Thursday, October 29, 2009


Once again we are falling.
After our short cold summer I was actually convinced that our fall would more than make up for it with long warm days well into November. I think I may have been wrong, but that won't stop us from enjoying the gorgeous weather when it does roll through...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monkey Business

It all started a week and a half ago when Nuala began dragging this little monkey EVERYWHERE. Despite the fact that the monkey only has one arm, despite the fact that the tail never got sewn on and despite the fact that the poor thing has no ears, it didn't seem to matter one bit to our little Nuala, oh no, she was IN LOVE. Throughout the course of her day, she could be found singing it lullabies, teaching it how to dance, dragging it along to brush teeth, wrapping it in a cozy blanket, feeding it some pickles (monkey's favorite apparently) and even insisting that monkey needed a diaper change. At bed time if monkey wasn't in her crib, which after a busy day it usually wasn't, she would all but demand that someone find the cute little guy. The sooner the better.

Ok. I mean, it was kinda fun to watch since Nuala has never really shown preference to any one toy before.......

But then I had to go and ruin it by inviting another monkey to play. A snazzier model, complete with arms and a tail and even a SMILE, fresh out of the dark craft closet and perfect for Oscar. Except. Well. Whatever Oscar wants, Nuala gets. One way or another. And man oh man has she ever had her eye on monkey number two ever since it arrived on the scene. At least 7 times a day I am summoned (by screaming no less) to come and referee a little monkey business. Which naturally means that I have to chase Nuala around the house trying to grab onto a limb (of the monkeys!) or tail in an attempt to defuse a hostage like situation and return a monkey to it's rightful owner.

After a few tiring days of this monkey in the middle, I decided that Nuala needed a distraction from it all, and so I made her a new and improved monkey.

Not only with all the right appendages, but this little one even has EARS! It took a good day and a half, but I pushed on through all the painstakingly dreadful hand stitching because I just knew that it would be the answer to all our problems.

As usual, the joke is on me, because as usual, the only monkey that Nuala wants is the one she can't have. Hopefully we can negotiate some type of compromise, but until then I am on monkey patrol.


On Friday we celebrated Sidhe's 12th birthday. She invited her friend Morgan over for a slumber party and we had a big pasta dinner complete with homemade bread and a 4 layer chocolate cake. There were presents and wishes and a mandatory wrapping paper battle after which the girls stayed up late into the night whispering the secrets of middle schoolers heard round the world.

Seeing as how I am Sidhe's step mom, I wasn't there during her early early years. I never got to see her chubby baby cheeks or chase her around as a toddler, or see how she explored the unknown when everything was still incredibly fresh and new. When Sidhe and I first met she was already 4 years old and starting school. I knew her as Maija's scrappy, adventurous and daring new best friend. I would often encounter them together during school hours getting into mischief and giggles. I remember being so happy that Maija had found a close friend at her new school.

Sidhe has really impressed me over the years, but never so much as during the past year or so. This child, this little girl, has truly grown so much recently, and while I may have missed out on many important moments in her life, there have been so many more since then that I have been lucky enough to be a part of. She is smart and funny and compassionate and caring. Her self esteem has gained momentum over the years, making it easier and easier for her to trust the world around her, to take chances, to be vulnerable and most importantly, to show people how much she cares about them. I've known Sidhe for 8 years now and have been helping to raise her for 5 of them. I am excited to see how the next 55 years unfold. She truly is a gift.














I would just like to mention how amazing it is to see Sidhe with her siblings, ALL of them, especially her sisters. They are going to have amazing stories to share with the world and with each other. I feel as if they have been given a wonderful gift to enjoy and cherish and nurture together. And I of course have been given an even greater gift because I get to be a part of it all.


(Sooooo glad we got a new camera!!!)

Friday, October 23, 2009


Guess who is turning 12 today?????
This little peanut right here!

It's nearly impossible to think that Miss Sidhe is already 12 years old. How did that happen, and will it ever cease to amaze me? I mean, we keep on keeping on, and the years keep on rolling past, and yet every single time, EVERY SINGLE time, I still feel as if it takes my breath away a little bit.

