Saturday, February 28, 2009

By jove it actually worked!

Many of you may know that the Deibel Crew has been somewhat plagued with illness since arriving in Ireland. The doctors here are saying that this flu season has been "diabolical" and "unlike any they've every seen before." So, when you combine the flu season from Hades with the fact that our bodies are completely unfamiliar with the germs here, we've been prime targets for some "germ warfare."

Well, today, Cailyn came down with a random cough. Granted, she's cutting at least 2 of her 2-year molars, plus at least one other tooth that we can see. Several others that we can't see, so they may or may not be making their move as well. The first 2 year molar that started to move caused an ear infection (extremely common in teething kids). So, she's got a lot of drainage from that. The cough sounds like the kind of cough that comes from a tickle in your throat. There's not rattle, no phelgm, no barking seal. But, it comes about every 15-30 seconds. So, when it came time for bed tonight, the poor thing just couldn't fall asleep.

We tried everything we knew of. We gave her the natural rememdy honey-based cough syrup we picked up at the local pharmacy last time one of the girls had a cough. No good. We elevated her mattress on one side. No good. We rubbed VapoRub on her chest and back. No good. We took her in the bathroom and ran the shower for 10-15 minutes. No good. [side note: we do not have a humidifier/vaporizer. It's times like these you miss those 24-hour mega stores. You can bet the first item on our shopping list next trip is one of these babies!!]

So, it was while I was swaying back and forth with Cailyn wrapped in her favorite blankie in a dark bathroom with the hot water running as hot as it would go that I remembered something. I couldn't tell you where or when I read it. It was sometime in the last 4 years. I've heard/read several people rave about it and swear by it; but I've never tried it. I think maybe it was the Lord whispering in my ear, as I had been praying pretty well non-stop for our sweet little Boo-boo all evening. But He brought to my mind that I had read that if you put VapoRub on the soles of the feet, then cover them up with socks or footie-jammies (or stuck-hole jammies, as Hannah calls them hehehe), it will quiet coughs. So, since we had tried everything else I could think of, to no avail, I decided to give it a try.

Within minutes, her cough was gone!! Now, maybe it was the fact that all the other remedies we had tried had had time to set in and work. Maybe. All I know is that within 5 minutes of slathering that stuff on her feet, her cough was gone! I laid with her in the bed in the extra room for 20 more minutes or so just to be sure. But so far, no cough! So, it seems there's more to some of these old wives tales than just folk lore.

Though, I don't know how old this wives' tale could be...I don't think VapoRub has been around THAT long...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

An Seomra Leapa na gCailini - The Girls' Bedroom

So, today we were able to get pics of the girls' room. They really like it, as do I. It just seems really cheerful and bright. We had to get blackout curtains so they'll sleep until a normal time as it's getting lighter in the mornings already! (side note: both mommy and daddy were relieved when we talked Hannah into purple curtains instead of pink!!) ;o)

Their room is just at the top of the stairs. Once you get up the stairs, take an immediate right and that's their room. We'll be investing in a pretty serious baby gate once Cailyn is not contained in a crib anymore!! :O)
This pic is standing in their doorway. Just to the left of the litte chest of drawers there is a big wardrobe where we keep all their clothes.

Standing over by the the window by Hannah's bed. There is a window on either side of their room, which makes it really bright.

Here's Cailyn having fun mocking herself in the wardrobe mirror. Many a post-bath giggles have been had by those girls in this mirror!!

This is the view out the window by Hannah's bed. I wish it was a clearer day b/c just past that other white house is the ocean/bay. I'll have to take another pic on a clear day. I didn't take a pic out the other window b/c it just over looks the car. :O)
So, there it is!
And for those of you who may have noticed the similiarity between the word "gCailini" and Cailyn's name, here's a bit of interesting name stuff. The Irish word for girl is "cailin" (call-EEN). We did NOT name Cailyn after that word. :o) Cailyn's name in Irish translates to Caoillfhionn (ceel-IN) which means "slender and blonde" or "pure." How's that for nailing the name to the kid?? LOL

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An Chistin - The Kitchen

To start an ongoing series of pictures of the inside of the house, I decided to start with the kitchen. There are several reasons for this. 1) This is where I spend the bulk of my time at home 2) It's probably my favorite room in the house b/c it's so bright and airy 3) It's the one room in the house tidy enough to photograph. :o)

The kitchen section of the house was added on in the 50's, I think he said. I love how bright it is and just really welcoming. If you look just past the fridge, you can see the top of a doorframe. That door, if you stand directly in it, you can see into the downstairs bathroom. Go through the door and to the right and you're in the playroom.
This pic was taken standing in the back doorway. The sink is just out of sight on the right. The living room is just to the left.

