to post any pics of her that were less than perfect. The pics of us two were far from fabulous, as I was using Ricky’s camera, which doesn’t have a view field that can be turned around when you are doing self portraits, so am sad to report that none of the ones of us have made the cut!! 😀

I am starting my new take-trainers-to-work program tomorrow, so maybe in another week or two, the hill at Stormont will start to be a source of less dread.


I’m doing a five mile walk at Castleward next weekend with my Dad, and am meeting Leigh again next Sunday at Stormont.

My ass will surely HAVE to start shrinking soon! Go, me! 😀


Suzy through the ages

I thought the following might make some of you giggle! Here are some pics of me growing up. 🙂

On the beach in Donegal, aged about 18 months


Aged just under two- same as Robbie is now, and the similarity is absolutely scary!!


About two, in the garden of my grandparents house. My friend Emer once saw this picture and laughingly said I looked like I was modelling the clothes! 😀


I’d guess about six or so? In the garden of the house I grew up in.


Roughly nine or ten- this was for the fancy dress party at the riding school I went to. The pony was called Tizer, and although he looks as rough as a badger’s arse in this photo, was subsequently sold, cleaned up and became a very successful working hunter. 🙂 My best friend Jo loved him so much that she was even nicknamed Tizer when we were in primary school! 😀 I look like a tiny medieval hooker…so much makeup!


Around twelve, again on the beach in Donegal. My tan proves that even in Ireland we sometimes get good weather! 😉 My eyebrows are inexplicable. Sorry, that should read my monobrow is inexplicable…


Fourteen, with the biggest hair in history and it was NOT a perm, no matter what my brothers tell you!!!


Twenty- on holiday in The Burren, Co. Clare with my Mum.


OK, I hope you’ve had a good laugh from that…have a lovely weekend! 🙂


The sweetest thing

I’m very close to both my brothers, Marty and Brian, and think they are the very best kind of people. They are always there for me, and I know we share a very special bond, even though of course we fight like cats and dogs… 😀

Marty once commented in the middle of a sentence that he would “take a bullet” for either me or Brian, and whilst I didn’t say anything at the time, it really made a huge impression on me, because he was absolutely serious. That’s the kind of love money can’t buy, that time can’t change, that really matters.

They, along with my Dad, have both been a massive source of support, strength, cheer and hope to me through my recent struggle with cancer. I think it says a lot about my upbringing that we are very close even now as adults. If I may say so myself, my parents did a good job- their kids have strong values and close bonds. 🙂

Today, I was on the phone in work, and a delivery guy appeared with the most beautiful flowers. I kind of thought they might be for me, since I am the only girl who works there apart from Joanne, who is part time.

The flowers WERE for me- and when I opened the card, I got a lovely message from my youngest brother Brian (I can hardly type that because I call him Briney!! 😀 )


Upon phoning him, he told me that they weren’t for any special reason, but that he was very happy to see me feeling much better, and that he loved me.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

Ladies, take note. He’s single, funny, reasonably good looking and apparently more solvent than I previously gave him credit for. Plus he’s given to grandiose gestures of love.

WHY is it you’re still single, Briney??? 😀

Here’s a pic of me and Briney- Marty hates having his picture taken and would 100% absolutely murder me and never speak to me again if I posted his photo on my blog. 😦


Thanks to Briney for the amazing and unexpected gift, and to both brothers for…just being amazing. Love you both.


Dead at your age

Thanks to Jennie for the weirdest waste of my time ever!

She blogged today about THIS site, which, bizarrely, will tell you who you have outlived by length of life if you input your birthday. I have never heard of any of these punters, but like I say, it’s a Friday afternoon.

Let me know what your results are! 😀


You are 33 years and 157 days old today.

You’ve outlived Geremi González by almost three weeks. He was a Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Cubs and the Brewers. He died of injuries from a lightning strike on May 25, 2008, when you were 32 years old.
You’ve outlived Lester Bangs by almost three weeks. He was a journalist, musician and music critic best known for his work in “Rolling Stone” magazine. He died of an accidental overdose of Darvon and Valium on April 30, 1982, when you were 6 years old.

John Wilmot was more than a month younger than you when he died of syphilis and alcoholism on July 26, 1680. He was a friend of King Charles II, libertine, and author of satiric and bawdy poetry. He died 296 years before you were born.

You’ve outlived Kay Kendall by about 2 months. She was a film actress who won a Golden Globe award for her role in “Les Girls” (1957). She died of myeloid leukemia on September 6, 1959, 17 years before you were born.

Carole Lombard was about 2 months younger than you when she died in an airplane accident on January 16, 1942. She was a popular actress in the 1930s who was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for “My Man Godfrey” (1936). She died 34 years before you were born.

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