Caíthlyn's Blog

Blogging about our Little Miss. Family 2 pregnancy

Monday, July 25, 2005

Lack of pictures

I want to tell you about our trip to the zoo the Friday before last. And how when I went to check on little Miss two days ago, she was pulling every single babywipe out a pack and cleaning her "Baby's" face and bum and saying:"There! All done!"
I also want to show you pictures of all of this but for some obscure reason I am not able to burn them to disc anymore.
Therefore, I shall spend this evening ranting and raving at my laptop and then getting Darren to do it. Then I will pen a little masterpiece and show you all tomorrow.

Hasta Mañana!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Little Miss Manners

Little Miss Manners,

I have always said that if I ever had children, I would make darn sure that they would be well mannered! It's nice to be nice and good manners don't cost a penny. And I believe that you are never to young to learn! Sure, saying "Thank You" to a 5 month old when you take something from their hands may seem like a silly thing to do. Of course, the little Angel is not going to reply with: "You're welcome mother, may I please have it back when you are finished with it?"
BUT, I am telling you: It Pays Off People! The combined efforts of Daddy, Nanny and myself have resulted in my 18.5 month old daughter and us having interactions as follows:

Us: "Caíthlyn, would you like a piece of banana Sweetheart?"
Caíthlyn: "Yes Cheese" (To the trained ear that's: "Yes Please"


Us: "Caíthlyn, would you like a Liga?"
Caíthlyn: "No Ta"

Also, when she takes something from your hand, she says :"Ta Ta" (Our Kiddie version of "Thank You")

In Dutch there is a saying that states that a good beginning if half the job done. I feel like we are definitely on the right track here.

In moving to Ireland I have not run in to that many cultural differences. However, when it comes to manners there are quite a few. In the Netherlands, it is customary to introduce yourself when you enter a room with strangers. I have spent many a birthday party going through a circle of people going: "My name is Nynke, nice to meet you". You then get their names and Bob's your uncle. Also, we congratulate the immediate relatives of the birthday Girl/Boy on the birthday of their Father/Mother/Son/Daughter.
I did these things on an Irish birthday ONCE..... and never again... The looks of :"That Nynke? A nice girl and all but a bit loopy!" were quite enough to make my cheeks turn rosey!
In Ireland you introduce people to each other. As the host, you take care of the introductions, or, if you are with someone who know the people there, they will.
Oh, the possibilities of social Faux Pas's!
So, the (rather ambitious) aim is to teach Little Miss the social rules of both countries.

Man! This whole parenting thing is tough! Just keeping the child safe and healthy is not enough.... One must discipline and give them the social skills to manage in society.

Now, the disciplining! Neither Darren nor I believe in Smacking. Educational or otherwise. I won't say that it has never happened. Once, Caíthlyn had positioned herself in a very dangerous situation and I got such a fright that I shouted "Caíthlyn NO!" And slapped her hand. But as a rule: Slapping = Not Done.

She is getting to an age now however, where some form of discipline has to be upheld. In general she is an exceptionally good girl but she does have her moments!
The Slaps (from her end) still make a periodic appearance and also, throwing things. Teddy's, toy-bricks, you name it and it has had a flying lesson in our living room. So too, my phone last night. I was trying to take it off her and in a rage she flung it to the ground. I was not impressed. Not. Impressed. At. All.
So, I take a firm grip of my daughter and sit her down on the ground. I tell her in a stern voice that was a very bold thing to do and that she is to stay where she
is... Queue the sobs. I mean Niagara Falls were reproduced right there on our living room floor! My heart broke but I HAD to stay firm for this to be of any effect.
When about 1.5 minutes had passed I picked her up off the floor but she was inconsolable. I think the combination of not getting what she wanted and being disciplined really shocked her. I tried to comfort her but Daddy had to eventually come to the rescue. (He was not trying to be the "Good Guy" and make me the "Bad Guy" it was just the only thing that would calm her down again)
I had a big knot in my stomach and even ended up with nightmares that night. (It was very hot in our room last night which didn't help!) Caíthlyn and I had kisses and cuddles again last night so she is not holding a grudge.
I know that this is all for her own good. That she needs rules and boundaries to become a happy, healthy and balanced person. And that there will be allot more, and heavier occurrences like this one. It's just that I wish I could skip the "Tough Love" and just be like the Huxtables or something and solve all with a moralistic, funny tale and a group hug......

