Planes,train(ing) and auto-voting

It’s been an eventful weekend here at Mini HQ.We lost our au pair extraordinaire,Tata,who left us on a jet plane on Saturday,headed back to France. She’s been with us since mid June and has been such a great help minding the minis during my difficult transition back to full time work for the first time in over three years. However,she is only 16 and wants to have a bit of a break before she goes back to school in September so we had to say au revoir. It’s been amazing having a live in babysitter who gets on so well with the girls and is so active with them-sometimes putting their parents to shame-oh to have the boundless energy of a teenager again!-we ll really miss her.

She’s had a good summer too I think-been to some great gigs including The Pixies at the Marquee in Cork and The National at the Big Top,along with trips on the obligatory tourist trail to The Burren,Cliffs of Moher and Kylemore Abbey. Ive introduced her to Irish culinary delights such as garlic cheese chips, battered sausages and fish and chips. She left for the airport all style from the waist up-funky jacket, fashionable glasses, on trend Trilby hat,and then from the waist down she wore what she considers to be the epitome of Galway style-a blue fleece rainbow decorated onesie from Penneys. This is how I’m sending her back to her mother in France- with a newfound love for greasy food and the notion that it’s perfectly acceptable to wear sleepwear outside the house!

Tata and Mini Mini

Saturday also saw me dust off my runners, since the first time I bought them and pound the pavement to raise funds and awareness for Voices for Down Syndrome Galway. The premise was simple enough-complete an 8k and get some much needed monetary contributions in place for a charity that receives no government funding whatsoever. The 8k in question was the popular Streets of Galway which sees runners of all abilities on a trip all around the city. I had originally thought I’d be able to walk it but as it got closer to the event I realised I’d have to attempt to move a little faster. It’s an event for runners,not slow moving creatures like myself so off I went on a training schedule that saw myself and a mate complete two twenty minute sessions, running huffing and puffing around a local football pitch. I had meant to train more but pesky real life situations got in the way so these two measly attempts at training were all I had under my loose fitting belt as I found myself in the midst of some serious athletes making our way to the start line on a balmy summer’s eve.

I made the finish line in an impressive (for me!) 59 minutes and 49 seconds. While I was buzzing for the rest of the night,feeling delighted with myself,it wasn’t long before my body took revenge on me. Almost two days later,I am still in agony with aches and pains all over the place having flexed muscles I never knew existed and it looks like I’m going to lose a few toenails. I did enjoy the experience,however,except for that last half kilometre when I was trying desperately to finish under the hour mark, and I’m hoping to start running regularly with the aim of completing some more charity runs in the future. Bottom line-I didn’t die and so far I’ve raised nearly €300 so it’s a result! Here I am celebrating with my running buddy and a hard earned beverage.


I’m going to round off this post with the fantabulous news that one of my blog posts-21 Days a Letter to my unborn child-has been nominated as Best Blog Post of the year.It’s a long list and the competition is-strike a Beyoncé pose-fierce! There are fantastic posts including what I consider to be the most amazing birth story ever,  the bittersweet experience of returning to work after maternity leave, the reality of living with depression and a mother reflecting on what will happen to her severely disabled child after she dies.
Upon learning of my nomination on Friday,I sent out the obligatory begging for votes status on Facebook,followed by a few tweets.It only took a few seconds but each request made me die a little on the inside. There’s something dirty about whoring yourself out for people’s time and affections.
My friend who works in PR and marketing said I should have no qualms in soliciting votes from friends,family and followers as (his words) that’s what they’re there for. He suggested some tips for prospective voters including getting them to set weekly reminders on their phones to vote and coordinating their votes in a (once again not my words) three prong attack from their work PC,home PC and phone. This just reminded me of that ad on the telly where two blokes are discussing car insurance and how to get the best quotes. “What you need to do ” the older man instructs his young companion, “is ring up for a quote,then ring back on a Tuesday for a different quote,then ring back in a different voice, then ring back Friday…” until a giant block falls from the sky putting an end to such nonsense. That’s sort of how I feel now,that at any minute a giant concrete block is going to fall from the heavens and stop me from this whole public voting nonsense!

But at the end of the day, the more people read my post, the more I hope awareness about Down syndrome and expectations of what individuals with Down syndrome are capable of grows and so for that reason alone, I’m going to keep on plugging. So once again, here are those vital statistics-

Step 1 . Click on this link.

Step 2. Scroll down to minisandmum,

Step 3. Click the wee magic box next to it

Step 4. Scroll down to the end of the post and click “Vote”.

Step 5. Receive my eternal gratitude (bleurgh!)


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