Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Triple Birthday Party!

Dia duit! Happy Saturday, everyone! Exactly a week ago, something I've been waiting for for weeks happened: me, Dani, and Jess' triple birthday party!

Of course, Dani, Jess, and I weren't the only people who attended. All of Dani's friends from the Midcoast MTTB, our blogging friends Charlotte and Zoe, plus Kaya and Josefina were invited, too! That's 14 girls!

Kaya, Josefina, and I got there by "time traveling" from the Southern MTTB to the Midcoast MTTB. It was so much faster than driving!

When we got there, I was kind of nervous. I had never met Jess, Charlotte, or Zoe before! I held my Addy doll tightly, hoping she would make me feel better. Before I could react, though, Kaya threw open the door to Dani's room and pushed me inside!

The moment I stepped inside Dani's room, all my nerves went away and my confident self returned. "Tá mé 11 inniu!" I whispered to myself. "Inniu mo lá speisialta! Níl mé ag dul a ligean á néaróg a fháil i mo bhealach!"

When Dani and Jess noticed me, they both let out a squeal. "Hi Saoirse!" They shouted excitedly.

"Dia duit gach duine!" I called back. "Let the partying begin!"

Kaya and Josefina came in right behind me, but decided to visit with Emily, Molly, Nicki, and Laughing Spirit in the rooms next door. They've known each other for years!

Just as Dani started to introduce me to Jess, we heard a knock on the door. "Come in!" Dani answered.

It was Charlotte and Zoe!

"Yay! You're finally here!" We all exclaimed.

Charlotte and Zoe giggled in response. They're fraternal twins, so it wasn't surprising when they said, "Yes! We are!" in perfect unison.

After playing in Dani's room for awhile, the 5 of us called the 9 other girls over for presents. Dani went first, since this was her room! She started by opening her present from Jess, and was thrilled to find...

...a practice soccer goal! Her and Jess both love soccer, so it seemed fitting that Jess would get her something to improve her skills with!

Next she opened the presents from Charlotte and Zoe.

They got her a big MP3 player, some binders for school, and a cute toy tiger! "Thank you so much!" Dani exclaimed, which made Charlotte beam and Zoe nod in response. Zoe is a bit of a tomboy, so she wasn't as into the "girl party" as Charlotte was.

Finally, Dani opened my present.

It was was in a little Chinese bag that Mam found while shopping. When she was about to open it, she asked Kaya, Josefina, and I to sit next to her for a picture. Josefina and I agreed, but Kaya was too busy having her hair done by Emily. They're really good friends, and I can see why--they've known each other for 7 or 8 years!

I had made Dani a beadling tiger, Pikachu, and Pokeball, and even threw in a dragon SillyBand. Beadlings are these little creatures that I make by weaving wire through beads. Josefina and Kaya wanted to make Dani some too, but didn't know how, so I promised that I'd put their names on the card.

Next it was my turn, since it was my actual birthday. Jess' was two days later--the 23rd--, and Dani's wasn't until the 30th.

I opened Dani's present first. I was so excited that I threw off the box's lid the moment the present was handed to me!

She made me a red panda hat! I loved it so much that I wore it for the rest of the day!

After that, I opened Jess' present.

She had made me a pink and green headband/belt, and two bookmarks!

The bookmarks said, "Éirinn go brách!" (which means "Ireland forever!"), and "Go n-éirí an bóthar leat" (which means "May the road rise with you" or "May you succeed in your journey"). I was so happy that she had gone to all that trouble to write in Irish! It made me feel a little closer to home!

Finally, Jess opened her presents.

She opened Dani's first. She cheered when she put on...

...a blue monkey hat! Monkeys are her favorite animals, so she was super excited!

Jess opened my presents last.

Her's were in a bag similar to Dani's, but it was her favorite color: blue.

Inside was a silly toy turtle, a rainbow toucan SillyBand, and blue monkey and yellow banana beadlings!

After opening presents, all 14 of us sat in a circle and made bracelets and necklaces with some pretty beads. The beads were made from recycled paper by women in Uganda. As I was looking through the pile, I was fascinated. No two beads were alike!

