Archive for October, 2014

Fall into Pumpkins

October 16, 2014

We love Fall here in Georgia. Fall means cooler days and even cooler nights. It means pumpkins and apples, and of course Halloween. Last weekend we made our annual trip up into the Georgia mountains to take care of all of our pumpkin needs.

This year was Keane’s third pumpkin farm trip, but it was Cullen’s first.

Not only was it Cullen’s first trip, but it was our little friend Baby Maya’s too.

Being the pumpkin veteran, Keane got a little ambitious with his pumpkin selection.

Until he realized there was no way he could lift a vegetable that size.

So he downgraded his ambitions just a tad and went with something more manageable.

Keane put Cullen in charge of guarding the pumpkins as he went on the hunt for more.

But Cullen had better things to do, like check out these weird mint green and flesh colored pumpkins.

Our friend Mike with Keane and Cullen.

Taking a moment to think deeply.

Taking a moment to find the joy.

Group shot! Rachel, Baby Maya, Keane, Mike and Cullen.

Group shot! But substitute Rachel for me. Just to prove I was actually there.


The lads.

OK, so this image would lead you to believe that Keane is strangling his brother, but I assure you, its a hug.

Maya swears she smells something funky.

No, never mind, everything’s fine.

Time to load up and take these pumpkins home.

When making the decision to have a second baby all The Husband and I wanted was for them to be close. To be best friends, to always look out for each other and to always have each others back. These days we are already seeing this happen. Keane is hands down the best big brother. When he wakes in the morning the first thing he asks is ” Momma, where’s Cu’en?” Whenever we leave the house to go anywhere he reminds me that “Cu’en coming too”. He likes to be the one to demonstrates how all of the toys work and even though it frustrates me, when he sees Cullen wants something, Keane will announce “My get it for you Cu’en”, as a result, my baby boy is learning how to sit there and wait for his big brother to shuttle the objects of interest back and forth to him, rather than figuring ways to get it for himself. So momma had to explain to Keane how Cullen has to learn to do things for himself, so he can grow up to be the best big boy, just like Keane. So now Keane does the complete opposite. Now he will deliberately move toys out of Cullen’s reach, Cullen will put in a huge effort of scooting, crawling and pulling himself up on everything to try and get his hands on the toys, and just as he’s about to grab it, Keane will pull it away again or worse, hide it. All of that time and effort, and in the end, no reward. Its too much for Cullen to bear, so he cries a stream of frustrated tears. Keane on the other hand thinks its the best game. The plus side of all of this, they are playing and interacting together and enjoying it. One of us a little bit more than then the other.

On Saturday evening Keane wanted to play outside on our driveway with Cullen, and since Cullen has yet to perfect his walking skills, Keane decided that “my should pull Cu’en in the wagon momma.” So he did.

Everything was going so well, the first part of the driveway is a slight down hill.

Cullen travelin in style with a basic level of comfort.

But then the driveway flattens out and all of a sudden Keane was feeling the weight of his load.

Cullen was becoming a real struggle.

So he was evicted.

Not that Cullen cared, he much preferred to be out playing diggers with his big brother.

Once he started standing and taking a few shaking but supported steps, we got Cullen his first pair of shoes. Look at his fat little legs and feet.

Eventually both boys were tired, so who was left dragging the wagon back to the house? Me of course.

My precious cargo.

Boys Toys

October 11, 2014

The morning before the boys flew back to Boston they were up so early, the sun hadn’t had a chance to burn away the morning chill. There were big boy toys to be played with and everyone was anxious to get as much time on the 4-wheeler as they could before leaving for the airport.

Paul was first in line.

Cullen getting a little driving practice in before his turn.

S’up beeaches?

For his turn Keane had to switch to his bicycle helmet, the big boy one was way to big.

Cullen puts Dinara to work trying to catch up to his brother.

James is up next.

Cullen’s very first ride on the 4-wheeler.

Already trying to take over the controls.

“Look Dada, trees!!”

A tough morning on the 4-wheeler = some well deserved hammock time.


October 8, 2014

So this is a “Keepin It Real” type of blog posted. This is me giving you the down and dirty of what is really happening behind the scenes of some of those photos where my family and my children are looking like something that walked off the pages of some type of society glossy. Its funny the message you can present to the world of yourself when you choose the right photos, but at the end of the day, I have a 2 year old who for the most part, acts like a 2 year old. I have an 8 month old who is in constant wonderment and is continuously distracted by everything going on around him. So for every 1 shot of us looking right, there are probably 3 or 4 shots of it all going completely wrong. So for kicks and giggles, and in the spirit of “Keepin It Real”, I thought I’d share some of the out-takes from some of the better shots captured at Cullen’s Christening.

