Monthly Archives: November 2010

A bittersweet symphony…

Olwyn's first day

This day one year ago my beautiful daughter, Olwyn, was born to this world. Olwyn has been eager from the onset. She always wants things done now and is keen to get into whatever her bigger sister is playing with at the time. Olwyn gives such sweet smiles with the most expressive big blue eyes and she is always laughing or singing. She even manages to look cute when she is crying.

 Olwyn arrived in a rush after a short labour and one day early.  Peter was there with me every step of the way with words of encouragement when I thought I had enough. Olwyn’s birth brought us even closer as we supported each other through the emotional rollercoaster.

I did not use the epidural and I think this made things move along quicker. It also forced me to trust my body. It was very powerful and so different to the birth of my first daughter. With my first, Seren, I had the epidural and to some extent I felt lost and not in control. For Olwyn’s birth, when we arrived in the hospital (in a fluster) I was already 5 centimetres. The midwife (a man) let me at it and he was there more for guidance than anything else. He let us three at it and Olwyn was born an hour and a half after we first walked through the doors. I will never forget the thoughts, emotions, tears and laughter of pushing her little body into this world. The elation at my waters popping and her arrival will stay with me forever.

The kids playing

I went to shower after I fed Olwyn and let the new Daddy get acquainted with his precious bundle. When I arrived back in the room, I found him on the phone to his parents in Canada. He was cradling his head and wouldn’t look up. Immediately, I had a gut reaction that all was not well. Peter’s grandmother had passed away that night, about five hours before Olwyn was born. The air was heavy with that news  lingering and sinking in. We were left in the room for a good while to cry tears of joy and sadness. The staff in the hospital were so considerate.

Peter’s grandmother was a great woman and we all miss her dearly. In a way, her passing and Olwyn’s birth is what life is all about. A bittersweet day.

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Nicholas the Scarecrow

On Halloween, we walked up to Airfield National Trust in Dundrum. Airfield is an urban farm and gardens in Dublin city. Airfield House dates back to the 1820’s and is still standing. There is a beautiful walled-in garden that has the most amazing herbaceous borders. The trees were filled with little ghosts and lots of carved out pumpkins. The place was magical. Although rain was forecast, the weather behaved itself and the rain stayed at bay.

Animals are a prime attraction for the children who visit here – hens, pigs, sheep, cows and a gaggle of geese. Airfield was choc-a-block with scarecrows made by the visitors. Some were quite life like, although others were just downright creepy. The idea was to make our own scarecrow. I loved this idea as it really gets the kids’ imagination going. I wonder what it feels like for a little child to stand under a scarecrow, with its arms flapping in the wind and its huge grin leering down.  

Seren and Olwyn were fascinated with these creatures towering above them and even more excited at the prospect of making their own. So off we went to the designated area to assemble the scarecrows. There was a nice lady, dressed up as a cow, on hand to help out. There was a pile of clothes to choose from, although we did bring our own. We found a discarded Keith Haring designer jacket and picked up a few other pieces. We went about picking up straw. The place was a hive of activity with other families creating their own masterpieces.

There was a table set up in the centre of the tent with string, coloured paper, markers and other craft material for the children to create the scarecrows’ faces. Pots were provided to stick these onto. Seren was enthralled with the scissors and it took some enticing to get her away from it. Seren drew the scarecrow a little picture to put in his pocket.

 She named him Nicholas. This did not come as a surprise as she names everyone Nicholas! Next job was to hang the guy up. Our cow-lady friend came over and helped us find a spare post to staple him to. Although our hands were frozen, we were all proud of our new “friend”.

This was a great way to spend Halloween. We walked home full of chat about this and that. Seren even got see fireworks for the first time in her life. This was magical for her. When we got home, we lit our pumpkin and Seren got dressed up as a pirate.

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