I am off to bake a cake, buy some balloons, wrap some presents and get ready for tonight's birthday slumber party. I promise a longer birthday post later, I just wanted to get these photos up first thing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bunny Ears

Would you just look at the adorable hat LaVrene got for Saoirse? The ears are just toooooo much. Oscar is fascinated by them and walks around the house calling them "horns".

To make up for yesterday's scream fest, I thought I should let Saoirse redeem herself with yet another cutie pie moment....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


For the most part I have thoroughly enjoyed having 3 kids under the age of two, it has proven to be a LOT of fun! Yet, somedays, SOMEDAYS, there are in fact moments that don't feel fun at all.....

Any Given Day

So it has occurred to me that I haven't been posting (or taking) much video lately, which is an irresponsible oversight on my part. Sometimes I just take too much for granted, because on any given day there is so much going on, and to be quite honest I am completely used to it at this point.

Saoirse is used to all the commotion, and is busy tuning her voice so that she can join in on our chorus.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


My cousin Yvonne got married at the beginning of this month. Here's a shot of her and Ryan and Sylvan during the ceremony. They found a lovely park to hold the three day event, just outside of the city, and it was simply beautiful.

Have I ever eluded to how insanely AWESOME my family is????
This quartet (if I may) played before and after the ceremony.

Any and all children were invited to walk down the wedding trail before the bridesmaids and groomsmen appeared.

And of course what would a wedding be without bubbles?

And JUST LOOK at this little boy (not one of mine, but I couldn't resist), have you ever in your whole life met anyone who loved bubbles more?

Maija and Sarah helped Nuala get into the swing of things....

Here's a lovely shot of my great uncle Franz and his love, Gail.

And a shot of my cousin Jerry with his wife Carly....(I have a funny story about this for later involving Nuala~I think she may have her very first "crush").

Part of the Milwaukee river flowed right through the park, like literally JUST behind where the ceremony took place, and Finn sat with Oscar for nearly 45 minutes just watching the water as it flowed along. I just love and ADORE their relationship, almost as much as I love and adore THEM!

Poor Oscar, shortly after this tranquil scene, he got stung by at least 3 bees. His hand swelled up but was better by the next morning.

Everyone had a wonderful time. There was a tent set up with gorgeous dinner tables, a lodge with a fire place for warming frosty fingers (remarkably, the weather held up quite well), a delicious dinner (yum to everything, best wedding food I've ever had, especially the spicy tofu) and dancing late into the night (we of course were gone long before this happened, but I heard the stories!). I am so excited for Yvonne, that she found a loving partner who she can trust and rely upon and share her life with. How lucky and amazing and beautiful is that?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


It all started on Sunday when Ruari got out of the shower looking absolutely green, like seriously green, like I got scared when I looked at her green. Naturally she puked the afternoon away, rather impressively, might I add, for someone who only weighs 62 pounds.

Well that sucks I thought to myself, but I managed to stay optimistic. She'd spent the night before on a sleepover with her grandparents and the twins had been with Sarah and my 2 M's had been with yet another set of grandparents. So I stayed optimistic thinking that perhaps our divide and conquer approach to Saturday date night had also managed to contain the passage of germs.

Ha. Ha. Ha.
Man was I ever wrong.
Last night I woke up at 2 am to the dreaded realization that I myself was sick.
Brendan stayed home all day to help with the babies as I couldn't manage to get out of bed until late in the afternoon, at which point Nuala and Oscar made it quite clear that they were also sick and decided to prove it in practically every single room of our house. Yuck. I finally had enough sense to roll up their carpet and gate them in their bedroom, at least this provided us with a controlled environment.

Poor Saoirse drifted off to sleep 3 hours early tonight, and I can't yet tell if she was simply tired or if perhaps it's her body's natural defense against our microscopic intruder. Time will tell.

The only saving grace in all of this is that Brendan and I seem to have worked as a tag team, I am now on the mend (it's a fairly quick recovery) and he is now layed up in bed. I would have hated to see how things could have unfolded had we both been hit with it at the exact same time.

Hope you and yours are all healthy and tucked in tight and cozy. I have a feeling it is going to be a LONG night here in the Ojibirish household.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bottle Business

Something pretty BIG happened last month and I never got a chance to write about it, because I rarely get the opportunity to write about much these days, but I really do want to take a moment to document this.