Just look at them there, the godparents and all of the kids standing in an almost perfect portrait manner. But what was really happening prior to us nailing this??

Absolute mayhem. Cullen is distracted by everything shiny behind him, Keane and James are engaged in some kind of wrestling match and I believe Steve and Paul are doing their best tip-toe dance trying to avoid getting stepped on.

Then suddenly Keane and James went from wrestling to being tigers and next thing you know, everyone’s a tiger.

Now I believe we are snakes.

Fabulous, Dinara with her eldest son Paul and god baby Cullen.

But wait, we had a photo bomber.

The blessed child, innocent and angelic.

But 2 minutes prior we had a baby in full on meltdown.

Try as we might, we just couldn’t nail a shot of Steven, Dinara and their boys with Cullen. Cullen is over it, not to mention the fact that Paul is struggling to breath behind him and James is yelling passionately at someone or something.

Oooh, and who can forget this happy photo of 4 adorable boys?

Who in reality started out pulling ears,

and rocking a look that was both mischievous and threatening.

Look at us there in all our fabulousness. And yes, only 50% of us are actually looking at the camera, but the alternative was 100% of us were not looking at the camera.

Case and point 1.

Case and point 2.

Officially Cullen

October 6, 2014

Its official, last Saturday Cullen got his Baptism on, so now, in the eyes of all that is Spiritual and Holy, he is officially Cullen Joseph Doyle. His godparents are my wonderful brother-in-law Stephen and his fabulous wife, Dinara. Big “Thank You” to them and our nephews Paul and James for making the trip from Boston to Atlanta to be here for Cullen’s special day. I have included so many photos in this blog post 1. for the benefit of those family members who really wanted to be here, but due to the logistics of living in a foreign land, couldn’t, and 2. as we all know a picture is worth a thousand words, and I know people would rather waste their virtual time surfing through images of the day instead of my long winded descriptions. So on with the show:

The man of the moment, angelic in all his white.

Group shot of Cullen’s godparents, our nephews, Daddy of the blessed baby, Keane (brother of the blessed baby) and of course the blessed baby.

The boys wish Cullen luck.

Front row seats for the big event.

I have to say a huge “Thank You” to Dinara for being ballsy enough to grab my camera and snap a couple of sneaky shots of Cullen’s moment of baptism.

Cullen is not impressed.

But he is liking the candle and judging by his face, he is desperately trying to figure a way to get his tiny hands on that flame.

Family photo with the priest who performed the ceremony.

Some fun group shoots over the Holy Water fountain.

Godmother and Godbaby.

We had a little time to kill before our celebratory lunch, so obviously we used that time wisely by taking even more photos. Cullen with his godparents Stephen and Dinara.

More “Thank You’s” to Dinara for my family photos.

Here is the proof that the Doyle men, do not make Doyle girls.

Little Paul, the eldest of the small Doyle’s and so handsome.

Cutie, cutie James, giving me his very best corporate pose.

Confession: I had a worst mother-in-the-world moment when I forgot to take an individual photo of my own child, Keane. He was busy running laps around the restaurant gardens while I was shooting the photos, so I told myself I would get them later, and forgot. Luckily, The Husband snapped these 2 on his iPhone, savior.

Baby Cullen

Paul and Cullen.

Cullen with his cousins Paul and James. Keane is still running laps around the garden.

Finally we were able to corral him in for a Doyle boys group shot.

Big hugs.

Me and little man. Thanks Dinara, again.

Love this.

Into the restaurant for lunch and of course all the kids want to do is look out at the garden they have just come in from.

The Husband tries to impress the table with his magic tricks.

Paul, not impressed enough to interrupt his coloring,

Yay! Christening cake time.

Cullen, straight in with the fingers.

James enjoys watching Cullen’s cake attack.

He may have gotten a little cake on his face.

Look who else swooped in for a taste.

Nom nom.

Tag teaming.

“Did you touch the cake Keane?” ¬†”No momma.”

Steve gets the honor of slicing the cake so we can continue to enjoy its yumminess, in a civilized manner.

Yes, Paul and James are exchanging money here, so I’m wondering what they did to The Husband’s slice of cake and why Paul had to pay up?