Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer review

OK, I'm calling it, Summer is officially over in Northern Ireland. This is how we are dressing at the moment.

Murphy has 2 sheets on and I'm considering the medium weight blanket and its still only AUGUST!! But looking on the bright side it feels like Fall, I love Fall, or Autumn as they call it here. So what did we get up to this short summer

We found a great place to walk Brodie. Hes lost a little pudge and I think Ireland agrees with him. 

As you can see, Brodie had a bit of a shave, Ryan did too, which I always love as you can see his little halo again. I'm not 100% sure why he has this ring of lighter hair but I think it has to do with how high his cystic hygroma came up. Its a little reminder of what a miracle he really is. 

We had another visit from Claire, Greg and the lovely Eva again from Dublin. Had lunch in a little authentic Southern BBQ place in Belfast called Bubbacue, check it out if you are in the area. Loved it. 

We had some PT sessions at the local hospital, Ryan wasn't impressed, but his walking with the walker is getting much better. The district therapists also delivered a stander for the house. His hamstrings are getting tight again and hes staring to crouch when walking. Im hoping the stander helps with the tightness and we are not heading for surgery. We have an appointment with the local orthopedist in the next few months to discuss. This is Ryan's not pleased face while at the hospital.  

Ryan has had a few visits from Gerry from the charity Cedar who comes to do play therapy with him every week. Ryan seems to like the company, and I'm liking the few hours respite he provides. 

We have visited quite a few museums that i remember going to as a kid. Northern Ireland really does have some great touristy things to do that are so enjoyable and educational. 
We visited the Ulster Transport Museum with some friends. 

And the American Folk Museum wit Billy and Lauren

And the Ulster Folk Museum with Granny and Uncle Mickey and Natalie who were over from Huddersfield for a week. 

Granny with a story tellers mask, quite scary

Sampling the soda bread made on the griddle. 

Under the weeping willow
School is always fun!

Weavers cottage

We also checked out the Titanic exhibition. Its a huge draw in Belfast and really worth checking out. Titanic was built in Belfast which once housed the largest shipbuilders yard in the world. Harland and Wolfe's giant cranes Samson and Goliath and still one of the most recognisable parts of our city skyline. 

My sister Brid at the exhibition
 "Belfast is a different city. Once abandoned factories are rebuilt. Former industrial sites are reborn. Visitors come from all over. So to paraphrase Seamus Heaney, it is the manifestation of sheer, bloody genius. This island is now chic." Barack Obama

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hi .......................

No, I'm not back with a post of anything really interesting or informative. I have so much to write about, the move, the house, Ryan, everything really, but its all stuck in my head or on my camera, waiting to be set free, but things are just . too . busy .

Its been a crazy few months, getting the house livable, connecting with old friends, setting up Ryan's schooling and medical needs, if I see another form to fill out I think I'm going to scream, but all the details will have to wait. In the mean time, we are enjoying the glorious sunshine with is very uncharacteristic for Northern Ireland and trying to keep our heads above water .......... literally.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St Patricks Day

Please folks, this PSA from Dublin Airport says it best:

ht saint patricks day 2 sr 140317 16x9 608 Please Dont Call It St. Pattys Day

OK, now Ive got that off my chest ......... phew ........ hope you had a good one. 

I went to Ryan's school for a going away party for Ryan and the schools first St Patricks Day parade. So much fun to see the kids all dressed in green and the school playing diddly dee music in the corridors. Do you like his new hair cut? JB couldnt take the long hair anymore so he took his own clippers to it on a #8. I think he did a pretty awesome job and may have found a new calling. 

Packing is coming along, and we are nearly ready to go. Flights are FINALLY booked, talk about waiting until the last minute! But next Wednesday we will all be Northern Ireland bound, 2 parents, 1 child, a dog and a cat. The horse has to wait until April 1st in the hope I have a home for him to come too before he lands on Irish soil. If he survives the trip (please pray, this is only said half in jest) he is going to be the happiest little horsey in the world in Irish green fields the like of which he has never seen before. Hope the rough and tumble Irish horses treat my little pampered American horse well and don't beat up on him. 

Some news from back home, the floors are being stained at the moment. They are not quite as dark as we hoped so we are all on tender hooks to see if the floor guy can get them the correct shade. Nothing much is happening work wise in Ireland today so we will have to wait until at least tomorrow to hear if he has a solution. 

Too light, right? 

But as my mom the ever optimist says, all is not lost, the daffodils are blooming. Well, thank goodness for that. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014


We said goodbye to Ryan's tutor Madeleine today. She has helped Ryan immensely and we will be sad not to see her again. I loved how she was always so positive about Ryan's potential. He loved working with her and he knew as soon as she came through the door he would have 1 1/2 hours of someones undivided attention to do what he loved to do, work on letters and number and patterns etc. Even when she came just to babysit it was hard for her to get him away from the kitchen table.
Here's a short video taken today when they were working on sight words. I was really impressed with how well he was doing with this work.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Anyone hearing crickets on this blog?
Sorry for the long absence, there has just been so much going on here and I haven't had time to think really let alone write. I have many half finished posts in drafts which i will get too some day and upload.
We have been crazy here getting ready for the Big Move. Organising and packing furiously, its amazing how much you collect in a house after 10 years. The 40ft container came last week, and it was touch and go whether it would make it into the driveway due to the snow banks on the road, but we squeezed it in, gathered a few poor souls   friends, and spent 3 days packing it up. The job is finally done and the container has left the street, on its way to Ireland.
 Slan abhaile (safe home) all our worldly belongings, see you in 6 weeks.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Special Delivery for Master Bradley

We had such a lovely day today, just the 3 of us. Ryan had a fun time opening all his presents, John cooked a great dinner, I joked about what i would have done if I married someone that didn't cook (I fear we would have ended up at the Chinese Buffet) , we went to Mass, and are now relaxing in front of the TV with plenty of candy after tucking Ryan off to bed.

I wont sugar coat it, the run up to this years Christmas was a little tough. I struggled with what to get Ryan. He seems to have everything he could ever want or need, and its hard to come up with new toys that will interest him. I decided to go with some old favorites that he still loves like stacker's (with the added element of sequencing, which is a skill he is working on). I was also able to find him a really great deal on an adaptive tricycle on eBay. Its currently in England so a courier with bring it to Northern Ireland soon and Ryan will get it once we arrive in the new house. He should love it and it will do him for at least a few years.

With everyone online talking about Santa, and baking cookies and the Dam Elf on the Shelf, its hard to be faced daily with what Ryan doesn't understand. He doesn't get "Santa" or even presents under the tree. Doesn't really give a rats that its Christmas. Christmas is our house might never look like I expected it to look. But in all honesty that's not even what Christmas is about. Yes, its sad and heartbreaking that he might never experience the real excitement of a Christmas morning (those were some of my own favorite childhood memories) but Christmas at its core is about unconditional love. How God sent his only son to show us love, even when he knew the path that laid in front of him, full of great pain and sorrow. 

Mary and Joseph did not get to have the ideal life they expected when they were asked to be the parents of Christ but accepted all that was asked of them. John and I also made that promise some 5+ years ago, that we would accept the child God was offering us, and love it like no other, even with the many scary unknowns we were facing. It may not be the life we expected but that doesn't mean its not joyful and full of love. And truly, at the end of the day, that's just what its all about. I will leave the other moms to the moving of the Elf and the baking of cookies. That was never my forte anyway. 

The cool presents sack is from Etsy