Happy Birthday Colum Mooney. On Thursday, November 29, you will be two years old. 

You were due the day after Thanksgiving in 2010.  Instead of nagging the nurses at St. John’s Hospital in Yonkers for an epidural (that came a few days later), I was stuffing my oversized body with turkey and ham at the Heritage Bar and Restaurant on McLean Avenue. 

I have very fond memories of that day. I was there with my husband John and friend Pete Coyle. We sat near the roaring fire. 

My cheeks were burning and my heart warmed with love for you and as you kicked every few seconds John and I tried to predict your sex, weight and length. We never guessed correctly. 

You were born 7lbs, 11 oz. and 21 inches via a cesarean section in the end.  I was exhausted after 30 hours of labor and then an emergency section. It was 1:08 a.m. on the 29th when we joyfully welcomed you into the world. It was one of the best days of our lives together. 

And there in a cold operating theater at the New York hospital your life began, and in a way I guess ours did too. We were reborn as a family. 

The bond John and I shared that day back in 2010 was very special. We did it all over again with your baby sister Sadie in February of this year and our family became four. 

Since your birth, Colum, you have brought endless joy to our lives. You’re now at the age where your little antics are hysterical (to us). The way you string words together every day has us in awe, and the way you look after Sadie every day makes us love you more and more. 

I remember when you were born.  I thought I could never love you more. A friend of mine in New York told me (her son was two at the time) the love gets stronger and stronger the older the child gets. 

Impossible, I thought.  How could I love you more than I do now, but she was spot on. I didn’t know there was enough space in my heart for all this love, and when your sister came along I had to make more room. 

John and I, like a lot of parents I’m sure, are the happiest we have ever been. Having you and Sadie in our lives turn big problems into little ones. The silly stuff we used to argue about prior to your birth are not issues now. 

It’s all good Colum. You make us stronger as a couple too. 

Now don’t get me wrong little man. There are some days (not too many mind you) that you drive me a little crazy, mainly when you’re tired and whiny, but a quick smile from you or a little telling off from me and we’re the best of friends again. For the most part you keep us highly entertained Colum. 

While in your Nana Liz’s house in Co. Kerry last weekend you became very confused. You saw Nana using an electric carving knife to slice the roast beef she had just cooked. 

You dragged me from the living room to the kitchen with a very upset look on your face. You kept saying, “Mommy, hair straight, no Nana.” 

Unsure what you were talking about, I followed you at your request. Ah, I understood. You thought your nana was using a hair straightener (which you see me using every morning before work) to cut the roast beef. And after I explained that it was a knife you started saying Nana cut cake with knife. 

You thought the roast beef was your birthday cake. We got a good laugh from it.

Today (Monday) you are home from day care with an ear and throat infection. Your sister has pink eye so it’s like a small hospital in the Mooney household, yet it doesn’t feel very gloomy. 

Despite tugging at your ear every now and then (and constantly telling me you’re sick and you need more medicine – you are addicted to Calpol) you’ve spent over two hours helping me clean the house. You washed windows, you dusted skirting boards and your favorite activity of all -- you vacuumed, several times in fact. You even went as far as spilling all your raisins on the floor so you could vacuum them up. 

Sadie was feeling a little under the weather and not herself either, so now and then you would run to her and plant a smacker of a kiss on her forehead and say “no sick Sadie, you better soon.” It’s very cute. 

Although minutes later I would find you on top of her in a wrestling position or trying to vacuum her up with the Hoover. I also caught you attempting to brush her hair with the sweeping brush, and although I was slightly mad because she was upset I had to laugh at your little antics. 

So two years on. It was important to us to celebrate our son’s entrance into his second year of life. 

Initially I was going to throw him a big birthday bash at the house with all his cousins and friends, but after reading an article that said the second birthday isn’t a big deal for the child and having a party isn’t really the best way to celebrate for someone so young we decided to pack four small bags and head to Ireland’s capital city, Dublin, for the weekend. 

We still had john’s family over for cake during the week and my family will come from Kerry at the weekend for another small celebration.  

We stayed in the Citywest Hotel on the Limerick side of Dublin for two nights. It is one of Europe’s biggest hotels so we enjoyed being swallowed up by it. It kind of reminded us of the big hotels in Las Vegas, although lacking the jazz and glitz of Sin City hotels. 

It was perfect for us and Colum was overjoyed with his little adventure. When we arrived there was a candle burning on a table near the reception desk. Colum assumed it was lit especially for his birthday so he went over and blew it out while singing Happy Birthday to himself. We didn’t correct him but did apologize to the staff. 

The hotel was overrun by little girls in wigs, make up and costumes. There was a big Irish dancing competition on there so it was fun to see the buzz about the place. 

On Saturday morning we went to visit John’s Uncle Noel Mooney who turned 80. We got to spend a few hours with the Dublin Mooneys before meeting my friend Niamh and her children for pizza in the Dundrum Shopping Center – think Palisades Mall. 

The highlight of the weekend was a trip to the Imaginosity Museum in Sandyford. It’s an interactive children’s museum that was both entertaining and educational. I enjoyed it as much as Colum I think. 

They had a mini supermarket where the kids shopped, a mini size hospital room where the kids tended to sick dolls, a mini library, car garage, post office and the list goes on. Definitely worth checking out if you have kids and want to do something in-doors in Dublin. 

We didn’t do much else on Saturday evening and left for Limerick again on Sunday morning. I did, however, convince John to stop off at Ireland’s answer to Woodbury Commons – the Kildare Village outlets. 

It’s definitely worth a look but the prices are outrageous.  Even John was not impressed. He had a peek at the sales rack in the Tommy Hilfiger store. He reported back that a Hilfiger t-shirt in luminous yellow was marked down to €60 (approximately $75). He was disgusted at the difference between Woodbury and Kildare Village. 

“I’m glad I had a quick look around April because at least now I know we won’t be coming back here again,” he said on the drive home. That’s what he thinks! 

So that was our little weekend away. It was nice to visit another county. When Colum’s birthday celebrations are over and done with we will concentrate on Christmas. 

I’m wondering will people think it funny if I put the tree up this coming weekend. It is December after all. 

It will be a fun activity this year with Colum helping to decorate and Sadie watching on.  We look forward to all it brings. 

That’s it for now. Enjoy getting ready for Santa.