Happy Sleeping Hippy


My latest investment for the baby has not gone down well with my parents, particularly my mum. You see I’ve turned my son into a bit of a hippy and when my mum asked what’s that around Tomás’s neck, my wife just replied “Ask Cormac!” My wife isn’t enthusiastic either, but she’s learnt not to bother arguing on some of my flights of fancy.

Around 3 weeks ago Tomás started not sleeping well, crying at night, waking up 2-3 times with roaring red cheeks needing medication, and lots of hugs, rocking, singing and pacing to get him to go to sleep. All suggesting that he must be getting some movement of his back teeth although there is nothing showing of them yet. Needless to say I wasn’t getting any sleep either and I was being to loose my rag with him and everyone else, so something needed to be done.

Several other parents (mothers) had discussed in the past the use of Amber beads to ease teething pain but as they were not readily available in the shops anymore since the EU decided that they should be classified differently and necessitated a “NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER 36 MONTHS” label to accompany them. So you have to get them online.

Now I wouldn’t be totally convinced with homeopathic remedies, I prefer to have something that is proven to work but as the lack of sleep began to wear me down I decided that the cost of ordering Amber beads online would be well worth the gamble if they paid off even slightly.

So I went online, had a look at a few sites and eventually ordered a set of beads off JoeyRoo on a Friday afternoon, and was happy to see on Friday night that they had been dispatched.

JoeyRoo suppled a well needed cuppa with the beads

JoeyRoo supplied a well needed cuppa with the beads

I was really beginning to despair that I would never get a nights sleep again right through till the Wednesday afternoon when while I was out a courier arrived with a package for me. (One for me! that very rarely happens ;-))

The beads from JoeyRoo had arrived. neatly packaged and including a little something extra. Folded up in a nice decorative bit of paper JoeyRoo had also provided me with a individual Barry’s Tea bag, a small but nice touch.

So as quickly as I could I got the beads on Tomás for the evening to get some exposure before I tried to put  him to bed. That evening he went down OK, he woke at 10 when I gave him infant paracetamol and he went back down, till 7:30 the following morning. Thursday, he had a great sleep in the afternoon and went down quickly at 7 in the evening. OK so he woke once around 10 and I had to go and find a dummy for him but there was none of the wailing in pain and just wanting to be held all night. And it was the same every night since, by 8 pm when he was tired he went down readily sometimes not even waiting for his story to fall asleep. Brilliant.

This morning, I didn’t change him and I forgot to put the beads around his neck when he woke.

After lunch he did go down OK, but when I went after an 1  and 1/2 hrs to wake him and collect his sister, he was already awake in the bed. Tonight, despite being tired I ended up putting him down 4 times before he eventually settled. I’ll be making sure that he’s wearing the amber beads again tomorrow morning.

Would I recommend Amber Beads, yes, definitely the evidence since last week shows that they do aid his sleep and make him more relaxed and settle easier. Just remember the health and safety advice which has to go with them. Don’t leave them on at night, and keep an eye that your child doesn’t decide they’d rather eat them than wear them.


Roll with It

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Originally posted 23 Feb 2010

My last blog was on the steps we were going to try to help Aidan get over his problems with reflux.

It’s important to try to plan things out, it gives focus and stops us thinking that there is no end in sight. But it’s also important to be flexible and adapt.

We had made good progress with Aidan over the last 2 weeks, he responded well to the use of Evian water instead of tap, for a week or so. Then the colic started back again and got worse.

Rather than delaying and trying the different options as planned the decision was made to go to the GP and get a referral to see a consultant.

And so on Monday the GP advised to change him on to Aptamil and to use a thickner if necessary. We also got the letter of referal to see a consultant in Temple Street next week.

So for this week were trying him on Aptamil and the Gaviscon, and 3 days in he’s coping well. He’s having a bit of an awake session in the evening times, but he’s no longer crying out in pain and discomfort. He still cries but it sounds more like because he’s over tired.

So good news this week, hopefully it won’t be back to square one again next week.


I’m Infected- “Marathonitis”

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When I opted to stay at home and mind the kids I decided that I needed to do something to make sure I didn’t go stir crazy, loose my rag with the kids and also get any fatter than I already was. Not that I was obese or very heavily over weight but at my age I need to start to keep an eye on things and try to lower my cholesterol.

So having no money I opted to try and get out running 2-3 times a week. Initially it was to run 5K. My aim last year was to run 5K in under 30 min and to be able to run the SVP 5K in Drogheda. And I did it, the next challenge I set myself was to run the Boyne 10K in May.

At Christmas I was asked by my sister-in-law to be a stand in for her in case she couldn’t run part of the Belfast Marathon on the 5th May.

 “can i put u down as a reserve for a relat in the marathon? prob wont need u tho”

I thought grand sure the 10k on the following weekend and the longest length I’d have to run would be 7.5 miles in the marathon. A sure if I’m still tired after the marathon leg I can take the 10K at a nice easy pace. Ok my wife wasn’t overly keen in me abandoning her for 2 days in the course of a week to go off for 3 or 4 hrs running. She thought it was a bit too much for me to be taking on.

So after completing the SVP5K in 28:37, I was pleased with myself and registered for the 10K. I then discovered that the 10K was not on the 11th May, it was on the 4th May, the day before the Belfast marathon. Bummer. but sure hey, she “prob wont need u tho”


Ha ha, At the start of March I hear the great news that my sister-in-law is pregnant, by the end of the month I was now running the marathon. The blooming 10K would have to wait for another year.

Belfast Marathon

As Monday approached I was looking forward to it. I had my target time 1hr 15 for the 7.5 miles and I brought the boys up to Belfast with me as my Mum and Sister-in-law could look after them, swapping roles for the day.

