The weather put its best face forward for the weekend Birthday shenanigans, so Sunday we took the crew to the lake for a lazy day of, well, laziness. And even though the weather is still warm and toasty, the water temperatures are starting to drop. Too chilly for the boys to want to do much cannon balling or swimming, but happy enough to ride shot-gun with momma on her paddle board.
The surprise birthday guests, chillin on the dock while we get the boat fired up.
Loaded up and ready to set sail.
Keane, looking way to grown, chatting with the grown ups.
Derv gives the sun a chance to tint her milky Irish skin. Cullen enjoys some snacks.
First out on the water, Cullen and momma.
I had the nerve to assume Derv couldn’t paddle board. In fairness she’s not a great swimmer and she hates the water, so you can see my logic. So here she is highly offended and demonstrating her almost flawless paddle boarding skills.
A tandem paddle.
That moment when your bestie wants to go from sitting to standing and your sure its about to end with everyone getting tossed over board.
But it doesn’t, and now your balancing animals.
Keane wants in on the balance act.
A little sibling battle over who’s driving us back to the dock.
I guess Keane’s the winner.
Fabulous end, to a fabulous day and a fabulous birthday.
I love my birthday, lots. In fact, I tend to dedicate the entire month of October to myself. For four solid weeks my outlook on life is a lot more shiny, my mood is chirppy, my energy high and I’m just an all around fabulous person to be around. I buy myself things, small things, things I would usually talk myself out of any other month of the year, believing them unnecessary, impulsive or silly, now suddenly these things are completely justified, cos ”fuck it, its my birthday month”, so into the basket you go you nonessential rose gold stapler, and you, risky and out of character nail polish cos OMG if there’s ever a time to buy a nail polish called “Bad Bitch” its your birthday month. Having said all that, ironically enough, I don’t like to make a big deal of my actual birth-day. I’m not loud or in-your-face about it. I don’t want big parties, big announcements or big fuss, but I don’t want it ignored either. Everything low key, a cake, candles (blown out by the kids obviously) and thoughtful cards is plenty.
But last week in the lead up to the official day of my birth, The Husband organized some pretty amazing surprises. A surprise that included the arrival of my older brother from Ireland. The day after that, buried under a bunch of balloons the size of a mini cooper, carrying an oversized bottle of champagne was my best friend, also flown in from Ireland. I was absolutely gob smacked, mortified, embarrassed but a little delighted by the effort and fuss everyone had gone to. What I believed was going to be a quiet dinner for The Husband and I to mark the occasion, had suddenly turned into something a lot more special. And I couldn’t have been happier. Getting to spend the weekend with some of my favorite people, recieving thoughtful e-mails, text messages and shout-outs on Facebook, toasting my existence in the world, these moments were everything. Happy Birthday to me!
After our special Friday night dinner, that was for the grown-ups only, I wanted to spend the rest of the weekend doing things that included all of us. And since Halloween is just around the corner and we had yet to get our traditional Halloween pumpkins, Saturday we took ourselves off to the pumpkin farm.
I know 2 little boys who are happy to see some big orange vegetables.
Straight to work picking the right pumpkins.
An ambitious choice by Cullen.
Slightly more manageable choice by Keane.
Cullen in crisis. Trying to carrying his truck, a baby pumpkin and a bigger pumpkin. The pumpkin & truck struggle is real.
Daddy to the rescue.
The pumpkin farm is not just about pumpkins, there’s lots of other fun activities. Keane was a fan of the tunnel slide.
Cullen was more into the the pump-ducks. Not 100% sure what to do initially, he spent the first few minutes observing Derv in action.
Now he knows and now he’s ready for his turn.
He got a little impatient with the pumping, apparently it didn’t move the ducks quick enough, so he found a bucket and started pouring.
With the lads tearing off in different directions, Derv was left taking care of the wagon.
A shirt change for Cullen due to a water soakage at the duck-pump. Putting his truck to work carrying baby pumpkins.
Cullen dictates the pumpkin choices from the comfort of his wagon.
Another family photo.
Family and friend.
Anyone for a tractor ride?
Cullen utilized the corn hole platforms as a ramp for his truck.
Want to know what its like to be a hamster? Then get yourself into one of these Roly-Poly tubes. Major fun.
Keane had it mastered pretty quickly.
Me on the other hand.
Finally getting some momentum.
Smiling, but my thighs were burning something awful.
Someone’s having the best time.
Derv gives it a go.
But gets herself in a situation.
Keane finds himself upside down.
The brothers captured in a driveway moment.
One last go of the pump-ducks before we leave.
