Little Pressure Cookers

September 15, 2019

Last week the boys and their friend Bryson, took on a different type of adventure. We took the fun inside for the boys first official cooking class. The menu they were learning to prepare was: Chicken Tenders with Waffles. Fruit Smoothies and Egg-in-a-Donut Hole. Not a short menu by any means and a lot of challenging kitchen skills to navigate and figure out. There were so many moments where disaster seemed imminent. Aisha (Bryson’s mom) and I were in a constant state of high alert. Not to mention the amount of times we had to remind the boys that the kitchen utensils were not in fact weapons or toys. But over all, I was very impressed with the boys eagerness to listen and learn. How well they followed instructions and how excited they were by the process and especially the result, cos we all got to sit down and enjoy the meal the boys worked so hard to prepare.

Getting set up in the kitchen.

Preparing the chicken to marinade. Not everyone was a fan of touching the raw chicken and by that I mean Cullen was having none of it. But Keane and Bryson we all in.

Cullen was more than happy to make the marinade sauce and really enjoyed rubbing the sauce all over the chicken.

Next up, watching and learning how to measure out the ingredients for the waffles.

And now they have to do it themselves.

Cullen trying to sneak a taste test (right). And ta-dah! The waffles and turning out so well (left).

3 very good looking waffles.

Watching the prep for the final dish, Egg-in-a-Donut Hole. Cullen is starting to hit a wall. Cooking is a tiring gig.

But he found his second wind when he realized this was the last dish and next came the eating.

Doing a great job.

At last, all the work is done. Its time to enjoy the foods of our labour. Smoothie cheers for Bryson and Keane.

Cullen had zero time for cheers. He was hungry and he’d been patient for long enough.

3 very proud little chefs. Well done boys.

Mothers Who Mud Run

September 9, 2019

A distance of 5 km. With 20 obstacles. Temperatures of 100 degrees. Oh and, lots of mud. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you 3 badass mommas who took on the 2019 Rugged Maniac Mud Run Challenge.…..and survived. We climbed over walls, under fences, burrowed below the ground, slide down poles, dragged chains the weight of a car tire, crawled under barbed wire in knee high mud, monkey barred over many, many mud trenches (and fell in) and slide our way down mud slides. And we did it all with a big smile on our mud covered faces.

My good friends and fellow badass mud runners, Christi (left) and Cassie (right) and me (middle). This is our pre-race shot obviously, cos we’re still clean and dry.

Spent a solid hour going through the event photos to see if any of the onsite photographers managed to grab pictures of us going through any of the messy and very challenging obstacles, but the only one I found was this epic shot of the 3 of us on the massive bouncy slide into the final mud pool. A keeper for the memory book for sure.

Its Another Centre Parc Post

September 4, 2019

Final round up of photos from our Centre Parcs adventure and on one of the mornings Keane and I headed off for a little one on one time. Being close in age, Cullen and Dafne have a natural bond and gravitate towards each other. Dafne is a real lad, and they love the same lad’ish things. Being a couple of years older, Keane sometimes feels a little on the outside for their friendship. He doesn’t always want to do the things they do, so on the morning of our second day, Derval took the “littles” off for a bike ride and a bug hunting adventure, while Keane and I opted for some rope climbing, zip-lining and archery.

Keane, my fearless child.

After our aerial adventure, it was time to weapon up and rock our inner Robin Hood.

Both of us really enjoyed the archery. To the point that Im actively seeking out some local archery clubs.

Getting closer to that bullseye.

Robin Keane.

The evening of our final day, everyone wanted to spend it at the water park. While we waited for Derv to get her sh*t together, I entertained myself by grabbing a few cute memory snaps of these little besties on yet another amazing adventure. Keane insisted his Centre Parcs bike be in the photos. There were even questions about the possibility of bringing the bike back to America with us.

Theses 2 :)

Our cute little crew.

When you ask your non-photographer friend to grab a few snaps of yourself and your kids, the result can be a little……different.

After the water park (no photos from the water park cos, expensive camera + building full of waterslides, wave pool, lazy river, rapids and sprayers = lots of potential for disaster) it was back to our cabin for some pre-bedtime fun.

It may look like Dafne is trying to assault Cullen, but she’s just very excited about the baby dinosaur she found in the fossil eggs they’d been smashing.

Cute little peasant girl.

Our last morning, time to return the bikes :(

Keane left Centre Parc with a collection of hats. A sailor hat to go with his Robin Hood hat.

Before we left we had to stop off at the pottery class to see how our Dragon, Snake & Shark tuned out after their night in the kiln.

