In A Jiffy

Today my triplets learned a new phrase:

“In a jiffy”.


Our jiffy tale started when my little girl asked me what a jiffy is.  She was delighted with my answer.  She is either blessed or bitten by an efficient, perfectionist streak.  She proceeded to spend the whole day describing how she planned to do everything “in a jiffy”.

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I love when kids discover a new word they love so much, they feel the need to repeat it over, and over, again. That is, once it isn’t a swear word. I am sure we will have some new discoveries, in the not so distant future, that will require Mommy censoring.

“Jiffy” really is a brilliant word. It is one of those words that seem to sing and dance on a page, tripping off the tongue with ease. Don’t mind me! There are certain words that just catch my imagination, and I say them over and over again in my mind.

Photo Courtesy of Gregg Sperling

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I think my little girl likes words too. “Jiffy” was the “in-word” in our house today. You know the old saying – “like mother, like daughter.”

But when I sat down to write this post I came to realize how popular a word “jiffy” is, here in America.   It’s everywhere.  There’s Jiffy baking mix, Jiffy peanut butter, Jiffy yarn, Jiffy Lube oil changing, and Jiffy taxis in many cities.  I could go on and on.

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I found myself folding clothes a little faster today, as my jiffy coach stood by urging me onwards with her jiffiness (don’t think that is actually a word).

I washed the dishes quickly. I swept the floor at a faster pace today. In fact the whole day went by in a jiffy.

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I might just pop out to the grocery store and pick up a box of Jiffy baking mix and let my daughter, the new Jiffy Queen, test it out. Corn bread and corn muffins are something my Irish palate has not yet grown accustomed to. Even if this American delicacy does not appeal to Mom and Dad, I know I should introduce my American kids to the grittiness and down home goodness of cornbread.

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Adopting the word “jiffy” and doing things more efficiently are probably key steps I must take towards my Americanization.

So in keeping with the theme of the day, I am wrapping up this little post, “in a jiffy”.


Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

Irish American Mom


I Love My Mom Because ……

First let me wish you all a very Happy Mother’s Day today.  To all the Irish mom’s who celebrated Mother’s Day in March, belated Mother’s Day greetings.  Do something special again today, just for you.

Here is a little story to brighten your Mother’s Day and which definitely falls into my “out of the mouth of babes” category. Credit

When my eldest son was in Kindergarten all the children in his class drew a picture and wrote a short answer to the all important statement:


I love my Mom because …….


A beautiful picture gallery in homage to all the wonderful kindergarten Moms adorned the school hallways.  Lovely motherly images, with sweet sentiments of motherly appreciation greeted all.

I had volunteered to help in his classroom that week so I was lucky to have a few moments to pause and browse the lovely artwork.


I love my mom because ….. Credit


……. “she hugs me tight before I go to sleep.” Credit

…….” she reads me bedtime stories.”


…….  “she is beautiful and kind.”

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…… “she loves me so much and takes care of me.”



I smiled, enjoying all the lovely expressions of love.


And then I found it…….


Hanging in the lower corner of one wall was my own son’s artwork.   I can assure you no other mom was serenaded with appreciative words to equal those of my Irish American son.

Below a beautiful stick figure image of a woman sweeping the floor were the beautiful words


“I love my Mom because …… Credit

…… she does the work.”


He may have been born in America, but I am raising a good Irish boy.  Who needs love and hugs and kisses?  A mother should do the work, keep the house clean, make the dinner ….. sure the list goes on and on.  And in one fell swoop of his pencil my little boy encapsulated the age old philosophy of my forefathers  – The  best reason to love any woman is if “she does the work”.

So a word of warning to all the lovely American girls who plan to charm my little Romeo in the future.  Forget about whispering sweet nothings in his ear, fancy manicures, and romantic dinners.   He is Irish and will be looking for a woman who “does the work”.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!  Have a lovely relaxing day with your families and may all you do, especially your hard work throughout the year, be appreciated today by those who love you.


Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

Irish American Mom

A Dublin Nativity Scene – Who Is Looking Over Holy Mary’s Shoulder?

Every time I see a nativity scene it reminds me of a very funny story, told to me by an Irish teacher and friend.  It centers around one little, Dublin girl’s hilarious interpretation of Silent Night. Credit

Do your kids listen to Christmas carols, reinvent the words, then sing their own unique version?

One school day before Christmas, my friend asked her class to draw a nativity scene.  The kids soon got to work with pencils, markers and crayons, drawing beautiful stables, mangers and cribs.  In all the lovely drawings, Mary watched over the Baby Jesus, while Joseph stood by. Credit

She stopped at one little girl’s desk to admire her master piece. She grew puzzled when she noticed a huge guy, right in the middle of the nativity scene, peering over Mary’s shoulder.  After careful examination she accounted for all the important characters, angels, shepherds, wise men, sheep, cows and camels.  This large fellow was a bit of a mystery.

“Who’s that there?” she asked the little girl, pointing at the rotund onlooker.

“That fella there, is Round John Virgin, miss,” the little girl announced proudly.

“Round John who?” she stuttered trying to control her laughter.

“You know miss.  Like in the carol, Silent Night.  ‘Round John Virgin, mother and child’.  He takes care of Holy Mary.”

How my friend did not break down laughing in the middle of her class is beyond me!