Now you can see our back door. This is the main door we use. They only time we've used our actual front door was go to out and take pictures. :o) You can see the washing machine there, and you can see how we've been diligently studying, as our books are still on the table. :o)

The view from our kitchen sink. The main road runs right in front of that yellow building there. That's the pub. If you look closely, you can see a two-story brick building just beyond the pub. That's one of the schools there, that is used for a lot of adult education and activities classes (knitting, singing, etc)

Here's the coolest bathroom ever! LOL It's an old style pull chain flush. And, yes, that is the sink just over/behind the toilet.

This is standing by the washing machine, looking into the living room. You can also see Seth's 3rd baby - the lovely TV, complete with the American Football video game on. :o) Hannah was having fun helping me with the pictures. If you look just barely past Hannah and the doorframe, you can see how thick the walls are.
So, there it is. Our lovely little kitchen. I have no idea when the next room will be ready, but one day we'll get it done. :O)

Monday, February 23, 2009


Sorry for the lack of creative title on this one. :o)

The last stop on our day trip was the village on Cong. Most Americans know it as the site where much of the John Wayne film "The Quiet Man" was filmed. However, there are tons more things to do and see there than just the uber touristy Quiet Man stuff. So, after a quick re-fuel stop of coffee and tea for the grown ups and water for the kids (no babyccinos here lol) we were off to see the Abbey. (anyone else hear a song from the Wizard of Oz now??) Anyway...

By the time we got there we were all getting a bit tired and munchy, so we didn't spend a ton of time, but we had a blast walking around the abbey gardens enjoying the sunshine that came along while we were there. I'd really love to go back and spend some more time, as I don't think we saw nearly all of it.
The river (I believe its the Cong River, but don't quote me on that)

Lothlorien anyone??
(that's for all the Tolkein fans) :o)

This great stone bridge that led across the river to some great walking paths

Seth and the girls exploring the woods

"It's just my size!!"

This was one of the coolest things about the abbey. This little shack is exactly what it looks like - right out in the river. There's a little walkway that connects it to the mainland. The monks wanted to be able to fish w/out having to be subject to the elements, so they built this "fishing shack", complete with an opening in the floor to fish through!

Two roads diverged in a wood...

"Say, Dad, you think we could get some snacks up here or what?"

Our drive home took us by Ashford Castle. It's absoloutely gorgeous and is still used as a hotel today - a quite posh hotel! Several celebreties have had their weddings here.
Seeing this majestic castle with the bold colors of the Irish flag waving proudly seemed a fitting close to a day full of so much culture and history.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pieces of Antiquity, meet the Deibels!

The next stop on our little tour was the site of the first recorded battle in Irish history. There's a really cool story that goes with it involving a Cyclops (sp?), but I'd have to hear or read it again to effectively pass it on to you.

But, the history didn't really seem to matter to the girls. I think they were just glad to be out of the car, even though we didn't really drive that far. :o) This was called a stone circle (which I somehow managed not to get an actual picture of). It's sets of stones set up in a circle to line up with the directions and seasons. It is in the middle of this HUGE field, so we walked across the field and explored the site area for quite awhile.
Hannah immediately started marching around the outside of the circle making up songs and narrating to herself.

The girls climbing on a tree stump. They took turns jumping off to Daddy.

The girls kept coming back to these daffodils. It was just this one little patch. You see the shoots for them all over the place right now. The footpath (aka sidewalk) leading up to our front door is lined with the shoots, but these were some of the first that we've seen that have bloomed.

That smug little look says, "Ha, ha, I'm on top of the stump and you're, can someone please help me down?"

What a beauty!

Our family!
I absolutely LOVE this picture!

A quick little snuggle

Cailyn and her new best friend, Ms. D
The girls have both really taken to our friends, Mr. W and Ms. D
Anytime we got anywhere, it's quite the discussion to decide who gets to sit by whom. We're really grateful to have them here.
Be sure to check out the new posts below. We've got one more post from our outting yesterday. Not sure if I'll get it up this morning or not, but it'll be soon anyway.

There's a Friary Time for Everything

The girls were out of school the last half of this week for mid-term break, so we took advantage of the time that all of our activites were canceled and took a couple of day trips.

Saturday, we started the day with a family coffee (see post below) and then headed up into the countryside about an hour away. Our first stop was a friary. I have no idea what the name of it is or much of the history. All I know is that one part of it used to be a Norman castle. Then it became a Friary that was used by several groups.

This was our first "real" thing to go do/see as far as history and the girls really loved it.
The back side of the friary

The top as you're walking up to it

One of the things I really loved about this place was that other than no glass in the windows and no roof, it was really well in tact so you got amazing views like this, where you can see into several rooms at once.

Seth up on the 2nd floor. To his left you can see the 2nd floor fireplace

The beautiful countryside. The clouds were constantly moving, so the landscape was forever changing and the light was amazing.

