First lost tooth: Maebh

So a couple years ago, Soren lost his first baby tooth at 7 years old.  Fast forward two years and it’s Maebh’s turn and coincidentally she too is 7. In fact, I just checked the dates and it’s exactly 5 days difference…

Yesterday at her first day of camp, her “new best friend” who is in from New Zealand on holidays and she can’t remember her name knocked it out.  Lol. Apparently she was taking off her cardigan and it banged Maebh and she saw something why fly down and it was her tooth.   When I got home from work, excitedly she ran over to tell me.  So cute!!

When it was bed time, Maebh put her sparkly box which she bought at Sostrene and Greene in Den Bosch especially for future teeth.  

While we were sleeping, the tooth fairy came and brought $2.00 from the American tooth fairy and €10 from the European one.  It wasn’t until 5 am this morning, I re-read the post of Soren’s first tooth and realised she gave a €2 coin vs €10, so quickly, I opened the little container from underneath her pillow where she was asleep and swapped the tenner for a €2 coin.  Surely, they have to be the same as this would be a discussion for a long time.

Speaking of cute, she also changed into a red and black outfit to act like a girl lego character.  Don’t mind my horrible voice….

Ireland Road Tripping: Donegal

Last October during the October half term break, we booked three night stay in Letterkenny, Donegal, but after much consideration, we cancelled it and headed to Clifden at the kids’ request. We agreed, we’d head there during the “summer” in the hopes that we had better weather and could do more exploring.

Now fast forward 9 months and we’re heading that way for a 3 night break.  This time, we’ve booked in the Gweedore Court Hotel, which is located in the Gaeltacht heartland, An Chuirtli. With only 66 rooms, it is not as large or modern as the hotels we would prefer, it’s closer to the ocean than Letterkenny and works for us.  Plus it was the only hotel in the area with a pool, pub and availability for the time we chose. The hotel’s pool seems okay but the kids club is only for kids under 8 so we won’t bother. I’ll post photos of the place when we arrive, but while it’s listed as a 4 star hotel, I am not holding my breath that it’s anything special.  Though all the reviews say it’s a very clean hotel – we’ll see.  The views from the area are amazing.

One day we’re going to have to visit Leo’s Tavern.  It’s supposed be renowned for its music being the family home of world famous musical talents Enya, Clannad and Moya Brennan. Not sure we’ll enjoy a Trad session as it tends to kick off at 10 pm (when kids in pubs are banned).

There is just nothing available in any part of Ireland for the long weekend (well, in our budget!)  Clearly, I was not thinking ahead for this weekend away the way I normally do.  I booked Christmas in July and May at Christmas.

Gweedore

I have “Friday Summer hours”  so once the kids are done at camp and me from work, we’ll head up to Donegal. I suspect it will take a good four hour drive but as it’s a new destination, probably a bit longer.

Gweedore from Dublin

As we’ve never been to Donegal before, I’ve been doing some research on things to do and see while there.   I’ve come up with the following list.

View the Kilclooney’s Dolomen – which, according to my information, we must first knock on the cottage and ask the old couple permission to go up and view it. The kids are going to love that part!

Amazing Beaches:  It’s no secret the area is home to some of the most stunning beaches in Ireland so we’ll be sure to stop off at some.

Killybegs – We’re definitely going to stop by this “town” to check it out. I suspect it will be a combination of Howth and Cobh.  The fishing heritage of Howth but the cruise ships visiting like Cobh.  The tourist information says to stop by the visitor centre and get info on the Killybegs Heritage Trail which will take you on a journey back in time to discover this historic harbour town of years gone by.  Maratime Museum in Killybegs looks like something we’d do too.

Glenveagh National Park:  It looks like a beautiful place to explore.  And on Monday of the August bank holiday (Aug 7th) there will be a family nature walk from Stalker’s Hut.   Their site says to book a place on our trail walkers bus at 10am from the car park.  Enjoy the walk down the Bridle Path and meet the education guides at the Stalker’s Hut from 11 am.  Toast marshmallows by the camp fire, traditional music and nature crafts.  Or another idea would be to rent bikes and cycle around the park and walk to the waterfall. For this we’ll certainly have to book in advance if we do this.

