Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Take To The Ice

January 14, 2018

The Massachusetts thread of their genetic make-up has surfaced. The boys have decided they want to try ice-hockey. But before we can hockey, we have to learn to skate. So last week skating 101 began. Funny enough, this was an activity Cullen showed particular excitement about. Usually a child of resistance, it was so refreshing not to have to battle him out of his comfort zone.

Up for anything and everything is Keane. Game face and all.

Bros.

Checking in with the skate coach.

All listening attentively.

Now, time to get up on those skates.

We are vertical. High-five!

Cullen’s technique was more of a crawl to the barrier, then drag himselves up.

Different technique, but same result, we are on our feet.

Now to make it across the rink.

Opps, struggling slightly here.

A little help from coach.

Off we go.

Wahoo! They all made it.

Now, to get back.

Keane doing really well and in the total zone.

At times it looked like Cullen was enjoying the attention falling brought him.

Another successful rink crossing where Daddy and Grandma watched encouragingly.

A little friendly banter with our fellow skaters.

And would you look who’s skating solo, Cullen.

Down.

But back up.

Still nailing it.

Yay! for a great first lesson. Tired, but happy.

Snow Mountain Day

January 9, 2018

The temperatures here in Georgia the past couple of weeks have hit record breaking lows. We’re talking teens for Fahrenheit, thats below zero on the Celsius scale. Baltic by even Baltic standards. Yet, not a snowflake in sight. “Too cold to snow” they say, which to me doesn’t make a lick of sense. Might the snow clouds be too frozen to release their flakes?? A question I feel best left to the pondering within my brain, least I ask it to a smug “in the know” weather expect (or person who believes themselves to be) and subject myself to laughter based largely on mockery, followed by a lengthy speech based largely on climatology and atmospheric physics. #snore. Anyway, freezing weather or not, last week we made our way Stone Mountain Park, to participate in their annual Snow Mountain. True we might have questioned our stupidity level on the drive there when we noticed the temperature gauge in the car reading 17F (thats a -8C). But in true Irish fashion, uttering those 5 magic words, “feck it sure its grand“, we reassured ourselves that our decision to power on was in fact anything but stupid. But it was cold. Biting cold. Luckily the Snow Mountain fun requires a high level of physical effort, dragging tubes that the boys insisted on sitting in, up a series of ramps to the top of the slopes. That definitely kept the blood flowing and the body temps toasty.

Here we are, Stone Mountain Park, ready to ride the slopes. My camera for this adventure was my iPhone, giving the nature of the activity, it was just a more practical way to capture photos.

Cullen, Keane and their friend, Bryson not making this up hill tube dragging any easier.

Keane and Bryson first to go.

A successful ride down and the boys wait for Aisha (Bryson’s mom) to tube her way to the bottom.

The brothers.

Bryson and Aisha.

Cullen & Keane.

Then we all decided to ride the Avalanche. A tube big enough to take us all.

There we go.

After 2 hours of tubing the big slopes, we hit up the smaller slopes, where the kids can ride endlessly and by themselves.

Keane.

Cullen loved it.

The snow here is manufactured, a type of shaved ice, so its hard, not soft and fluffy and it doesn’t really stick together well for building. But it didn’t stop the boys from doing all the stuff you do in the snow when you 3 & 5 yrs old.

The FedEx Christmas

January 6, 2018

We thought we’d made it through the maddens of Christmas. The gifts were all opened and now they were finding new places in our home, with some encouragement from Momma that new place would be the play room and not all over the living room floor with occasional overflow into the kitchen. Then 2 days after Christmas FedEx showed up and unloaded 2 massive boxes on our doorstep. What in the world? Neither the Husband or I had ordered anything of that magnitude recently, and Santa definitely didn’t forget any of the requested gifts this year. So again, what in the world? Upon opening what was revealed was 2 big, shiny, one green, one red, motorized, miniature 4-wheelers for the boys, from their cousins (aunt Nara & uncle Mookie may have had something to do with it too) in Massachusetts. As both the Husbands and my jaws dropped to the floor, the boys bounced and screamed with excitement all over the house. Suddenly I’m trying to recall what exactly I sent them for Christmas and suddenly I’m feeling slightly mortified. Eeeer, hope your gifts fit lads, and provide lots of cozy layers in the face of Bomb Cyclone 2018 (shame faced).

Once the 4-wheelers were assembled they needed to charge for 18 hours. But that didn’t stop the boys playing fantasy drive while they charged.

So happy.

Let the smack talk commence.

The following morning fully charged and not even 8am yet, we’re all outside taking these babies for a ride.

Cullen on course for his first collision.

After getting tangled Keane gives Cullen a lesson in reversing.

Liberated and headed down the driveway.

Oh, someone is gaining on Cullen.

Lapped!

Mean faced driver.

Keane the taunter.

When your pissed off getting lapped.

Cullen figured the best way to catch Keane, was to run him down, literally.

Race mode.

Parking spot.

You know the confidence is high when you got tricks that involve no hands. Hopefully that doesn’t lead to no teeth.

