Archive for June, 2014

2 Week Break

June 19, 2014

Its that time of year when people travel, take breaks, go on vacations, and for the next 2 weeks, we will be doing the same. The Husband, the boys and I are heading to Boston where we will spend a nice couple of weeks hanging and playing with Keane & Cullen’s cousins. We’re all very excited, especially Keane and I’m looking forward to experiencing Boston in the summer. I’ve only ever visited in the thick of the winter iciness and snow, so this is going to be a toasty change. Sadly, I will not be traveling with my laptop, as that passed away early last year and as of yet, I have not gotten around to replacing it. As a result the blog will be on hiatus for the next 2 weeks. I will of course be bringing my camera, but I won’t have the ability to share any photos until we get back home. But I may throw a random cell phone photo up here and there, just to break the long stretch of blog silence.

So soak up and enjoy as much of these cheeky little faces as you can now, and we will talk again in a couple of weeks.

Because The Husband is out of the country on this special day for Father’s, the boys found another way of wishing him a “Happy Father’s Day” and for a little added sweetness, they let him know that he was missed too. But as I’ve recently discovered, shooting kids gets harder and harder the older they get. Cullen is at the complete mercy of his Bumbo seat, so he stays wherever it is I place him, but his big brother is as unpredictable as it gets. I consider myself very lucky that I was able to nail this one decent shot. Both boys looking at the camera and Keane in the middle of yelling “Happy Father’s Day Dada”

Right after I snagged the above shot, the wheels came of the entire project. Keane was in the creative zone, finding new ways to use Dada’s sign.

The entire project was spread out over 2 days. Day 1 and the focus was all on sign creation. Day 2 was all about capturing the photo of the boys with the sign. And trust me, it was best to spread the project out, cos after spending quite some time on the coloring, Keane was too tired to work it for the camera. And I wasn’t up for the challenge of forcing him. I’m all about picking my battles. But here he is on Day 1, marker in hand and ready to color.

Cullen awake from his nap and ready to join the party.

I’ve no idea what made the little fella laugh this hard, but I’m glad it did.

Absolute intense concentration as Cullen observes Keane putting the lids back on the markers.

But then some tears. On a separate but very much related note, I’d like to wish my own Dad a “Happy Father’s Day”.

Party Like a 2 Year Old

June 11, 2014

I know the grandparents have been waiting patiently for some photos from Keane’s birthday party, and I would have posted some sooner, but i’ve been struggling a bit with illness the past 2 days, so the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of a glaring computer screen. For all you new parents out there or soon to be parents, word of warning, toddler birthday parties will wear you the heck out, make no mistake about it. And these little monsters can trash a house in less than 5 minutes after it took you 3 days to get it ready for the big occasion. But all the little monsters enjoyed themselves, especially the birthday boy, and at the end of the day or illness, thats all that really matters. So on with the pictures.

Keane is big into Dora these days, so we went with a Dora theme for the party. Here is his fabulous cake.

And someone can’t wait to get his little mitts at the cake.

“Happy Birthday” time.

Look at the shy little face as everyone sings “Happy Birthday” to him.

And for a change I was able to be part of the photos thanks to my friend Gianne.

Keane and his friend Colin eyeball each other over some balloons.

My friend Gianne and her 10 month old son Grayson.

This photo cracks me up. I asked Keane’s friend Byrson to get in a photo with Keane, so he walks up behind him, puts 2 hands on his shoulders and poses. Too cute.

Grayson takes Keane’s old walker for a test drive. But was more interested in giving it a taste test.

Slowly he pulls himself up and starts to shuffle forward.

Keane’s friend Emma helps him take on the hula-hoop.

Brsyon found Keane’s favorite police car and for a second I thought Keane was going to get upset cos someone else was playing with “his” car.

But the boys found a way for both of them to enjoy it. Sharing can be such a hard lesson for a 2 year old to learn.

Laila wanted not 1, but 2 party hats.

Noah, Keane’s friend from school.

Cullen was tired of sharing his momma with everyone and made his feelings about it very clear.

The after-party saw the beginning of a hula-hoop challenge. Piotrek is the first to go and fails.

Keane nails it, with a little help from Emma.

But Emma was the clear winner, making everyone else look really bad.

Cullen cheers up while watching the hula-hoop challenge.

Time to open some gifts.

Keane looks very serious as he listens to Emma read out who each gift is from.

The “Bro” of the birthday boy.

Baby Maya and baby Cullen.

Love Cullen’s expression here. The classic “Mom, stop embarrassing me” pose.

Baby Maya wants in on some of the gift opening.

Keane shares some of his new cars with her.

Maya is clearly shocked by this whole birthday business.

The boys!

My eldest baby turned 2 today. I cannot believe its been a whole year since his first birthday. Time is literally flying by. Last year I decided to make it a goal of mine to capture photos of my babies every year on the exact day that they were born, i.e their birthday. And yes its only year 2, but so far, so good as we continue on our goal achieving path. (You can CLICK HERE to see Keane’s photos from last year).