Tropical World:  If it’s really bad weather and we need a place to go indoors, we can visit this place.  But then again at €28.00 for our family to visit, they might have more fun bowling, movies or even a giant indoor water park like Waterworld Bundoran which we’d pay €45 for the four us. At 7 & 9, they’ve visited many zoos and butterfly houses in the past so not sure can justify the costs. 

Now not sure if we’ll get there as it’s 1.5 hours from our hotel, but how cool would it be to visit the “Most Northern Point in Ireland – Banba’s Crown on the Inishowen Peninsula, near Malin Head.  Especially since we’ve visited Mizen Head which we always thought was the most Southerly Point but later learned it’s Brow Head, County Cork (though until I just did a search and this map, I no idea were that is exactly!)

mizen head vs brow head

If we do go that far, then I think we should stop off at Dunree Fort too.

One thing is for sure, my new charger & battery for my “better” camera better be here by then as it’s on backorder.   I want some good photographs from this trip!

This post is a work in progress as I find new places to explore and of course will update with photos once there.  

I’m Back to Work – FULL TIME

After 9 years of being a SAHM – “Stay at home mom”, I’ve finally returned to work and today was my first day.  It’s 7:25 pm and I’m exhausted.    At 3 pm, I officially hit a wall and needed to get some tea from the cafe.  Being a very early bird doesn’t help so I have to try and adjust that.  If I can stay up past 9 pm, it might help – just nearly impossible 🙂   No point in being up hours before the rest…. so need to work on that.  My hours are around 9 (could be a few minutes after for the rush) and out at 5 pm.  Going to look at the exact hours soon as I do NOT need/want a full hour lunch and a few breaks during the day.

As expected, going around the office meeting about 100 people, I will never remember all their names, their roles, etc. but I’ll do my best.

As the kids get out of school early next week, we’ve had to be creative with our child-care.  For now Nils will be in Dublin for the first couple weeks while they are in camp so he can still work and get the kids at 3:30 pm from camp.   Come August he’ll be gone in The Netherlands from Monday to Wednesday and we have a lovely childminder who can help us in August after her holidays.  Plus how great is this – I’ll take a WEEK OFF in August – so that will help with the childcare and we might even get to have a long weekend away.  But I’m working on getting my folks to come for a visit – how great would it be for them to come here for a few weeks to see the kids.  They’d LOVE it to see their grandparents in their own turf.

I got home from work today and did some housekeeping – but as I’ve read on tons of sites and friends have told me… family comes first, housework second.

So lets see how this goes I’m sure it will be amazing.  Some non-Mommy time I’ll get to contribute to projects, adult conversations, project manage things, take a break from the school and find some ME time!!

Wish me luck – I am sure the first few weeks, will be a struggle with meals, schedules, emotions from me and the kids.  Then again after school the kids do their homework and don’t “need” me.

My youngest at 7 came to me today in near tears and said “Mommy, what about my last day of school -we won’t be able to go to the movies?”  My reply, yes we can instead of the 2:00 pm movie we can see the 6 pm movie.   She was also asking if I was around for Mid-Summer’s Arts day on Friday  which I will not be – a sad look came on her face. Truthfully, while I want to be there to help with the project, I just can’t and this will be good for all of us!

Did I mention it’s for a leading chocolate confectionery company in Ireland – so I need to avoid the samples! 🙂

UPDATE; Exactly one week in and I’m getting more into the groove of it.  I’ve got the morning routine down, and I am happy to say I am not as tired come 3 pm.  Also,while I do not have the entire stuff’s names memorized yet, I am getting better and have remembered tons.

 

Aviva Stadium: Ireland vs. Uraguay

Yesterday we took the kids to see the friendly fixture against Uraguay as part of the 2018 World Cup series the the Aviva Stadium.   Luis Suarez played for like 10 minutes – probably part of his “contract fulfillment”.

We all first met up at the Bloody Stream for a couple pints then headed in on the DART – Howth to Landsdown Road (super easy!). Funniest thing is Soren was at a playdate earlier so he didn’t join us until the Sutton stop.

I have never been there before so was happy that we all went together.   We will do a stadium tour another time.  The stadium is beautiful, new, loads of bars, food stands.  Speaking of stands and bars – there was a rule you could not bring your beer to the stands!  They loosened up the rule in the second half.  But as I am a self-professed​ beer snob, I would not waste my money. Plus, I had two Hoegardens already at The Bloody Stream.

