Sunday, April 17, 2011

ready for baby?

well, truthfully I don’t think we could ever really be ready for Baby to come but I guess we’re about as ready as we’re ever going to be.

A couple of weeks ago, a fire got lit under us after going to our Baby Care Skills class that perhaps we should start getting things ready.  So we each cleared out a drawer in the dresser to be refilled again with baby things.

We had gotten these bins from IKEA and they worked out fantastic! 

I don’t actually have any pictures of the initial round of organizing.  First there were clothes everywhere as we packed up heavy wintery clothes to be packed away in the basement.  Then there were baby things everywhere as we sorted through baby shower presents, took tags off things, and decided what needed to be washed.  Also, we finally got around to packing our suitcase for the hospital – I mean, things were scheduled but Baby could have it’s own plan.

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Here’s the suitcase and the car seat all set in the car.

But at this point, the condo was still very much on the market so we didn’t actually commit anything other than the 2 drawers for baby things.  As of Friday, our condo is no longer on the market – at least for a few weeks, so we finished things up.

We knew that we were going to need a laundry basket for the baby and some overflow space so a chair got relegated to the basement and we bought a cute table in HomeGoods (it was mismarked so we got a $130 table for $50!  Score!).  The bags hanging on the wall are for our future adventure with cloth diapering.

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Here are the insides of the drawers that we sacrificed for Baby.  On the left, we have receiving blankets, sleep sacks, burp cloths, hats, socks, the Ergo infant insert and a few other random bits.  On the right, we have all the baby clothes and diapers.

After having to rescue the cradle from the clutches of an ill-timed basement clearout by maintenance, we put the cradle beside our bed.  Well, we quickly learned that between our laundry hamper, the bed, the closet door and the rockers on the cradle, it was going to be an ankle biter.

Next solution, move the laundry basket.
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Perhaps not the most elegant solution but it works.  We’ve since tucked the door back behind the nightstand where it used to reside before the realtor suggested that we keep the door closed.

So that’s that.  All ready for Baby!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

day 14 – cliffs of moher

Our last full day in Ireland dawned grey, cloudy, and with quite a bit of rain.  Our only plan for the day was to see the Cliffs of Moher aka the Cliffs of Insanity from Princess BrideWe’d wanted to attempt something new and take a boat to see the cliffs from a different perspective but unfortunately the weather wholly precluded that plan. 

But we went anyway.  You can’t go to Ireland without seeing the Cliffs. 

Besides they’d completely revamped the place since the last time I’d been there and it was all still under construction the last time my parents had been there so we had to check it out.

Um, it was a little foggy.

bundled up against the chill but it wasn’t raining – yet.
Brian’s Tower in the distance.


And it was a little wet.

So that’s when we decided to peruse the visitor’s center (not in existence when I was there), have lunch and hang out.  Will and I finished our postcards.  And miraculously, the weather cleared so Will and I went back out for more pictures. DSC_2879
See that expanse of blank rock – kind of like a platform above – you used to be able to walk right up to the edge and peer over.  You can’t do that anymore.

There are also very strict signs about the end of the path as well.

I got out the telephoto for a few.
We’d left Mom and Dad in the cafe but she came out and was taking a picture of us.  She thought she was being sly but we caught her and took one of her.

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interesting wood carving
We had to get a picture of my dad with this sign since “safe home” is one of his oft used phrases.   IMG_2000
Just one of the many new warning signs.

Will trying to figure out how to get where we’re going.
Cascade falls – there was a cache near here which I believe is why we stopped.

We ended the day back in Shannon to meet up with the cousins for dinner and fly home the next day :(

View Ireland - Day 14 in a larger map

Day 1: Arrival, Adare, Tralee
Day 2: Dingle Peninsula Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Day 3: Kilarney, Muckross House
Day 4: Rock of Cashel
Day 5: Tipperary and Waterford
Day 6: Wexford and Vale of Avoca
Day 7: Dublin Part 1
Day 8: Dublin Part 2
Day 9: Newgrange
Day 10: Mullingar, Belvedere House
Day 11: Aran Islands
Day 12: Kylemore Abbey
Day 13: Galway City, Burren

day 13 – galway city, burren

Our homebase for the 3 days we were in Co. Galway was the Ardmor Country House which was so nice and had great views when the weather permitted.  We took a few pictures before we finally packed up to leave. 

Will really liked these trees – Monkey Puzzle Trees.

Will also really liked this particular Guinness ad on the side of a building (probably a bar but I don’t recall offhand) in Spiddal so we finally got a good picture of it as we were leaving town to head for Galway City.

We had a few goals in mind for Galway – find the Claddagh “statue” that we’d seen a picture of at the Irish festival in Dublin, Ohio; find the Blarney Woolen Mills there to find Will a hat; and find a Claddagh for Will to replace the cheap-o one I got him off eBay that he promptly lost because it was too big.

Finding the Blarney Woolen Mills turned out to be most difficult mostly because Galway was nearly impossible to navigate with the maps that we had on hand.  Will was frustrated to say the very least.  But find it and a parking spot we eventually did.  Unfortunately, we didn’t find what we were looking for and then just wandered into the pedestrian part of town.

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We had, or really Will had, been scouring the internet before we went to Galway to try and figure out where the carved Claddagh that we’d seen the picture of was.  He had a pretty good idea by the time we were headed to Galway and in the end we were able to find it:DSC_2787
It turned out that the carving was on a monument to sailors lost at sea in a church graveyard.

In the town, we were able to find both Will’s hat and his claddagh so it was worth the annoyance of having to drive around Galway.  Afterward we headed out into The Burren for some good times in the karst-y landscape.


The main draw of The Burren is this portal tomb, commonly called the Dolman but properly named Poulnabrone DolmenDSC_2820  

This is where we got our only picture of all four of us together.

The times had sure changed since the first time we were there as you can tell from the picture below:
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Yep, that’s me at 13 sitting on the dolmen.  You can see in the picture above that there are now ropes around it so you can’t get too close.  They have also added quite a bit in the way of pathways and educational information though surprisingly, it is still free to visit.

some karst-y flora for your viewing pleasure.

Next stop the Burren center in Kilfenora to learn some stuff (well, after a detour back to the Dolmen to find Will’s sunglasses which we almost didn’t even though someone had already found them and put them through one of the signposts where they should have been easy to find).  Kilfenora also happens to be home to several preserved high crosses that we wanted to check out.

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Tiny short doorway in the church.

We finished our day by heading to Doolin, Co. Clare for an evening of pub entertainment.  Doolin is known for its live pub music and friendly atmosphere.  I think this is Gus O’Connor’s pub but I can’t be sure.

These old geezers were hysterical – talking to everyone, telling jokes, and for the most part they were all drinking soda and coffee!


My folks and I include it because my dad looks like such a drunken Irishman – which he isn’t – that I find it hysterical!  It was just really hard to get a good picture in the very dimly lit bar.

We decided to get coffee, tea and dessert at a different place.

Performers in the second place.

Will and Dad having a good time.

View Ireland - Day 13 in a larger map

Day 1: Arrival, Adare, Tralee
Day 2: Dingle Peninsula Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Day 3: Kilarney, Muckross House
Day 4: Rock of Cashel
Day 5: Tipperary and Waterford
Day 6: Wexford and Vale of Avoca
Day 7: Dublin Part 1
Day 8: Dublin Part 2
Day 9: Newgrange
Day 10: Mullingar, Belvedere House
Day 11: Aran Islands
Day 12: Kylemore Abbey