This year I will say that the picture taking, was very challenging. I now have a toddler on my hands who in the past year has acquired himself a very extensive vocabulary, along with plenty of thoughts, opinions, wants and unwants (no judging, just be glad I didn’t go with “diswants”). During this years shoot there were definitely more breaks, plenty of bribery and all kinds of tricks to distract him from telling me “No momma, is too hard for me. Ah done now”

But I persevered and here is my little fella, 2 years to the day since his arrival.

As you can tell, Keane is sporting a nose injury. He picked this sucker up after he fell off his Bat-mobile while playing outside with Dada. It took all of my willpower not to kill The Husband. Of all the weeks, ALL THE WEEKS, his birthday week. Grrrrrr!

Now in the US they refer to cuts and scraps as “boo-boo’s”, no idea why, but if you ask Keane to show you his boo-boo, he first points to his chin.

But if you remind him of his fall from the Bat-mobile, he will instantly point to the big old scab on his nose.

For his new birthday kicks Keane chose a rocking pair of Spiderman shoes. He hasn’t the first idea who Spiderman is or what he’s about, but he insists on wearing Spiderman pajamas to bed every night and Spiderman shoes during the day.

Yay! 2 today!

Of course I needed to get a photo of the new little brother Keane acquired since his first birthday,

So here is the “Momma I’m over this sh*t” face.

So I let him off to explore in the forrest, but I really wanted to get a few more shots of Keane & Cullen together, so with a little creative sweet talking, I got him to agree to help Cullen with his tummy time.

But good luck getting both boys to look at the camera at the same time.

Cant help feeling like they’re both planning something here. Payback maybe?

“Peace Out”, Keane is off again.

But eventually he came back for what I promised was the last shot.  And I wasn’t lying, it was the last shot I asked him to do anything in, the rest of the photos I captured as he went about his business of playing.

Stopping to investigate a very busy ant colony.

As always, happiest when he gets to play naked or partially naked.

Cullen chillin, watching all the action from the sidelines.

Until it was time to get in the game.

Keane loving the challenge of trying to get both him and Cullen onto the Bat-mobile.

Eventually Keane’s nappy/diaper came off and he went for a cooling skinny dip in the paddling pool. But we won’t be sharing any of those photos here. Future grown up Keane would never thank me for it. Here he is wrestling his little brother into the pool to play with him.

But as soon as Cullen got in, Keane ran off, so Cullen had a splash around with my friend Mike instead.

And this is where Keane ran off to, “swimming in da bucket momma”.

Baby Gilbert

June 5, 2014

WARNING: If your of a delicate disposition, get grossed out easily or have a very sensitive gag reflex, then this is not the blog post for you. You should virtually run away now and use your surfing time to check out cute puppies or sneezing baby pandas.

The other morning Keane and I were rushing out of the house to go get him a smashing new hair cut. As usual he was lagging behind, pointing out various things like dada’s shoes sitting by the door, random stones in the driveway or various bugs and butterflies. But this particular morning he kept repeating “baby duck momma“.  Being more focused on trying to encourage him towards the car so we wouldn’t be late for his appointment, I paid no real attention to what he was saying. But he wouldn’t let it go. He kept saying over and over again, “baby duck momma“. Finally I went over to see what he was talking about and there at the bottom of the steps was a baby bird. Fintan, our cat had obviously been on the prowl, found himself a birds nest and had heartlessly taken one of the babies from the nest and left it for us as a gift. Not exactly a positive element to our kitty cats personality, but such is nature. Assuming he was dead, I was getting ready to do what I usually do with Fintan’s “gifts”, trash it. But thats when I noticed this little fella was still breathing. Now everything changed and I couldn’t in good conscious discard of the tiny guy.

We called for back-up in the shape of The Husband and believing we knew the nest he had been taken from, we set to work trying to return him to his momma. Keane was loving the drama and excitement and was disappointed when Dada was the one who got to climb the ladder in an attempt to return the baby bird to what we hoped was his home. But it wasn’t. It was no birdies home. It was an abandoned nest. Now what? We had no way of figuring out where this guy came from, so we did what we always do when we find lost and homeless creatures, we took him in.

We set him up with a warm and cozy bed in a carrier bag. That way he could be zipped in and remain safe from the claws of Fintan again, and from there I had zero clue of what to do for this guy. No question he was just recently hatched, we’re talking a day or 2 old at the most. His skin was as thin as tissue paper and completely transparent. You could literally identify every organ in his tiny body. I hit up the Google machine for some guidance and from there I prepared a cocktail of mushed up egg yolk and milk and started to syringe it into his begging beak one tiny drop at a time. You could actually see the food travel down his esophagus all the way to this stomach, that’s how transparent he was. Keane was loving it, talking about how “likkle” he was and how sad he must be without his momma. We decided to call him Gilbert and for the next 48 hours, Gilbert was a the most loved and popular member of the family. We did our best for the little guy, but the claw wounds he received from Fintan, eventually lead to his passing. It was the saddest thing ever, watching his slow deterioration, knowing there was nothing you could do but make him comfortable.

Not really understanding all that was happening, Keane was happy just looking and talking to little Gilbert.

Little Gilbert, no more than a couple of days hatched.

Remember, if your grossed out, I did warn you. But how cool is this? Look how small he is, battery sized and just like I said, completely transparent.

His cozy home for the final 48 hours of his life. RIP tiny Gilbert.