Centre Parc Opening Weekend

August 29, 2019

Something pretty cool happened while we were in Ireland. My bestie Derval and her little girl, Dafne, Keane, Cullen and I got to attend the opening weekend of Centre Parcs Ireland. Irish people will need explanation as to what Centre Parcs is. It was literally the talk of the country the weekend it opened. And let me reassure you all, it absolutely lives up to the hype. This place it amazing. Everything you could possibly need, anything you would want to experience on a family vacation, is there. And ALL of the staff were beyond amazing. We didn’t get to test drive all of the activities (which just means we need to plan a trip back ;) ) But what we did do, we loved. More importantly, the kids loved it. Took a bunch of photos of course, its taking me a minute to go through them all. So I’ll share the first round of pics here and a few more in a couple of days.

Guests at Centre Parc stay in fabulous wooden cabins. Minutes after we picked up our cabin key, dropped off our luggage, we were off to our first activity. This activity required the kids to wear these Irish flat caps.

Yes, tiny off-roading jeeps. Couldn’t ask for a funner way to kick off our stay. Keane impatiently listens to the driving instructions.

Dafne is ready.

Cullen is eager to get these jeeps going.

Dafne had a bit of a crash incident on her practice drive, so we thought it best if she be a passenger in Cullen’s jeep.

And they are off! Great excitement going through the water.

Keane handles his vehicle like a pro.

These 2, so cute.

The kids had to gather small puzzle pieces along the driving route and these pieces fit into a puzzle board on the back of their jeep.

Cullen’s face here, too funny. Focus with an edge of smugness.

All smiles for successful and accident free off-roading experience.

After leaving the jeeps we headed off to the bike centre. There are no cars allowed in Centre Parc. You leave you car parked in a parking area at the entrance for the duration of your stay. So the best way to get around is by bike. We were all very excited to pick our of transportation for the weekend. The kids actually loved the freedom and independence of biking everywhere.

Dafne had her eye on the same bike as Cullen.

Keane spotted this bike seconds after walking in and there was no way he wasn’t having it.

Derval and Dafne ended up selecting a bike with a trailer.

Riding in comfort and style.

This kid would have been just as happy riding around Centre Parc on his bike all weekend.

Lots of fun playgrounds scattered around the Parc.

Pottery painting, this was an activity Cullen chose. He’s my little artist.

Keane is in a dragon phase, so he chose to paint a dragon.

Dafne went for a snake.

And of course, Cullen picked a shark.

In the creative zone.

Back to our cabin for a little recharge time before we went to the water park.

Our Titanic Adventure

August 25, 2019

During his summer break Keane had a little research project to do. Nothing specific, just something or someone that interested him. Having recently finished a book on the Titanic, he became a little obsessed and decided this would be the focus of his research. Very quickly he discovered that the Titanic was built in Belfast, Northern Ireland, so I asked him if while we were in Ireland he’d like to take a trip to Belfast to visit the Titanic museum. The answer was a hard and enthusiastic “Yes!!” So one of the days of our trip, we drove North to spend the day stepping back in time.

The lads enjoying a wee chat on the short walk along the docks to the museum.

The museum there in the background and the ship Nomadic in the foreground. The last ship built by The White Star Company, who also built the Titanic. (See, this girl was a good listener on her museum visit)

Regular stops to look at everything.

As well as regular stops to climb on everything.

Titanic Museum.

So many minutes spent running around and climbing the museum sign. I was beginning to wonder if they’d want to go in at all.

The whole mood of the museum tour is very dark. Cos obviously we’re dealing with a subject matter that ended in a complete disaster, so everything is set mostly in darkness. So not a lot of picture snapping. But at this point of the tour we stopped to look out at the dock where Titanic was built and where it set sail.

The route and stops made by Titanic on its maiden voyage which was suppose to end in New York.

The Titanic experience is amazing. There was a lot about the history of ship building in Belfast and life in general in the city at the time. Which I found really interesting but the boys struggled through. What they really enjoyed was the simulation of being on the Titanic. The room that played the morse code call for help from the Titanic over and over again. And of course the reconstruction of the moment the Titanic hit the iceberg and started to sink. That is what they came for. ¬†Action, adventure and disaster. Lots of questions about why there weren’t enough life boats, if any of the passengers got eaten by sharks, why couldn’t people just swim…..so many questions, my brain was spinning.

The spot of the Titanic’s keel laying ceremony. The place where construction of the ship began is now another play opportunity for the boys.

Keane running the length of the dock.

If you ever get the opportunity to visit Belfast, definitely make time to hit up the Titanic museum.