One little princess

Our other little princess

Pillars inside the friary
We had planned the whole day out, with several things to see. We probably spent an hour wandering around here, exploring, taking pictures, the girls running around the grass. As we were getting in the car to head to the next venue, Hannah said, "Ok, I'm ready to go home."
"But, Hannah, we've got lots of other things to see, including a BIG castle!"
"I don't want to see anything else!!"
Well, we still went and saw, and the girls had a really great time. Stay tuned for at least one more post from the day.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


One aspect of life here that is vastly different from when we lived in Ireland before is that life seems to revolve around the coffee shop.

People meet for business meetings; personal meetings; husbands and wives will meet during a short break just to catch up; moms bring their preschoolers for lunch or a snack before collecting the older kids from school.

I, personally, love this development! :o) We go out for coffee several times a week. One day last week, Hannah and I went out for a Mommy-daughter "date" and had coffee and hot chocolate.

Well, we went out for a "family coffee" today and we've discovered something new and great:

It is an espresso cup with steamed/frothed milk or chocolate milk topped with whipped cream and/or marshmallows (note, I said espresso CUP. There is no actual coffee involved). In many coffee shops this is a free treat for the kiddos! So, today, the girls had their first babyccinos and LOVED them!

"I've called you all here this morning to discuss something very important..."

"Maye-maows!!" (aka, marshmallows)

"This is AWESOME!"
It was a bit surreal sitting there watching our 4 year old and nearly 2 year old drinking what really LOOKED like a coffee drink. Looking so grown up and yet so teeny at the same time. Meanwhile, Mommy and Daddy got to enjoy our very own mochas (aka, legal addictive stimulant - thank you, Tom Hanks, for that line!). It was a really enjoyable family time and I think our girls have found their token "coffee."
"Waddya think, Mom, one more??"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A new post - was that a pig that just flew over??

I almost don't even know where to start to update the blog...I can't believe its been nearly 2 months since we've updated. We're really sorry!!

We made it safe and sound to Ireland on the 10th and hit the ground running! We stayed in a lovely holiday house (a furnished vacation home) for 3 weeks while we looked for our "permanent" house. The house was great - but we somehow didn't get many pictures of it. LOL It was interesting staying there when the washing machine broke and the part to fix it came in 2 days after we moved out. :o/ But it was fun.

We in a small village about 30 minutes west of the nearest major city. There are several schools, coffee shops, pubs, and small grocery stores within 10 minutes of where we are living.

We moved into our permenant house just over 2 weeks ago and are really enjoying the feeling of being settled. The house is a lovely old farm house with a great history - the stair rail, banister, and a few of the doors are from several boats that had shipwrecked on the beach by us. It was listed as a "5 bedroom" house, but bedrooms 3 and 4 are pretty tiny, and "bedroom" 5 would barely fit a cot. LOL But its exactly the space we needed and plenty of room for all our "bits and bobs". One of the best features is a little bonus room behind the kitchen that has become the girls' playroom. I tend to spend most of my time in the kitchen these days, as we have a manual dishwasher now ;o) and the washing machine as well as dining table is in there. So, the girls can play near me while I get my stuff done.

So, this post will be a bit hodge podge b/c we've been a bit out of our element and have really only gotten into a good routine in the last week or so. So, we've just posted our favorite pics from the last month.

The girls during our first week here

Hannah "playing the flute"
Many of the furnishings we've bought are "DIY" (aka Seth puts it together). This is one of the legs of our new laundry hamper.

Hannah making her lunch the night before her first day of school!

The girls are both really loving their schools. Hannah will start junior infants (similar to kindergarten) in the fall, so this preschool has been great practice for her with the language and the way things are done in schools here.

Hannah on the first day of school. She went right over to the table without blinking an eye

You'd be hard pressed to find a place here that you can't see the ocean/bay. This is the view the next street over from the holiday house where we stayed.

The view from our kitchen window.
This picture shows 2 things: the massive snow storm we had the first day we moved in (we also had rain and snow that day) and how close the pub is. :o)

The shed behind our house

The awesome playground we found. What a view for a playground, eh?
Not to mention the bright sunny day we had!!

Hannah on the teeter-totter

Cailyn on her favorite toy!!

Standing across the street from our house looking towards town
That's the pub on the left; on the right is one of the secondary schools
Hannah making tea in the playroom

The girls' first minutes in the playroom

Seth and the girls hiding under the "magic cloak"
This is the living room and you can see our awesome carpet!! :o)

The girls in front of the shed behind the house

Jen and the girls standing in front of the house
the bottom left window is the living room
bottom right window is the home office
The top left two windows is our room
The top right window is the girls' room

Right behind the house where we park the car (and our car, lovingly named "Arch Angel" by a friend)

Cailyn warming her hands by the fire

sweet girl snuggling with daddy