• Tag Archives Méabh
  • Babies, houses and star wars. Beat that for a title!

    Are you going to Star wars? I’m hoping to get to it in the next few days. I must look later to see if there are any cinemas that are providing audio description. There are a few around Dublin city that are good at it.

    This site is now twelve years old. Imagine that? During the life of the site I’ve said this next part too often but here goes again. I’m very sorry for neglecting this lately. But It’s Christmas, the end of yet another year so let me make up for that slightly with a bit of a post.

    When I say a lot has happened since my last post I’m really under stating it.

    Emma had a baby. I now have a son! He was eight pound ten ounces at birth. Now he’s a monster at about fourteen pounds or more. He’s now just over two months and he’s growing at an incredible rate every day.

    I should have written about the birth but I’ve been far too busy enjoying time with Méabh my two year old daughter and Rían my two month old son to spent time putting into words the incredible memories and thought’s I have.

    I was so fortunate to be there and involved with the birth of my son. I was even more involved compared to Méabh’s birth. It was such an incredible experience. Although I really didn’t care if it was a boy or a girl I felt a tiny tinge of delight when I heard I had a son. As always, the mid wives and nurses couldn’t have been more professional, efficient and helpful. I am very thankful for the care and time they gave Emma. Nothing was a problem. Nothing was an inconvenience.

    Méabh absolutely loves her little brother and from the first day we got back from the hospital she has been really helpful to us and loving to her brother. Jealousy is something we were told to watch out for but just over two months on all Méabh has done is watch after her little brother. We hope it will continue like this but all indications are that it will.

    Off the baby topic, we’re doing a huge amount of work to the house. The number of jobs the builder has taken on are actually too long to list but some of the highlights are:

    • New driveway. Finally we’ll get rid of that stupid slip of contract that fit the car and no more.
    • New stair case. People tell us we’re mad doing this but I didn’t like the design of the old stair case and no one could actually upgrade the existing stairs fully without leaving bits behind that would stick out so this is going to be a better job.
    • Moving light switches and burying wires in the hall. Again, we were going to get this done in 2008 but there’s a lot of work involved which will cost a lot to do right.
    • Renovating the garage. My office is moving from upstairs into the garage so as we can give Rían his own room.
    • Insulating the shed and basically making it into a part of the house for storage. This wasn’t part of the original idea but it makes sense to do it now.
    • Reinsulating the front wall of the living room. This was done when we bought the house back in 2008 but we’ve still had problems with the heat in that room so this will help.
    • More insulation. We’re also insulating a lot of the ground floors and the roof in the extension.

    It’s incredible to go in every night to find that the house has been ripped apart and put together again.

  • Enjoying Temple bar trad fest with a 1 year old

    I don’t write about my daughter Méabh all that much on any social media including Twitter, Facebook and even this website. Primarily because I respect any need she may have in the future for privacy. I don’t know if I would want to read tweets or Facebook updates written by my parents when I was young. Sure, they might be interesting for me from time to time but would I want others to read them? What about current or perspective employers. Imagine if you searched for Darragh Ó Héiligh and you found a post written by my mother on Facebook thirty years ago. That is a frightening thought.

    Anyway, that’s beside the point of today’s post.

    I don’t write about Méabh very often but tonight while at the end of a great weekend, I really wanted to write something because it marks the continuation of a journey that I hope to have only started with her. That is the journey of music and performances.

    This weekend was the seventh annual Temple bar music festival. I don’t think it was a very good festival this year overall but one part I really enjoyed were the free performances from under 18 groups that were hosted in Dublin’s city hall. These were advertised as family friendly events so I of course bought Méabh. I listen to a lot of music at home therefore Méabh does as well but music is very different when played live so when I have the opportunity to attend a live performance I jump at it. Now that I have Méabh as well, I love bringing her with me. I love being there for her reactions. She is fifteen months young at the moment so possibly too early for some of the strict performances where you can’t make any noise while the musician is playing however, if this weekend was anything to go by she wouldn’t be any bother at all. She absolutely loved the performances. She clapped at the end of most tunes, songs, slow airs and poems and she danced happily along to faster tunes. During a slow air today she even turned toward me and gave me a huge hug for the duration of the tune. There was a collective Aw from the audience around me at that point. I thought that during the poem at the very least she’d get bored but not at all. She stood in the isle looking around.

    I love having the opportunity to introduce something that means so much to me to Méabh but the reason that I’m writing tonight is I’m incredibly proud of her for not just sitting quietly during hours of performances but actually enjoying the entire performances from beginning to end. Today we were in the one seat for an hour and a half and not once did she complain that she couldn’t run around on her own or make noise.

