We’re Irish Bygod

March 19, 2018

I’ve been living in the US now for almost 18 years. And over those years I’ve obviously become very Americanized in many, many ways. Lets just say my accent is a complete mess. In those early years of living here I worked so hard to tone down the heavy Kildare edge in my speech, mostly cos nobody understood a word I was saying and I got tired repeating myself 2 and 3 times. And also cos you get really tired of the “oh my gaud, you have an accent, where are you from?” conversation. So in the same way you learn a new langauge, I listened intently to “the locals” and quickly leaned the alternative words and phrases they used and did my best to mirror it. Which made for more efficient conversations as people were now less distracted by the way I spoke or the words I used. I’m using the accent as the most obvious example of my Americanization (not that you can hear my accent as I type), and I’m not implying that being Americanized is all bad, but its the awareness of the shift within myself that motivates me to work extra hard to drive home to the lads that as well as being American, they are in fact also very Irish. So of course when St. Patricks Day rolls around, you better believe this Irish Mammy lays the Irishness on thick. The house is a blaze of green, white and orange. The entire month of March and there’s a special effort made to make sure most of the clothes worn come from the tricolor color palette. St. Patricks Day morning, to the soundtrack Irish rebel songs, we enjoy patriotic pancakes. Basically shamrock shaped pancakes decorated with green and orange M & M’s. Then for a little bit of kid friendly craic, we invite some friends over for a Leprechaun pot of god hunt, followed by shamrock cookie decorating. You know, a fun and friendly way for us to force our Irishness down the throats of others. But sure the kids love it.

Case and point, Keane and his friend (not girlfriend I’m told, a friend who is a girl) Ella and their pure excitement to get this pot of gold hunt started.

Cullen and his friend Henry join the gang and the hunt is under way.

Cos they are the only 2 of the group that can read, Keane and Ella are responsible for reading the clue left by the leprechauns.

Off they go!

The trail, designed by the leprechauns in a “cannot fail” manner. Basically follow the green and orange ribbons.

The Irish flag marks the spot.

Let the digging begin.

Opps, in the digging frenzy Cullen takes a little dirt to the face.

Ella sees something.

Hooray! One pot of pure chocolatey leprechaun gold.

The grab is on. Time to fill up their own pots.

Dexter desperately sniffing for some chocolate leftovers.

Victory lap.

The rush back to the house to eat chocolate.

Later in the day, after a few hours play to burn off the gold consumption, we got stuck into shamrock cookie decorating.

Dexter in a good spot for any fallen treats.

Shake Your Shamrocks

March 18, 2018

Heres hoping your St. Patricks weekend was full of all things green, white and orange. Luck a plenty, cabbage by the pot full and Guinness by the pint full. St. Patricks day in this house has taken on a much tamer style of celebration since the kids arrived. Fun, but of the more responsible, kid friendly kind, which I’ll be sharing here tomorrow. For now, feast your eyes on some of the patriotic decor that went into to making our home, the home of a proud Irish immigrant and her dual citizen offspring.

A spontaneous offer to go to a friends lake house, led to a spontaneous weekend of living the lake life. True, lake living is typically a summer based activity, also true was the fact that it bucketed rain the entire weekend, but the best thing to do in that kind of situation is NOT to let the weather beat you. Pack your rain gear, throw in the wellies, load everybody (husband, kids, visiting track athletes & a dog) into several cars and carry on with the plan to fish and boat like theres nothing but clear blue skies, breezes of the calm and gentle sort blowing freshly across the bay, instead of the chilly, abusive and often siding slapping winds. Anyways, you get the point, it rained and there was wind, but despite the elements there was good food, good fun, chilled wine and lots of adventure had.

The weekend accommodations.

Layered up and ready for the day.

Keane and our new friend Kent enjoying the birds eye view.

Daddy and Keane off for a little exploring.

Our weekend host, Madison playing the part of aqua Uber shuttling people back and forth to the better dock for catching fish. First load, his kids Kent & Reece.

On the way back to Uber myself and the boys.

Reece helping Keane get his fishing rod baited.

Here fishy, fishy.

Fresh from her 400m victory at World Indoors, Courteny Okolo spending her recovery week playing with us in the great outdoors.

Also back from World Indoors, Vernon Norwood, a fishing pro when he’s not busy at oval office.