In order to sit together, we swapped our tickets with another coach, so our tickets were in premium section 324 which was great but the rest if the group was up in 511, we moved 1/2 way thru. There the kids would be with their pals and it made going home a lot easier.

On the DART on the way home, some of the boys were cracking us up climbing the poles and trying to do chin ups, etc. A little brother was the best!!

Great night and all was safe – there was a no bags policy in place but it was outside in the crowds which was my most uneasy period.  I did not see one armed Garda – yes, I still have strange feeling about the fact that most of our police do NOT carry guns!!  A few issues with drunk losers but thankfully that didn’t  escalate.  Anyway on the DART, no worries only laughs at the climbing monkies.

Fun time with a great group of kids and parents and awesome that we won!

Charity shop score: Cath Kidson All Day Clock Bag

Yesterday we were walking around Phibsboro before heading to TK Maxx (same as TJ Maxx back home) and I found this Cath Kidson bag for €3.   What a bargain as new it is €56.   And in great condition!!  
I always love her shop and want to replace my kitchen table spotted oil cloth with a new one soon but it’s so expensive, I can’t justify the cost.   HomeSense (Home Goods back in Boston) is opening this week in Dublin so I hope to get a new tablecloth there in time.    Thank God I don’t like near it!!

Rock of Cashel

Our friends from The Netherlands came to Dublin or a few a days, so we headed down to the Rock of Cashel on Friday with them.

The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most spectacular archaeological sites, a prominent green hill, banded with limestone outcrops, rising from a grassy plain and bristling with ancient fortifications.

After a picnic lunch and a walk around we drove over to Kilkenny before heading home to Dublin.

The day before we had drinks and dinner in Howth.


I will upload a few more photo but for now I wanted to get a few photos up.


Schipol Airport Adventure

While our original plans of ending our two week trip to The Netherlands over Easter in Amsterdam for two nights changed 😦 we still are flying out from Amsterdam on the 9:45 pm flight to Dublin.  Therefore we will have some time to kill at the airport. Thankfully Schipol is a very child-friendly place.

They happily got to take their train ride on the top deck while Nils sat down with the bags.  It was only an hour so he probably enjoyed the quiet time with his book.  The kids liked spotting good graffiti, bardges on the waterways and by the Ajax stadium where Soren gave a thumbs down.  I hoped to see tulip fields but no such luck!

Once we put Nils in the bar area, we set off to find The Planes @Plaza where the kids can design and print a 3D paper airplane for FREE! And sit inside an old cockpit and press all the buttons he/she wants. 

After we checked our bags, we set out for Nils’ spot, Murphy’s Irish Pub for more beer, bitterballen and nachos (this was dinner!). After a bit I had to leave the bar – absolutely boring and the kids and I walked into the shops.   They got Pringles for the plane and wyer but I could have bought so much stuff. I want a nice cheese assortment and Maebh wants soft wooden shoe slippers.

They do some plane watching – it’s a very big airport, so watching some huge planes could be a possibility but turned out we,’d have to go down a different area to see the really big ones.  Panorama Terrace is a cool spot.  All the planes in our section we’re for UK and Ireland.

We were going to look for the Kids Forest play area on Level 1 in the Holland Boulevard between Piers E & F.  It’s says it’s for kids 3-9 so our 9 year old might be a bit but we never made it there.

While we didn’t do it there is a Schipol Scavenger Hunt.

Think you know all of Schiphol’s secrets? Think again! If you’re a budding detective, visit the information desk in Schiphol Plaza to ask for a scavenger kit. It will help you learn all about Schiphol with thrilling tasks, trivia and more.

But I felt like most of the searching was before sending security, I thought it would be ‘safer’ to do it after, so steered the kids away from it.  At times I am paranoid about a possible attack in a crowded place and just a bit extra vigilant as an airport this big and crowded could be just that place.  I did see a few security guards but nothing like Antwerp Christmas market.  

They do Behind The Scenes Tours which looks great but the last tour is at 2:30 pm so it won’t work out this time.

Overall it is a very large, family friendly airport including baby areas to let them rest, and a yotel to rent a room for  both few hours, but do prepared for longer lines in security and passport control.  Oh there is a casino with blackjack and roulette tables but I kept far away! 

I am going to do searching for our next trip to Amsterdam and will hopefully update with photos from the Behind The Scenes Tour.