    By far, for me, the most rewarding part of being a parent is introducing Méabh to something and being there as she gets just as much joy from it as I do.

  • Méabh is now four months. Here’s a quick update.

    It’s been a while since I’ve given you an update on how Méabh is getting on.

    In terms of her development she’s doing brilliant.

    Here are a few things she’s actively doing.

    • Trying to role. Occasionally she successfully gets onto her back from lying on her belly.
    • Putting her hands out when you’re going to pick her up. That only started today.
    • Actively grabbing toys and moving things. This started about six weeks ago but the actions are becoming much more deliberate and much more accurate. Tonight, Méabh figured out how to push and pull a rolling thing full of beads on one of her toys. Fine motor control obviously is quite some time off but it’s really fascinating at how regularly she learns new skills.
    • When Méabh is learning something new, or she’s really focusing on something that she’s doing for the first time, she puts her chin on her chest so her head is looking straight down and she stays like that moving her arms until she makes something happen.
    • She is expecting / anticipating a lot more and in turn, we are anticipating her reactions much more accurately as well.
    • Sleeping constantly through the night is still hit and miss however that’s to be expected for a long time yet. However, we are now working on establishing a firm bed time routine so I’m hopeful that even if this isn’t working in a week, Méabh will be more comfortable. Mainly, she will begin to learn what signs to expect before bed time so she can associate it with a relaxing time.
    • We are walking with her in baby carrying slings a lot these days. Although we have a really good pram, we have actually gravitated toward baby carrying. It’s very comfortable and more convenient in most situations.

    These are just some of the things that Méabh is doing or starting to do at this very early stage of her development. People constantly comment at how active and alert she is. She doesn’t nap much if at all during the day but this would appear to be due to her constant interest in what’s going on around her.

    Emma is continuing to do exceptionally well. I know that I would not do so well if it was me staying at home every day. It is important to say that Méabh’s thriving development is a reflection of all the time Emma spends interacting with her.

  • Thanks Méabh.

    It has been a difficult week in a lot of ways. Mainly because of work but also because by the time I get home, Méabh simply wants to feed or sleep. I have been missing all the activity during the day and when I change her for preparation for feeding in the evening, she launches into hysterics.

    It’s unlikely but I think she’s been picking up on my stress in some ways. I have a lot going on in work at the moment and by the time I get home, honestly, I’m in no mood for minding a baby. That’s not good and it’s not what I wanted at this stage but that’s life. Méabh is my responsibility and I have to make time for her even when I’ve been working for 16 hours straight and I feel like doing nothing other than sleeping.

    Tonight was a little different. I got to work at 9:30AM and I finished at 7PM. Instead of going straight home, I met up with a few friends in Dublin for a pint or two and that was enough to let the week’s problems wash away for a while. I got home at around 9:30 and by 11PM I could tell Emma was really ready for a good night’s sleep. So I told her to go on up and that I’d change Méabh the next time she started looking for a feed to allow Emma to actually go to bed without anything to worry about.

    Emma is brilliant. Because I’m working such long hours, she encouraged me to sleep in Méabh’s room for a lot of days this week. I really want to make sure that I return the favour this weekend by allowing her to get as much rest as possible.

    That’s not really what this post is about though. Ordinarily when I change Méabh, she screams the place down and wiggles about like a fish on a hook. Tonight, when I changed her at about 10 past 2 in the morning, she was of course hungry and therefore searching for Emma but the straining against the change of nappy and clothes was much more manageable. In fact, she even paused from time to time when I was buttoning up her baby grow. The main thing she doesn’t like is when I’m getting her hands in to the arm holes but she’s the same with Emma as well.

    It was just a huge relief that she wasn’t over difficult for me.

    I know that after two weeks I should be fine with all this kind of thing but I’m so afraid of hurting her that when she cries because of a change of clothes, I’m always afraid that I’m doing something wrong.

    This whole having a daughter thing is hard but not for the reasons I thought it would be. I’m constantly worried! My ears are ultra-sensitive to her breathing, I’m noticing all her little movements and changes and I’m constantly worried that I’m doing something wrong. Of course, every person who has had a child is assuring me that this is all natural. It’s a pity they didn’t warn me that I’d be this afraid before she was born!

    Anyway, I just wanted to say Thanks Méabh. You’ve given me a bit of hope that I’m not doing this completely wrong.