You can learn more about these beads by clicking on this link.

I was starving by the time Dani's caretaker, Skye, brought out the cake! Only it wasn't cake--it was lots of cupcakes!

Mine had lemon frosting and pink and green chocolate sunflower seeds on top. I had an urge to smoosh it into Kaya's face a few times, but I didn't want to waste it. If I had had dhá cupcakes, though, then Kaya might have been in trouble!

When it started to get dark, Skye showed us where we would be sleeping: in a tent! It kind of reminded me of camping earlier this month, and that memory gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling. You can learn more about my trip to Moosehead Lake here.

Before getting in our pjs and going to bed, Skye wanted to take a group picture of all 14 of us.

From left to right is...

Top: Lilly, me!, Stephanie, Kaely
Middle: Charlotte, Zoe, Jess, Nicki, Dani
Bottom: Emily, Molly, Kaya, Laughing Spirit, Josefina

That party was so much fun! I would love to do something like that again sometime soon...although, Kaya and Emily are already planning something this fall. But that's a story for another day.

Have you ever been to a big party before?



P.S. Dani, Jess, and Charlotte&Zoe have blogs too! Click on their names to read them. Also, none of the pictures taken are mine--they belong to Dani's caretaker, Skye!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Almost Birthday to Me!

Dé haoine Shona! Today is July 20th, which means I turn 11 tomorrow! But, since tomorrow I'll be having a triple birthday party with a bunch of my friends, my parents decided to celebrate my birthday today.

Usually, my parents get me a bunch of little things--stuffed animals, hair clips, posters for my room, etc.--so I was surprised this year when they handed me dhá HUGE presents, one of which wasn't even wrapped! I was very curious about that one, so I opened it first.

Upon closer inspection, I realized that this box wasn't wrapped because it had been shipped all the way from Ireland! "An é seo ó Seanmháthair?" I asked Mam and Daid excitedly. I haven't seen Seanmháthair since I left Ireland. That was 3 years ago!

Mam and Daid both nodded, so I ripped open the box.

Pink and green tissue paper! Seanmháthair remembered my favorite colors!

I tore the tissue paper away to reveal a dress! I should've guessed. Grandmothers always get their grandchildren clothes!

Daid handed me my next gift. This one was wrapped and had a pretty green bow.

I removed the bow first. Maybe I can take the sticky part off and wear it in my hair?

After I took the bow off, I started to rip the wrapping paper off. I'm a tearer, not a saver!

Inside the box was a doll! Mam told me that her name is Addy Walker and she is an escaped slave from 1864. There are even books about her! I was so excited, since the Civil War is one of my favorite events in American history!

Isn't Addy álainn? I can't wait to read about her!

You'll hear more about the triple birthday party I mentioned earlier soon. Slán go fóill!


P.S. I'm sorry about the poor quality of the pictures. My camera broke, so I have to use my mom's phone until it's fixed or until I get a new one!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Camping: Day Trí

Dia duit! Welcome to my blog! Today you'll hear about my third--and last--day camping.

We spent most of the morning at the camp, feeding two chipmunks that would eat out of our hands! Kaya scolded us, telling us that they had to learn how to find food on their own, but I just rolled my eyes and told her not to rain on our parade.

I named them Cnó and Cnó Dhá, because they loved peanuts so much!

After that, the five of us drove over to a memorial for a plane crash. I begged Mam to let me wear my rollerskates, since the trail would be a perfect place to practice skating on soft ground, but she said it might be disrespectful. I promised that I would skate as slowly and respectfully as I could, but we went back and forth for a few minutes until she finally gave in.

When I got there, I learned that the plane was a B-52 and that it crashed on Elephant Mountain in 1963. Only two of the nine passengers survived--one of which survived an ejection from the plane without a working parachute. The plane was 160 feet long and had a 185 foot wingspan.

When we got there, I was surprised to find reckage scattered everywhere, for hundreds of yards. Mam and Josefina were pretty disturbed, and Daid was just there for the plane, but Kaya and I (being the history-buffs that we are) were fascinated. How could such a huge plane be so destroyed?