As part of a relay team I got the bus up to my starting point, me and a few ‘000 others. There was a great atmosphere, we chatted, had a bit of a laugh, watched as the elite runners pass us within an hr. Some had been roped into doing 2 stages, others nervous about having to take on this one. The comment on everyone’s lips was “so you drew the short straw!”


Stage C, was the longest 7.5 miles, mostly up hill a part from 2 sections, a short distance down to the Antrim Road, and another from the Antrim Road down to the Shore Road. The Antrim Road section, the longest bit, was virtually a constant 15deg hill the whole way.

I tried to stick to my target pace 6 min 30 per km to finish the 7.5 miles in 1 hr and 15 min. And you know what… I did it 12.04 Km in 1 hr 15 min 4 sec. I was chuffed, average pace 6: 14 per km. When I got to Gideon’s Green and still had a bit of puff left, so even though I’d handed over the baton I thought I’d give the next 6 miles ago. Jimmy, the guy I’d handed over to had planned to do the next 6 miles in an hr. So I though I might be able to catch him and if all was going well I’d finish the last section as well. Alas pride comes before a fall and around half way along the next 6 miles my legs started to give out. I could run for a bit and walk for a bit. I started hoping that Tomás wouldn’t wait on me to finish with him when Jimmy got to the change over, if I didn’t catch him first.

When I got to the change over I was relieved to discover that Tomás had gone, but then I had to decide what I was going to do; run on or get the bus to the finish. As I reached the end of the change over I spotted my dad. “Do you want a lift?” he asks, with a tinge of regret and a lot of thanks I said “yes”. Getting into the car I stopped the App monitoring my run. Another 8.49 km in 59:22 with an average pace of 6:59 per km. Surprisingly decent, but with wobbly legs I knew I wasn’t fit for any more.

We went back to the house, picked up the youngest and then headed over to the finish line to join with my brothers and collect Aidan as he’d travelled to the finish line by bus and I had the car seats. So we went to the finish line, got soaked, collected our T-Shirts and headed back home for a shower and some food. The total time for our team was a respectable 4hrs 58 min and 40 sec for a team with only a bit of training over the last 5 months.


A day later I’m still tired, legs are very sore with “marathonitis” I struggle getting up and down the stairs. My youngest, having been abandoned for most of yesterday and the night before is more clingy than ever and wanting up all the time. Which is just painful, the other pair have for some reason decided that today would be a great day to start jumping on to my knee to sit on.

But in-spite of the pain and the tiredness, I am feeling the buzz. I ran 20k in 2 hrs 15 min, by my reckoning that decent.  I know Ray Darcy was offered a good deal of money if he could finish his own half million half marathon in under 2 hrs, and he trains a lot. The buzz from running the streets, getting people out offering sweets, drinks and fruit, shouting and cheering us on was fantastic. I’m hooked, I started looking today at another race to do. There is the Dublin Marathon in October, but there’s no relay teams. There is however some warm up races, 10 kms and a half marathon. The Belfast half Marathon is in September which is rather tempting.

I have to admit it I’m infected with the marathon bug, the buzz that you get from running and entering races. It’s not the winning for me that counts its the taking part, the setting my own goal and meeting it or beating it. So my next target, is 10K in under 1 hr, and hopefully the half marathon in September.

The kids seem to enjoy themselves as well, although all the walking and excitement was a bit much.

Tired Kids

Easter Breaks

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This week seen everyone back to school after the Easter break and we had some great weather this week so the scooters were out for a few mornings to go down to school rather than taking the car. The kids really enjoy it and it means that they are getting an extra 30 min of exercise. I’m not finding that it tires them out any extra so that they go to sleep quicker at night.

But since everyone was off I wasn’t blogging. Not an intentional in action but more as a result of too much else to do. You see like many people we jumped on the DIY bandwagon and decided to paint our kitchen/dining room. Unfortunately for some very strange reason anytime we decide to paint a room in this house it takes 3 coats to get a decent finish. To make matters worse we had a crack in the ceiling which had to be repaired and I decided to finish off some “Soft White” kitchen/Bathroom paint left over from the bathroom, and it was not white, a dirty light grey would be closer to the mark. It looked fine in the bathroom, looks well in the bathroom, but it took an extra two coats to get rid of it on the ceiling in the Kitchen/diner. So needless to say that most of the holiday was taken up with painting, and more painting.

On Good Friday we decided to head up to my parents for Easter and we had a good time up there as the kids love it.There was a great Easter Egg hunt on Sunday morning as the kids followed a trail of photos around the house and garden to look for their eggs.They started off with a photo in the bedroom which they followed down stairs,



And then out into the garden and around till they found the final clues


They were really happy with their eggs when they got them and loved the search.
Everyone was having nice break except for the baby who wouldn’t settle so on Sunday evening we left the older pair for a bit of a holiday with Granny and Granda and headed back home, to finish the painting and so my wife could go to a course on Tuesday evening.

It’s amazing the difference when you are reduced down to having one child to look after, how much more free time you have, how quieter it was. It was almost blissful, but I did miss the kids. My parents took them off to Donegal with my brothers and some others for a bit of a break and they loved it. I did get a voice mail telling me that they missed us on the Wednesday morning just before I headed up to collect them, which was really nice to hear. Of course as soon as they were in the car my son wanted nothing to do with me and wanted to go back to his Granny, he didn’t miss no-one.

Such is the Easter break, a little bit of time for everyone and then the rush back to normality at least for another while till the summer holidays come along. Can’t say I’m overly looking forward to it.

Dashing Dad

Running around, running, and looking good

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