Leaving with quite the load.
Well as it turns out, Cullen’s stomach virus got us all. It struck like a domino, Cullen, then me, then Keane, then The Husband. It was violent, painful and exhausting. I went so many rounds with the toilet in the space of 28 hours that by the end of the whole projectile vom ordeal, I wanted to rip it from the ground and take it home with me. We were bonded now. Loo had seen me at my worst yet never left me. Common sense told me that the conversation at check-out might be a bit awkward, so reluctantly I left her, with just our shared memories. Oh, did I mention I was off on a fabulous weekend getaway with a good friend of mine when the virus struck? Well I was. My first weekend without kids, since having kids. What f*#king luck. Illness stole our joy, my appetite, about 2lbs of hydration, my will to live and a good chunk of cash cos of some of the things we missed out on in that 28hours. But danm, when that virus lifted, we hit the activities, the restaurant and the juice bar (was still too soon for the alcohol) hard. We made the absolute best of what was left of the weekend. If we’re Facebook or Instagram friends you saw a 1 minute video of some of the things we got up to. My blog is old and in desperate need of an upgrade, so not able to share said video here. Anyway, we are back in real life now. Back in the driving seat of parenthood. Our weekend of fun (illness didn’t steal out sense of humor) a distant memory.
Currently working through some photos of our Fall Day of Fun earlier this week. So a day or 2 and this photo will be shared in context.
You know winter is approaching when the first person in the house gets sick. Yep, seasonal illness has hit our home and our first victim was the youngest member of the family, Cullen. Tuesday night I put him to bed. Everything was normal. He and his brother were hyper, standard for most kids right before bedtime. Storytime went smoothly, followed by the routine hugs, kisses, tucking in then lights out. However, not 30 minutes later, with barely my first glass of wine drained, Cullen was suddenly awake and projectile vomiting all over himself and the bed. WTF?? And so started a long night with endless rounds of projectile puke, followed by endless changes of pajamas, bed sheets, blankets and pillows. Even a middle of the night shower to wash the smelly chunky bile out of his hair. Obviously all those puke stained pjs, sheets, blankets and pillows couldn’t be allowed to sit until morning, no, the fallout from that would have been an environmental disaster, so began the endless laundry. And all of this between the hours of 8.30pm and 6.00am the following morning. Yep, it was a busy night. Slowly, with every passing day the stomach virus is working its way out of him. But we are all completely wiped out. The goal now is to avoid passing it around to anyone else. Absolutely nobody wants that. Only so much of those puked filled nights this momma can take.
But in the healthier days, prior to illness, when the boys played happily together and worked as a team to build themselves a noodle house.
Keane had the genius idea to add a propeller to the top. And just like that, we had ourselves a helicopter house.
Now of course both of them want to move into the helicopter house, or at the least, enjoy a snack.
Last week our family grew by 1. On a random break in his work day, The Husband found himself foraging in a forest, next to lake, as you do, when he came across a dirt hole with some eggs. One of the eggs became very active and as he watched, a tiny turtle poked out his tiny head, 1 tiny arm and a leg. Instead of leaving him alone, The Husband scoops him up, gives him temporary accommodation in a chicken nugget box and transports him back to our house so the boys can watch a live turtle hatching. Instantly the boys were completely absorbed and invested in Turtle’er (thats his name) and his plight for egg freedom, and instantly I knew this guy was not once hatched, going to be released back to the wild like I hoped. No, Turtle’er was now the turtle we never had or ever knew we wanted.
Keane was committed, during his hatching process, Turtle’er was never left alone, not even when we had to take Cullen to his swim class.
While Cullen and his friend Wyatt swam, Tirtle’er and Keane watched.
Then suddenly Turtle’er broke free of his egg.
As soon as we got home, we prepared to move him into larger accommodations.
A bigger tub with some flat rocks so he could choose to be in or out of water. Choices, very important.
Water, also very important if your a turtle.
The move from his baby tub, to his big turtle tub.
And there he is. Happy, I think.
Turtle’er has been with us for 5 days now and honestly the poor guy hasn’t had a seconds peace. Keane is constantly bothering him, but in a very gentle way. I try to skillfully coach him in the direction of leaving him alone, but I appear to have zero skill in that department.
Day 3 and Turtle’er got yet another upgrade in his accommodations. His very own tank. Heated.
And Keane continued to bother him, this time introducing him to some of his favorite dinosaur toys.
Trying to nap in his little turtle bed.
On top of meeting Keane’s dinosaurs, Cullen also wanted to share some of his favorite crane hooks with Turtle’er.