Monday, July 11, 2005

Angel And GVR

As mentioned in my previous post, we have two friends over to stay with us for a few days. Angel ( as she is know here, the folks at home know her as Lieke) and her boyfriend, known in Blogland as either GVR ( Big Friendly Giant in Dutch) or Imriyr. You can read about them on their blogs. Angel's blog can be viewed in atrocious English. This is not due to any incompetence regarding the English language on her part, she speaks it very well, it's just translated by a site that translates it literally. If nothing else, it makes for a good giggle!
When you read Angel's blog you will find out that sometimes it get's really busy in her head. She hears voices and she practices auto mutilation. There are some pretty fierce scars on her arms where she had a go at herself with a knife. He blog explains it much better than I ever could.
Naturally, I was a bit weary at first of how Angel's "condition" would affect their stay. I mean, I lived with the girl for over a year and love her to bits, but I haven't been face to face with her since her diagnoses in March 2004. But I have to say, I am really enjoying their visit.
I won't lie, and say that it was all smooth sailing for Angel but she has been SO brave and SO strong!

Before they came over, I asked her what I should look out for in regards to Caíthlyn. Don't get me wrong, Angel would never, ever harm my child, or any child for that matter. (The girl won't even squish a spider for Pete's Sake, even though I have "requested" she do so at the top of my lungs on numerous occasions! Arachnaphobic? Moi? She was my hero when we lived together!) It would have been extremely irresponsible of me however if I had not taken any precautions and had not asked any questions. It's not just her in there anymore after all. She and GVR had already discussed this however and she assured me that GVR knows exactly what to look out for.

They arrived in the evening, and Caíthlyn was already asleep. We got to chat and catch up.
The next morning Little Miss was just a tad confused about the unfamiliar presence in the house so early in the morning. Angel handled it beautifully and just let Little Miss come to HER. She didn't get in her face like some people would and by the time we "went walkies" they were great mates! We stopped for lunch in a hotel in Lovely Town Harbour. Little Miss was SO good! Sure, she had to be entertained but she let us have our lunch in peace.
Angel and GVR staid for another pint and I took Little Miss to the playground around the corner. It was wet however so after Angel and GVR caught up with us again, we headed off to the shops and then home. Little Miss was SO comfortable with them at this stage that she took both their hands and just toddled on in between them! So cute! (Picture to follow, I have to get it off Angel)

Caíthlyn is just a wee bit smitten with GVR! It's adorable to see! She keeps giving him these beaming smiles and bringing books over to him. On Friday night she was not going to sleep for us and she came back down with us. She parked herself right in between Angel and GVR on the sofa with this content look on her face! GVR read her a book and played the Jungle Book songs for her on his laptop and all was well with the world!

Caithlyn and Arjan 1

Arjan Angel and Caithlyn 1

Angel and GVR took the bus to Galway on Saturday and will be returning to us today. They will fly back to the Netherlands tomorrow.

One of Caíthlyn's cousins. E. , had her 3rd birthday party yesterday. It was a BBQ party with a bouncy castle. It was SO WARM! This didn't stop Little Miss from having a fabulous time however! Here are some pics for your viewing pleasure!

Bouncy Bouncy

Bouncy Castle with Nanny 1

Bouncy Castle Stretch

Bouncy Castle Smile 2

Bouncy Castle Smile 1

When we came home, she was up in Darren's arms. I leaned in to give her a kiss and she wrapped her arm around my neck. Darren and I kissed her simultaneously and she thought that was so much fun that she kept pulling our heads towards her for more tag team kisses! The Little Honey!
She woke up early this morning, just as I was heading downstairs. I went in to her to bring her in to Darren. It was SO nice to be able to get a dose of the best hugsies in the world before heading off to work! That sleepy little face looking up at you when she's sitting on her knees in her sleeping bag. Her hair all over the place. Priceless! You should be able to bottle the stuff! ;-)

Have fantastic week everyone!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


You know how some kids have a favorite Dolly, Teddy or Blanket? Well, Caíthlyn never really had a favorite anything....... until now. Now, she has a Favorite Hat! It's a lovely straw hat in different shades of Lilac. When we bought it, one of the sides was a bit damaged but that's why (the) God(dess) created double sided tape. The hat is a wee bit lopsided now but I have decided that this gives it character! She loves this hat. SHE. LOVES. IT.
You don't want to know the trouble we usually have keeping any kind of headgear on her cranium. It's a miracle I haven't developed RSI from picking up the sun-hat and putting it back on her head! The straw hat however, is a completely different story! As soon as she spots it, it goes on. And she looks adorable in it!
So now I say: Bring On The Sunshine! My hat luvin' daughter and I are ready for it!