These were the names of all the people who were in the plane when it crashed (sorry some of them are unreadable because of the flash):

Some of the wreckage was huge! These holes alone are almost as big as I am!

By the time we reached the end of the trail, I was really moved. I never realized how dangerous and devestating a plane can be, and how brave the people pilotting one are. What if the plane I took from Ireland to America had suffered the same fate?

By the time we got back to the tent, the sun was starting to go down. Soon it was dark enough for a campfire and, of course, roasting marshmallows! Josefina and Kaya had never heard of marshmallows before, and thought shoving them on a stick and holding them over a fire was very aisteach. Josefina decided to give it a try, but Kaya refused to when I told her that a boy at school said it had horse hooves in it. I chose not to believe him, but Kaya was mortified!

What a great way to end an awesome camping trip!



Sunday, July 8, 2012

Camping: Day Dhá

Fáilte go dtí mo bhlag! Today you'll be seeing what Kaya, Josefina, and I did on our second day of camping.

Daid woke me up much too early, telling me that we'd be hiking Mount Kineo today. I thew a pillow over my head and moaned, "Ní féidir é fanacht cúpla uair an chloig?"

Daid laughed, "Ní mór dúinn a fháil go luath más mian linn a dhreapadh ar fad 545 méadar!"

In Ireland, we used the metric system, but for all you feet-savy Americans, 545 méadar is 1,788 feet. That didn't seem like a lot to me, so I was in no hurry to get ready. Still half asleep, I rolled out of "bed" (I don't consider sleeping on the ground sleeping in a bed!), threw on some pants without bothering to change my pj shirt, slipped on some shoes (on the wrong feet), and tied my bedhead into a ponytail. I then stepped out into buggy ole Maine, not-so-ready to face the day.

In order to get to the mountain, we had to take Daid's boat. The view from it was beautiful, but the best part was when Mount Kineo came into view:

Look at those cliffs! I turned to Kaya nervously, and whispered, "Do you think we're going to have to climb up any cliffs? What if we fall?!"

Kaya's eyes went from frightened to excited in a matter of seconds. "I hope so! That'd be so much fun!" I just sighed, wishing I had asked Josefina instead.

When we got there, much to Kaya's disappointment, we started tramping along a trail. It was kind of rocky, but at least we didn't have to worry about falling off the side of a mountain!

Here's a picture of what much of the trail looked like. Isn't it pretty?

As you can see, it was completely surrounded by trees. Sometimes I had a hard time seeing the sky!

"Ah! Tá sé sin creagach!"

 When there was only about a half a mile left to go, Daid, Kaya, Josefina, and I stopped to rest in a clearing. I found an indent in a rock that fit my...erm...bottom perfectly!

The view from up there was amazing!!!


Unfortunately, I didn't get to enjoy the view for long, because we were soon heading back up the trail.

As we got closer and closer to the top, I began imagining what I might see. Maybe there would be a huge meadow, filled with flowers of every color, and billions of butterflies? Or maybe to trail would suddenly stop right at the edge of a cliff, and if you didn't react quickly enough you might fall off! After dreaming up a bunch of fantasy scenereos, you can imagine my surprise when the trail ended at the foot of... observation tower!

The moment we saw it, everyone came to a dead stop. No one dared to speak until Kaya exclaimed, "Cool! Meet you guys at the top!", and sprinted up the steps.

I watched in awe as Kaya bounded up flight after flight of stairs, not batting an eye at the fact that the tower she was climbing resembled a metal death trap more than anything else! When she made it to the top, she yelled something down to us--something I couldn't hear.

Daid, Josefina, and I didn't have the courage to mount the rickety steps until Kaya jogged down them. "You guys gotta go up there! The view is awesome!" Kaya's braids had a crazy windblown look about them that didn't make her any more convincing.

"No, gracias," Josefina said shyly without any explanation other than the deer-in-headlights look in her eyes.

"I should probably stay down here with you girls, to make sure you girls don't get eaten by a moose." Daid chuckled. Josefina was the only one to laugh at his lame joke.

All eyes were on me. I thought of tons of excuses why I shouldn't climb to the top, including the old, "If I died, you all would be guilt-stricken and miss me terribly", but the only words my mouth was able to form were, "Umm...sure..."

