We’re taking off this week. Off to Massachusetts, to spend time hanging with the cousins, via New Hampshire, where for the 2nd year I’m about to do the Mt Washington 7.6 mile run. If any of you remember, this mountain run nearly killed me last year and I swore I’d never do it again. But here we are, 2 days away from another murderous mountain running adventure. But I’m pretty confident this will definitely be the last time I sign up for this. If I even survive it. So this will will be my last blog entry, well, not THE LAST, just the last until we return 10 days from now. Alive preferably.

Before we readied ourselves for the 10 day trip, we took the time to return out pet turtle, Turtler to his natural home at the lake. We’ve kept him safe, warm and well fed since October, but it was time for Turtler to go home. The lake water temperature is perfect now, so it was the right time to transition him back. There were a few tears from the boys, but they’ve always known he couldn’t stay with us forever. And am sure he’ll pop back up to see us on our day trips back to the lake. At least I’ve told the boys thats whats going to happen.

The final moments in his little tank.

Cullen scoops him up.

And of course there was a fight over who should put him back in the water.

Somehow they came to the agreement that Keane would do it.

And there he goes. Turtler-Fast Little Turtle-Hungry Little Turtle-Doyle (thats his full name).

A while later we were playing around in the lake….

….and look who popped back up to say “Hi”, Turtler.

He hung out for a minute.

Before he dived off and went on his way again.

Cullen thought it was so exciting.

Cullen and Daddy try to do some buggy boarding.

Keane buggy boarding solo.

But they kept a permanent eye put for their turtle friend.

Exhausted and elated, at the end of hard day of partying, as I put Keane to bed he told me 1. he wants to live with momma and dada forever 2. he wants a water slide for his birthday party every year and 3. he had the best birthday ever. Big “Thank You” to every one who came, celebrated and made this Keane’s “best birthday party ever“.

The slide arrived a couple of hours before the party. He’d been waiting 12 months to have another water slide, it was too much to expect that he wait a few more hours for his friends to arrive.

For the first time in 2 years Keane’s party was not dinosaur themed. This year we are all about the geckos.

The friends have arrived, its time to party.

Cullen looking like he’s some type of slide security.

There goes Cullen.

Safe to assume he enjoyed it.

Hmmmm, Cullen and his friend Brendan attempt to walk up the wet and slippery slide.

Honestly, I was surprised not one child was launched over the top of the crash wall. They came down like rockets.

Cake time.

We had a little issue with the candles, the breeze kept blowing out the flame.

Eventually we got there.

Clean up on the youngest.

Water balloons!

We’ll end with a shot of the Birthday Boy.

The forecast was for rain, but we’d already planned our trip to the Georgia countryside to spend the day picking strawberries. And the kids wouldn’t even entertain the idea of an alternative. So the momma’s rallied and readied ourselves for a very wet and muddy strawberry picking experience. We packed the rain jackets and the wellies, the towels and some extra clothes and drove as planned into rural Georgia. As it turned out, the day was glorious. Hot and sunny.

This farm had more to offer than just strawberry picking. The first thing the boys noticed was the jumping pillow, so thats where our country adventure started.

Look, see, I mentioned it in my last post, the wrestling, its a constant thing for the boys these days.

Even Cullen wants to be part of it.

Distracted by some far off noise.

Being the nosey children they are, of course they had to check it out.

It was the goats. Adorable little baby goats.

So excited the baby goat took the blade of grass he offered.

Later our friend Gracie-Jo joined us on the farm.

Tunnel slides, always a popular activity.

Keane and Gracie-Jo hit up the jumping pillow again.

The see-saw at the playground, but only one of the sides had a seat for see-sawing comfort.

Cullen is happy on the side with the seat.

Keane, well, there’s no comfort on his side of things.

So the result was the kids all sat on the side with the seat, while the mommas took turns pumping.

3 kids on, we did try to squeeze Cullen on too, but he got angry cos his spot at the back “was not cozy momma”.

So I took him to the corn crib where I knew he’d have a blast with the trucks.

Not long before the rest of the crew joined him.

Tractor ride to check out the cows at feeding time.

Eventually we got to the strawberry picking part of the day.