Little Miss Sunshine

Last Sunday, two friends, Caíthlyn and I went to see another friend in County Kildare. T
his friend had a child and to our horror we found out that it had been two years since our last visit! Little Miss's car seat was transferred to "Walshie's" car (She does not travel in any car without it. If she is not strapped in to her car seat she ain't goin'! I don't care if it's a 3 Minute or 3 Hour trip...... You may say: "Well, Duh!" but you want to see the amount of people driving here with their kids jumping all over the backseat!) and off we went!
We left at 13.00 hrs, and I had the (rather optimistic) idea that she could sleep for an hour on the way there and be all fresh and fruity upon arrival. Little Miss had different plans however! My friends Skaldy and Walshie (names have been changed to protect the fabulous) were waaaaaaaay more interesting than napping!
Especially if there is a de-tour to a toyshop! I swear, she KNEW we were going in there to pick up something for our friend's son!
I couldn't resist and decided I was going to buy her a proper Baby Doll. She has a few small ones, but no normal sized one and I thought it was high time she got one. The ladies located the dolls section very quickly and starting pointing out different dolls. Caíthlyn's face lit up! She giggled with excitement! But, no matter how much I would have liked to bring all of the dolls home for her, a choice had to be made. And since it was going to be her doll, she got to make the decision.
Skaldy took one doll to the left, Walshie took the other to the right, and we put Little Miss in the middle. It was real obvious real quick that the blond dolly Walshie was holding was the absolute favorite! She clutched the box in her arms like she was never going to let go, and seeing that the box was about as big as she is, that was quite a feat!
At the till, Skaldy and Walshy informed us that they were giving Caíthlyn the doll, Olivia.

So a great big THANK YOU to these two ladies, you made my little girls' day!

The visit its' self was lovely. O's little Boy is such a cutie! The idea of another child on "his turf" was a bit strange for him at first but he adapted very quickly and shared his toys and even a little hug! O is from the Basque country and her hubby is Irish and the little man speaks both languages.
Which of course, shamefully reminded me of my own lack of efforts in teaching my child Dutch! O takes her son home for weeks at a time and she is very passionate about her language. Her parents (who are lovely!) do not speak a word of English and so her Little Man has really HAD to learn. I was well impressed!

Me, I'm not so much with the passionate about the Dutch. I mean, it's the language I grew up with and all but I pretty much function completely in English now.
When I speak Dutch to Caíthlyn I feel like I am "faking" it or something, it doesn't feel natural....
However, I myself spoke both German and English from when I was about three years old and have found it invaluable. Even the Frisian that my grandparents insisted I learn has been of benefit to me.... So, taking all of that in to consideration, I promise I shall make a proper effort at speaking Dutch to my daughter.
Some phrases are already common place in our house. When she stands on her chair on in her bath, both her father and I say "Op je Billen!" (On your Bum!) and when she's done something well we'll say: "Flinke Meid!" (Best Girl!) or "Goed zo!" (Good!!)
We will just have to expand the auld vocabulary! Some very good friends from The Netherlands are coming over to stay for a few days and so we should get a good start to the Dutch. It's easier when you hear it around you for a while.

Wish me luck! / Wens me succes!

Monday, July 04, 2005

She's Baaahaack!

The break in Holland was very nice. I am SO proud of my friend for getting her diploma and she got fantastic marks too!
I flew over on a Wednesday and came back the next Saturday. I missed my honey('s) the entire time. It was truly like an arm had been removed...... Eventhough it was great to be a "free agent" if you will, the feeling of Caíthlyn's little face to mine was enough to give me a lump in my throat.
I focussed on her so much that I didn't get to Darren untill later!
I know I've said it before but he really is worth his weight in gold. It's cheesy (and also totally ripped off from Westlife) but I Love the way he Loves me... He's the best! I don't know what I did to deserve him!

Enough of the gushing....

Caíthlyn and I went for a walk at the sea-side on Friday. Little Miss has energy to burn so I let her walk next to the buggy for a bit so she can stretch her legs.
At one point, a big dog comes galopping around the corner and Caíthlyn exclaims "Wooouuwww!! Doooooog!! Woof Woof!!" "Yes Honey! Good Girl! That's a dog!"
A few metres behind that dog is a few girl taking two little terrier lap dogs for a mosey.
Caithlyn: "Meeeoouuww"
I nearly wet myself......

Okay, on serious time retraint here (lunch-break ends in 11 minutes) so here's the pics that Auntie S.'s neighbour took. I vow to make a proper effort at more regular updates!

Family 2

Caithlyn Pro 3

Family 1

Caithlyn Pro 2

Caithlyn Pro 1