So every time, I set up my own little, nativity scene, I think of Round John. I picture him standing beside Mary, looking over her shoulder at the Baby Jesus, like their body guard. Credit

Was he a shepherd?

Or maybe he was the stable bouncer.

Perhaps, he sent the shepherds back to the hills in search of sandals, and a jacket, or a cloak or whatever was deemed appropriate, stable attire back then. Credit

Maybe I found “Round John” in this picture!  He’s probably the red-faced one with the shepherd’s staff as disguise!!!!

Anyways, as I have quoted before, and probably will many times again:

“Out of the mouth of babes,

Oft times comes gems.”


“Round John Virgin” is a definite gem.


If your kids have reinterpreted any Christmas songs, creating their own hysterical lyrics, please do share in the comment section below.



Nollaig Shona Duit

(Merry Christmas)

Irish American Mom


Mid-Life Crisis – Is Forty The New Twenty?

My eldest son was waiting in car pool line with me one day, when he asked me a very delicate question for any older mother.

“Mom, are you the oldest woman in America?”


Such a statement could trigger a mid-life crisis.  I forgot to teach him never to ask a lady her age.

Image courtesy of www.vintagerio.comImage Credit

I paused for a moment to catch my quivering breath, and to quickly glance in the mirror to examine the fine wrinkles beginning to appear around my eyes.

“No, love!” I replied.  “I think there are some ladies over 110, which makes me just a few years younger than the oldest woman in America and Ireland.”

Since I turned 40 a few years ago, and my son thinks I am the oldest woman in America, I suppose I should have a mid-life crisis.

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Buying fast cars and motorcycles is the stereotypical display of male mid-life anxiety.  New sports are tried by many middle-aged men in a vain attempt to regain their lost, youthful, physical prowess, usually resulting in crazy injuries.

What do mother’s do to cope with mid-life, self-doubt, and the stress of realizing how fleeting mortality truly is?

Truth be told, I don’t have time to plan my crisis.  I think keeping up with four children, aged seven and under, is proof enough I am still young.

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I remember when I was a kid, thinking how old I would be in the year 2000. The end of the millennium seemed like a monumental milestone when I was in my teens. The ripe old age of 35 seemed distinctly ancient. Never in my wildest dreams, did I imagine I would be in Dallas, Texas at the time of the big event.  Now the epic occasion is nearly twelve years past and my vintage forties do not feel so old after all.

My grandmother announced she felt like a recycled teenager on the occasion of her 80th birthday. She is my hero. She never acted her age.

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When my best friend turned forty I took great care deciding what to write on her card. Eventually I settled on the words of wisdom:

“Forty is the new twenty.”


I was ever so proud of myself. When she opened her carefully chosen card, she burst out laughing. In my haste, I had coined a new phrase:

“Forty is the new forty.”


My poor brain has never been the same since it drowned in a triple dose of pregnancy hormones.

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Truth be told, age is just a number.  So what, if forty is still forty and fifty is still fifty. Who cares?

I may be facing my mid-life years, but I am happy. Right now, I am at a great place in my life. I have a great family, love my life, and every year gets better and better.

Mid-life crisis ? ?


Who’s got time for that ? ? ?


Slan agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

Irish American Mom


A Big Brother’s Unwanted Triplet Attention

Triple decker stroller

Triplets, gurgling and playing with their feet in a triple-decker stroller, attract attention.  When my trio were just babies a grocery store trip turned into a full family outing.  Pushing a triplet stroller, and a shopping cart with a two-year-old perched on the seat, was impossible for one.  Dad usually steered the groceries and big brother, while Mom maneuvered the monstrous stroller.

Multiple babies are fascinating to people, who love to stop and ask questions.  Twins are often seen in public places, but triplets are spotted far less frequently.  Truth be told, I only realized I had never before seen triplets in a stroller, until after the birth of my own little brood.

Kentucky is a very friendly place.  I think that is why I like living here so much.  Kentuckians’ chatty ways remind me of Ireland.  As you can imagine, my three-tiered baby conveyance immediately caught the eye of moms and grandmas the moment we entered a store.

Triple decker stroller - front view

Strangers were full of questions, eager to learn about the trials and tribulations of raising triplets.  One look at my tousled hair, and make-up-less face, told the story of my tribulations.  In my lively chats with fellow moms, I shared the joy of raising multiples and their older brother.

One or two moms chatting over my little ones, inevitably attracted even more friendly moms.  Before long we formed a little group of six or seven discussing our shared experiences, and the differences between raising single babies and multiples.

As you can imagine my husband and older son tried to stay away from the crowd.  They browsed patiently waiting to proceed with the shopping.  Before long a two year old’s patience wears thin, especially when he feels a little left out.

On one occasion my older son waited in his shopping cart a little to the side.

He listened!

He yawned!

He groaned!

He whispered to his Dad!

Before long, he had enough.  He took a deep breath.  In his loudest possible voice he called out:

“Ladies! Ladies! They’re only babies!”

Everyone broke out laughing and turned their attention to my little trooper.


Vintagerio - three twins - tripletsPhoto Credit

The more I thought about my older son’s declaration, his cry for some share of the endless attention, I came to the conclusion he was absolutely correct.  What was all the fuss about anyway.  They may be three babies who shared an extraordinary baby carriage, but truly, they were only babies, who happened to be born to the same parents on the same day.

Nothing too amazing!  Just two brothers and a sister he loves with all his heart!


Slan agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)



Irish American Mom