Christmas 2017

January 3, 2018

Christmas week at our house was just like everyone else’s, busy. Santa comes but once a year and thank god for that, cos the preparations for his arrival are intense and many. One of the final tasks we had left to carry out before we considered ourselves officially ready, was the making and decorating of the cookies Santa loves to eat at each and every house he visits. So Christmas Eve we had some friends over and we all got busy making cookies.

Cullen and his friend Amaya doing most of the heavy lifting in the kitchen. Mixing, rolling and cutting all of the cookie dough.

Of course everyone showed up for the best part, the decorating.

Keane favored heavily the festive red icing for his cookies. Looks more like a cookie blood bath if you ask me.

His friend Julian went for mostly green. A touch of Irish in his heritage perhaps?

Cullen cared little about the icing, he was all about the candy.

As long as his cookies had M&M’s, chocolate chips and sprinkles, then he was happy.

Yes for sugar in abundance.

Julian and Amaya team up on some of their Santa cookies.

Still abusing that red icing.

Cullen, proud of his work and eager to show everyone.

Of course we had to taste some of the cookies, just to make sure they were up to Santa standards.

Hooray for cookies!

Trying to get a picture of their finished work and all I got was them bickering over who wasn’t holding the tray right and almost let the cookies fall.

But there they are. Fabulous cookies for Santa.

Now its Christmas morning, somewhere between 6.15am and 6.45am. And would you look at that, Santa brought us exactly what we asked for, and then some. Trucks and truck themed gifts in abundance for Cullen.

Keane got his requested drone and also this punching/kicking bag. I have a feeling this is a gift Momma might enjoy too. Especially on some of those more frustrating days.

A 4D viewer. I wish I could tell you more than that, but I don’t really know much about it. The boys loved it though.

This photo, cos it shows the absolute disaster zone the house became with each opened gift.

Once all presents had been ripped open, the boys begin to settle in and start playing with some favorites.

After giving Keane’s drone enough time to charge, we took it out for a test flight.

In addition to trucks, Cullen’s newest obsession is sharks.

We have lift off for drone pilot Keane.

Up she goes.

Just before dinner Grandma & Grandpa arrived with more gifts.

We also had gifts for them. Keane chose this cow painting for Pa. Not cos Pa has a preference towards agricultural art, Keane simply saw it and decided Pa needed it in his life.

Cullen helps Grandma open her gift.

And look how proud he is that he chose this truck painting for her. Clearly he picked this out before he crossed over the the shark side.

Hello 2018!

December 31, 2017

Well I didn’t really intend on not posting over the Christmas. Between trying to keep up with the energy levels of 2 kids high on Christmas and 2 days when I was feeling like absolute crap, it just kind of work out that way. But here we are, back at it and ready to share some of whats been going on. I’m going to start with New Years, since that just happened today and then share backwards with some photos from our Christmas.

Celebrating New Years with kids is not always the easiest. Its frowned upon to take them to the bar for drinks and of course everyone would have an opinion (mostly negative) if you tried to get into a club wearing your 2018 tiara, carrying your party blower in one hand and your child in the other. The world can be such a judgy place. But this year I found out that the Fernbank Museum here in Atlanta was having a “Noon Years Party” especially for kids. It kicked off at 9am and at 12pm was the scheduled countdown with accompanying balloon drop to ring in the new year, kid style. It was such a good idea and although the balloon drop was a bit chaotic, the kids had a blast.

The dinosaurs at the museum entrance was a welcome site for my boys of course.

A bubble blower on hand to get everyone in the party vibe.

Keane & Cullen just watching.

Until a bubble found itself floating their way, now we can’t contain ourselves.

Keane’s impressed by the size of this bubble.

The bubble man lets Cullen have a go at making his own bubbles.

Inside and there are the balloons, waiting patiently to be dropped.

To pass the time looked around at some of the dinosaur bones and fossils.

Then we went to check out the museums new Wildwoods & Forest trails.

This climbing spiral thing that lead up to a rope bridge.

Cullen needed a little help to look through the telescope.

These cool branch huts.

Of course my 2 have to try and squeeze into the smallest hut.

Its almost noon so time to get back inside for the “New Year” countdown.

Everyones starting to gather, looking for the best spot for the balloon drop.

The dinosaurs have the best view.

Cullen’s got his party blower and he’s ready for some balloons.

Keane’s ready to party too.

10-9-8-7-6………and there go the balloons.

Of course it was absolute chaos. Kids stepping on and over each other trying to grab and stomp on balloons.

Keane manages to grab himself 2.

Cullen just grabbed the 1 ballon in his favorite color and was done. He was not a fan of the chaos.

The stress of trying to hang on to 3 balloons with only 2 hands was too much for Keane.

Daddy to the rescue. He was the protector of the balloons.

Once he’d secured some balloons to take home, Keane was up for stomping on whatever was left.

It became emotional for a lot kids out there.

Music blasting, balloons popping all over the place, not what Cullen wanted to hear obviously.