Cullen preferring to terrorize the tiny fish population with his prehistoric sea creatures.

Still nothing biting.

A change of location, might change our fish catching luck.

Cullen checking on the progress.

The face you make when you’re bored waiting for fish.

No luck with the fish, time to take the speed boat out. Asafa was very excited to get behind the wheel, but not before some words of warning from this concerned momma about not sending my kids overboard with silly water donuts.

Post driving fun and Asafa is seated in the kid zone :)

Keane loved hanging out with the big kids for the weekend.

And Cullen had way too much fun playing with the bucket of minnows.

Endless catch and release fun.

This has become an annual event for the boys. The Jurassic Exhibit comes to town the same time every year. We get our tickets and go. I think this is our 4th year. And sadly (but honestly, from my perspective, not too sad. These exhibits are only in town for a few days and as a result, can get very crowded and completely overwhelming) I believe this will be our last year. While the boys enjoyed the experience, they were completely underwhelmed. It was more of a visit of recognition, “Yep, theres the T-Rex we remember”. “See, they still have the dinosaur rides & the fossil digging.” The play area with all of its various dino themed bouncy houses gave them the most joy. Well, that and the arrival of some baby dinosaurs to this years exhibit. Otherwise, it was a business and usually experience.

Greeted upon arrival by Giganotosaurus.

A prehistoric bar brawl.

One dino loving 4 year old.

Its not really a hands on type of exhibit, but I pretended not to notice and really, wheres the proof?

Cullen vs Mosasaurus.

Dino ridin time!

Always a fan of the fossil digging.

Keane working hard on the bungee run.

Only to end up yanked backwards everytime.

Wahoo! Back on the feet, ready to go again.


Waiting impatiently for the baby dinos.

Baby triceratops.

Baseball Season

March 6, 2018

The life struggle is real these days. Days are packed full. So many things need to get accomplished. Yet I get to the end of each day and it feels like nothing got done. Or at least all the stuff that was achieved, was all the stuff thats invisible. You know, the endless lists of ¬†tasks that only every gain any attention should they not get done. Like an empty fridge or cupboard suddenly being restocked with everyones favorite and varying foods and snacks. Its empty toothpaste, shampoo and shower gel bottles suddenly getting replaced with new ones. Toilet paper appearing where an empty roll once sat. Draws always (well mostly) kept full with freshly washed and folded laundry. Its the buying, wrapping and shipping of birthday gifts. Its remembering what after school activities are happening on which days and what needs to be prepared ahead of time. On and on, you get the picture. All of this happening around a day job too. And I’m not saying this cos I believe my day to be busier then anyone else’s. Not at all. I know we are all in this struggle of trying to get shit done, daily. I’m mostly sharing as a way to explain the extra long gaps between my blog posts of late. Life is the reason. Plain old exhausting life.

Anyway, enough of the first world problems. Lets talk about the return of baseball season. First practice started last week and I’m happy to report that most of the players from Keane’s team last year, are back again this season. So lots of fun reconnecting with everyone.

Pre-practice chat.

Time for the warm up.

Teammates David and Bryson.

Battling practice warm up.

Cullen not yet showing any consistent interest in playing baseball, but the coaches are awesome enough to let him jump in and out of some of the practice activities on the days he does feel like dabbling. This day he was happy to watch and play in the dirty.

This season the kids will be using the pitching machine. No more hitting the ball off a tee. Here Keane is getting ready to bat from the pitching machine for the first time.

Coaching tips from coach.

And the first ball is pitched.

Not to brag, but Keane hit the shit out of the ball. He hit 2 out of 4 pitched balls. A 50% success rate. Not bad for a rookie.

Next up, Bryson.

Bryson also gets a hit on the ball.

Back in the dirty, theres a shark invasion happening.

Next up, catching practice.

These two, sharing ball catching stories.

Cullen stretching. Getting warmed up for the post-practice playtime.

Post-practice Team talk, but Keane and Bryson seem busy with their own conversation.

Now we’re focused.

Cullen with some things to talk to Keane about.

Teammate David, asked me to take a photo of him with Keane & Cullen.

And now we’re just wild men, running wild.

When your brother goes down, you sit on him, obvi.

Non stop wrestling with these boys.

I have no idea whats on Cullen’s finger. But my imagination was jumping to the worst conclusions. Keane’s reaction is not one of repulsion. So maybe its not as bad as I think.