As you all know, Saoirse is a breastfed baby. She was born a champion nursling and our nursing relationship has been very graceful from the very beginning. I did begin pumping and storing milk in the freezer for an occasional date night here and there, and I even started relaxing enough to use the freezer stash without any hesitation or guilt.

Well, in early September Brendan and I were called away rather abruptly in the middle of the day to attend to some rather unpleasant business involving one of our older kids. I won't embarrass anyone here with the details of THAT, all you need to know for this story is that we had to quickly shuttle the 3 small ones over to my mom's house during the hustle and bustle of lunch time. Saoirse was ready to nurse as we left, but I assured her that it was all going to be fine and that she could have a bottle instead.

After being gone for nearly 2 hours, we returned to find Saoirse hysterical and still quite hungry. She had refused, flat out refused, to take the bottle from Sarah. She was sweaty and damp from working herself into such a lather and was very much relieved, if not down right ecstatic, to nurse once more. The whole thing struck me as rather odd, as she had never displayed any displeasure with the bottle before this. Maybe the milk tasted funny? Perhaps I ate something too spicy? This was just a one time fluke, right? RIGHT? I mean, it's not like she had bottles all too often, in fact as I sat there that afternoon, trying to remember when the last time was she took a bottle, I realized with a sense of dread that I couldn't even remember! Had I waited too long in between bottles? Had she forgotten how? Was this our new obstacle? Would she continue giving me the "business" when it came to bottles? The bottle business?

We went home and thawed some milk, we tried for the rest of the week to get her back on the bottle, I purchased new bottles in every shape, size and color imaginable and on Friday night we went out for dinner sans children only to return to a crying sweaty baby who was hoarse from crying. Ohhhhhh, it was NOT a one time deal, she did not like ANY of her new bottles and she was DEFINITELY not happy about it!

Now I have heard about this before, about nurslings refusing bottles, but I've never experienced it in even a mild manner. All of my kids have taken bottles of expressed milk without batting an eyelash. In fact when I would hear about bottle refusal I would think to myself, "well, if the baby gets hungry enough they'll take the bottle". However, when it's YOUR baby, your perspective changes a little bit. Initially I felt rather selfish about the whole thing, I mean the NERVE of that little girl! Who did she think she was anyways? Surely I deserved a break from her at least once a week? I wasn't asking for much, just dinner with my husband every once in a while, was that too much?

Once the selfish phase had passed I began to feel sad. I didn't want her to be left feeling anxious about food, feeling hungry, feeling frustrated. I don't know if I ever mentioned this but Saoirse is the most unbelievably calm and gracious newborn you will ever encounter. It didn't take me long to realize that leaving her to cry until she was "hungry enough" was in fact a huge mistake that would inevitably CHANGE her. Change my mellow happy go lucky burrito into something else. And so I took a different approach, a new stance. I stopped thawing milk, I stopped investing in new bottles, I even stopped pumping every morning, put the pump back in storage, and decided that date night could wait. Decided that I could wait. Decided that the bottles could wait. Decided that the only person who COULD NOT wait was Saoirse. Why should she have to?

She is my LAST baby after all, this is it, and so if I have to take her everywhere with me and forgo a little candlelight for a few more months then so be it. And that's what we have been doing for the past month or so, I just keep her with me at all times. Sure we go to the gym, but I am in the building with her and they can always come and get me if need be. Date nights have to take place at home now, or else we just take her with us when we go out. The idea of her feeling panicked or scared just IS NOT worth it.

This next part I'll say in a whisper.....On Saturday night I decided to try the bottle again. I figured that it couldn't hurt to try, and I had long since arrived at a place where it really didn't matter to me whether she succeeded or not, so I knew I wouldn't feel upset if she refused it again. But, BUT, she didn't give me any business at all, she drank an entire 5 ounce bottle!!! We even went out to dinner, although I was practically a nervous wreck by the time we returned, figuring she would be the same sweaty hoarse baby I came back to a month ago. Imagine my surprise when I walked in to find her rosy and sleeping soundly with an empty bottle nearby. So.

So, I guess I am not sure what the point is. I suppose it's mostly psychological on my end, just having the idea, the IDEA, that at some point over the course of any given day, that I could potentially part ways with this child, even just briefly, and she would be just fine and so would I.
Because neither one of us would be waiting miserably to see what happens next.