I regretted my decision as I started up the steps. They were huge!

After many babysteps, I finally made it to the top. Kaya was right--the view was amazing!

It was kind of freaky being the only one up there. It was as if I was the only person in the whole entire world!

When I got down we decided to head home. It took a half an hour to get back to our boat, followed by an hour long boat ride. By the time we got back it was dinner time. But, to our surprise, instead of dinner Mam had made us...

...a cherry pie! Kaya, Josefina and I were so excited that we almost forgot to leave some for Mam and Daid!

When it was finally time to go to bed, you'd think that I would have fallen asleep right away. Unfortunately, I was wide awake! Maybe it had something to do with those cans of soda I drank right before bed...

After tossing and turning for a while, I realized that Kaya was still awake, too. I sat up and whispered her name, being careful not to wake sleeping Josefina.

She sat up simultaneously. "Saoirse? Why are you still awake?"

"I was about to ask you the same question," I said suspiciously.

Kaya sighed and turned away. "It's nothing really." She mumbled. "It's just that...sleeping in a tent, out in the wilderness reminds me a lot of, well, home. I miss 1764 a lot. Yes, Josefina's family is very nice, but it's not the same. They aren't my family."

I stared at her, not knowing what to say. Kaya's always had that tough, brave attitude to her. I had no idea she had actual feelings!

After a long uncomfortable silence, I finally fingured out what to say. "Kaya, if time travel is possible, than ANYTHING is possible. You're definitely going to find your tribe again, if not tonight or tomorrow then soon. I'm sure they're looking for you just as hard as you're looking for them."

Kaya turned back towards me and grinned. "Katsee-yow-yow!" She whispered before turning over and going to sleep.

That's it for day dhá! I'll post about our last day camping soon! For now, dea-oíche!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone! Even though I wasn't born in America, my family and I are naturalized citizens, and celebrate the 4th of July as much as anyone else. Unfortunately, much of Maine is experiencing severe thunderstorm warnings, so a lot of firework displays were canceled! When Daid told me that we won't be seeing fireworks until the 7th for L. L. Bean's 100th birthday, I whined. "Ach Daid! Cad é lá Saoirse gan tinte ealaíne? Thairis sin, is é seo ceann de mo laethanta saoire is fearr leat. Tá sé faoi gach saoirse; ainm dom!"

To my horror, Daid just laughed! "Ah Saoirse, beidh muid ag ceiliúradh tú neart i níos lú ná 20 lá. Ná bíodh imní ort! Beidh muid tinte ealaíne a fheiceáil, tá sé nach bhfuil ag dul ach a bheith lá atá inniu ann. Ní Mother Nature comhoibriú i gcónaí."

I glared at him, not knowing what else to say, and sulked up to my room. Why is it that one of my favorite holidays--the holiday that celebrates saoirse; freedom--has to be ruined!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Camping: Day Amháin

Dia duit gach duine! Guess where I've been the past few days? Camping! My parents took me up to Moosehead Lake, where I got to sleep in a tent, roast leamhacháin, and swim all day long. They even let me take two friends along, so Kaya and Josefina got to come, too!

The moment we arrived at camp, Daid wanted to explore the lake. Kaya and Josefina agreed to stay behind and help Mam set up the tent, so I tagged along with Daid in his motor boat.

The lake is huge--and beautiful! And there's a ton of wildlife everywhere: loons, salmon, even baby ducks!

After a while, Daid stopped near an island to let me swim. When I got back in the boat to dry off, he said to me, "An féidir leat a chreideann sé, Saoirse? Táimid i lár an loch is mó in Maine."

By the time we got back to the camp, we had a big surprise waiting for us:

The tent was HUGE! I was so excited to get into it that after we set up the rest of camp, I spent much of the rest of the day reading inside. Meanwhile, Josefina and Mam prepared dinner and took Coconut for a walk (poor Licorice had to stay behind, unfortunately!), and Kaya and Daid went salmon fishing. Daid was not pleased when Kaya ended catching twice as many fish as he did!

I'll write more about Day Dhá soon! Slán!