Just arrived

Latest cottage addition - the Small Girl

The Small Girl, our latest addition to life at the cottage

Meaty stews and wholesome soups, egg-in-an-eggcup for breakfast and mid-afternoon hunks of cheese with apples: my latest long-term cooking project came to an end early last Thursday morning and now it’s feed-me-up time.

Our little Maya Ellen, who will be known around here as the Small Girl, took her own sweet time to decide when she would put in an appearance. But once she had made up her mind, that was it. As it happened, we only arrived at Cork University Maternity Hospital about 40 minutes before she did.

Given my love of hospitals and their bad food, which seems to have gotten worse since I was in with Little Missy in 2009, I was very thankful to escape home on Friday. I still had to have the Little Sister make a cheese/oatcakes/hummus delivery on Thursday night so I wouldn’t starve as the Small Girl fed. Otherwise it was just watery mash, limp veg and breaded chicken or fish. The spaghetti bolognese even came with the pasta chopped up – obviously nothing worse than having a full-length piece of spaghetti on your plate. That said, the one exception has to be the post-birth tray of tea and toast: never does something taste so delicious, or so well deserved!

A Friday morning visit from the  Sister sent me home with the ideal present for any food lover, let alone one who has just had a baby: a bag from the English Market packed with sharp Hegarty’s cheddar, rounds of soft, oozy Cooleeney and Gortnamona cheese, organic avocados, my favourite chicken liver pâté from On the Pig’s Back, crackers, brown bread and relish – in short, all you could need for a series of perfect afternoon and morning snacks.

Irish cheese, pate, bread and crackers from the English Market, Cork

The best post-baby snacks

Unfortunately the Small Girl’s late arrival has put paid to my plans to head to tomorrow’s Blas na hÉireann National Irish Food Awards at the Dingle Food and Wine Festival – but at least I have a dark haired, sloe-eyed, constantly hungry little mortal to keep me occupied.

Speaking of which, there’s some movement from her bed – time to grab a hot chocolate before the Small Girl starts demanding her own afternoon feast!



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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38 Responses

  1. Martin Dwyer says:

    Well Done! Two little girls is brilliant (three- like us- is even better but we will give you time for a breather)

    • Caroline Caroline says:

      I think I’ll need a wee breather alright – having the Small Girl seems easy in comparison to the other “baby” this year, the Husband’s Eight Degrees Brewing!

  2. Congratulations! Heard the news this morning from Scott!

    Best wishes and blessings to you all!

    • Caroline Caroline says:

      Got your text message, Margaret, but didn’t have a chance to respond. Little Missy is indeed enjoying being a big sister – so far, so good! Tell me more about the Mexican feast that you have planned!

  3. TheGlutton says:

    Congratualtions Caroline and welcome Maya – beautiful name. And look at those tiny little hands! So sweet.

    • Caroline Caroline says:

      They may be tiny, but you should see the fierce waving around when she’s looking for food and not finding it!

  4. Gillian says:

    Yipee, woohoo I’m smiling from ear to ear with the news. Congrats to you all! Enjoy every moment (even the sleepless ones!).
    Maya Ellen is a gorgeous name too 🙂

    • Caroline Caroline says:

      Thanks Gillian! I’ve a pile of trashy novels to read during the night time feeds – makes sleepless times much easier to deal with.

      Congratulations to you on your wins at Blas na hEireann – you must have been thrilled!

  5. Mona Wise says:

    What a beautiful little bundle. I love, how the blog post reads so honestly about the ghastly hospital food you were offered. I would have been racing home too.

    Congrats to you both and enjoy the chilling time.
    Woo hoo! And now there are two! Remember, one more and you are outnumbered!

    • Caroline Caroline says:

      Ghastly hospital food is right! I don’t know how they ever expect anyone to get better given the kind of diet that’s on offer.

      I was nearly out on Thursday afternoon but they wanted to take another look at the Small Girl the following day so I had to hang around. Just as well I had family nearby to keep me fed!

  6. Huge congratulations Caroline. I was just thinking the other day that I hadn’t seen you on the Twitter so you must have had your hands full with something else. What a gorgeous little bundle and a beautiful name. Well done to you. x

  7. Kristin says:

    Those little hands! I will admit to tearing up a little just looking at that sweet photo. Congratulations to you and Scott and to the proud big sister and welcome beautiful baby Maya! xxx

    • Caroline Caroline says:

      Thanks Kristin! She’s very intent in that photo as she’s happily feeding away. And wouldn’t you have to make fists when you’re really concentrating?!

  8. Lily says:

    Congratulations. Beautiful picture. enjoy every moment.

  9. Hey Caroline,
    We just found this. Loads of love from John and myself and we look forward to meeting Maya. xxxxx
    Sally and John

    • Caroline Caroline says:

      Thanks Sally! Like the rest of her family, the Small Girl came complete with a good appetite so is thriving. We’ll have to bring her down to West Cork next chance we get. Little Missy still talks about her holiday there in June.

  10. Congratulations Caroline & family on your beautiful little bundle! Such a sweet photo & I love the name 🙂

  11. ah deadly Caroline. I’d swap #dinglefood for that bundle of joy in a heartbeat 😉


  12. Congratulations. She looks like a powerful little woman 🙂

  13. Joanne says:

    Many congrats Caroline to you all on the safe arrival of your little bundle! How exciting…hope LM is enjoying her new sister!

  14. Joanne says:

    Comhgairdeachas – and welcome to little Maya. What a lovely photo of the SG

  15. Nessa Robins says:

    Congratulations Caroline! Your little bundle looks adorable. Well done and enjoy this lovely nurturing stage of baby. 🙂

  16. Aoife Mc says:

    Congratulations Caroline! She looks precious. Hope all is going well for you and your family!

  17. Caroline! I didn’t know! Was just going to send email about the journal and ask if you were EVER going to have the baby and then I saw this!!!! BIG CONGRATULATIONS! She is beautiful ( I can tell by the hand and eye =) And love her name..Maya.
    Will speak to you soon. Warm wishes and big hugs, Imen xx

  18. English Mum says:

    What Imen said! I didn’t even know 🙂 Congratulations, she looks adorable! xx

  19. Babaduck says:

    Caroline (and Scott, of course!)

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Only just found out as we were away. Maya is beautiful and a gorgeous new sister for Little Missy. Much love to the four of you xxxx

    • Caroline Caroline says:

      At least she didn’t arrive at the Bord Bia offices that day! Sounds like you had quite a time on your US trip. I’m enjoying about your foodie experiences there.

  20. Sheila Kiely says:

    CONGRATS! Caroline. I hope all your renovating got finished before the beautiful new arrival. Enjoy X Sheila

    • Caroline Caroline says:

      It’s still a bit of a work in progress but, thanks to my mother, all the painting was finished before the Small Girl put in her appearance! I’ve the Husband’s parents here at the moment, building shelves and weeding my garden, so am being spoilt by family.

  21. Hi Caroline

    I know I’m a bit late but major congratulations – she’s beautiful!

    Yvonne x

  22. Caroline Caroline says:

    All congratulations are gratefully received! Thanks Yvonne.

  23. Nenaghgal says:

    Congratulations – I am very late is getting to this. Hope it is all going well, beautiful photograph.

  24. Just catching up on the blog reading, congrats again on the arrival of little Maya – such a lovely name. But I might still call her Cottage Pie! 🙂

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