This little guy here, my firstborn, today he turned 5 years old. He’s been waiting for this day for so long. A summer baby he is always the last of his school friends to have a birthday. But today he finally caught up. We celebrated the day with just family, this weekend we’ll host a party with all of his friends. But he got his gift, a Wild Kratts power suit and lots of creature power discs. For anyone who is unfamiliar, and as briefly as I can make it, Wild Kratts is an animal wildlife show that Keane is obsessed with right now. In the show the Kratt brothers study various animals and then harness their power into discs that they can then add to their power suits. The discs give them the powers of each of the particular creatures. There, hope thats helped clear up any confusion. Of course as soon as he got it, he wanted to take his suit out and test its creature power effectiveness, so we did. Later in the day we went out for dinner, the choice of restaurant was all Keane’s, and as you might expect from a 5 year old, Chick-Fil-A was his fine dining preference, cos they have an indoor playground.

Keane, as my eldest you represent the parts of motherhood that are new and scary, the areas I have no experience with, but your energy, your brightness, your positivity, your ability to listen and your eagerness to understand helps us all to navigate our way through. For 3 years now you’ve been obsessed with dinosaurs, but recently added geckos and snakes and basically every reptile, extinct and living to your obsession. You are the most adventurous boy I know, always up for a new challenge and experience. The fact that you might not be able to do something, never even occurs to you. You may not nail it the first few times you try, but you never doubt that soon you will. You are always open to meeting new friends and have zeros issues starting up conversations with random people in random places. Your kind and inclusive and a friend to all animals.

If I had to talk about the biggest changes I’ve noticed in you this year, its that your friends have now started to play a bigger role in your life. You ask me to play with you less, instead demanding that I text or call the moms of various friends and see if they can come over or if we can meet up. Little by little you are moving away from being momma’s boy, developing an interest in sports, eager to hang out and help Daddy more, engaging Cullen in your newest games but getting frustrated when his 3 year old mindset doesn’t fully comprehend. Wrestling, always wrestling with your brother and your other guy friends. I mean, whats up with boys and the constant wrestling?? Climbing, climbing and more climbing. And then theres your love for swimming and your biking. Its such a bitter sweet thing to see you grow and watch how quickly you are developing your own sense of self and independence. Its all moving so fast and theres nothing I can do to stop it, just enjoy it and make every day and every experience count. Oh, and capture as many photos as possible, so I can always look back and always remember.

Its great to be 5!

Got his new creature power suit on and we are off to test it out.


Night vision goggles, always handy to wear during the day.

His collection of power discs.

About to pop a power disc into his power suit.

And there it is, he’s about to channel the skills of the Modern Butterfly.

Hmm, now I think we’re working the gecko grip.

Cullen, always along for the ride.

Choosing the next power. Tasmanian Tiger I believe.

Minding his own business, playing with some toy snakes.

More creature powers happening.

Gloves on.

Testing their grip like abilities.

Dinner at Chick-Fil-A and birthday cupcakes to close out a very special day. .

Pool Party

June 5, 2017

My goal tonight was to get myself to bed before midnight. I’m down to the wire, it’s going to be close but if I type fast I can make it happen. So briefly the photos I’m sharing this evening/almost tomorrow morning are from the 5th birthday party of Keane’s friend and classmate, Cannon. Cannon is into sharks right now and wanted to celebrate his half a decade milestone with a pool party. I know technically sharks are not in the habit of residing at neighborhood pools, thank goodness, but the whole water element was a polite nod to the sharks preferred habitat. That and the fact that Cannon just wanted a pool party, so no arguing with the birthday boy thats what I say.

Party is kicking off with a splash around the kiddy pool.

Cullen brought a T-Rex and an alligator. I swear, these kids and their preference for predator type animals. His friend Brendan brought some fish.

Keane ready to go diving.

Little thumbs up letting me know he’s ready to go.

Away we go!

Someone enjoyed that very much and went on to spend the next 30 mins simply diving.

Birthday boy Cannon had never dived before. Here he is finding the courage to take his first dive on his birthday.

The other kids were so cool, they cheered and encouraged him on.

After a few nervous minutes….

…he took off.

Well done Cannon.

Meanwhile, not on the diving board Cullen and our friend Grace Jo.

Busy transporting the marine life around on a floaty.

Off to play in the big pool.

Cullen, just one of the lads.

Keane practicing his backwards dive.

Time for some noodle fun.

Cannon is conquering all kinds of jumping fears today.

Cake time.

A donut birthday cake, yum!