Archive for May, 2015

The Daily Challenge

May 30, 2015

So the summer is a bit of a challenge I’m finding. I have my precious children around me all the time these days, and while I know its wonderful and they won’t be this small forever and I should enjoy it and all that other good stuff older people who have raised their kids tell you, it doesn’t make the days of trying to juggle your housewifely chores lets call them, with keeping the boys entertained and happy any less of a challenge, not to mention exhausting. Daily life is nothing but a circus these days, for every task I manage to get accomplished, for example finally folding the laundry, in swoops Cullen to pull out and investigate each item I just folded before tossing it deliberately onto the floor. And I didn’t even notice cos the older brother provided the perfect decoy by spilling an entire box of cereal onto the floor as he went about proving he was now big enough to get his own breakfast. Thats all within the first hour of getting up. Lord help us if anyone has a doctors appointments, an activity to attend or my personal least favorite, grocery shopping. The “simple” act of trying to get out the door with 2 toddlers, I’m sure will be what eventually has me committed to one of them cosy rooms with padded walls and daily attire of white jackets with buckles.

So safe in the knowledge that I’m not the only mother stumbling and clawing her way through these long summer days, when I find something that proves itself to be a big hit with the kids, keeps them stimulated and occupied for a lengthy period of time and doesn’t involve a TV or iPad, then I’m all about the sharing of information. Last week a trip to IKEA resulted in my leaving not with what I actually went to get, but something much better, a cart full of inexpensive toddler fun.

Behold, 2 very busy and engrossed toddlers.

The most expensive item from the stuff I’m about to show you was $15, everything else was right around $9-$12. This little truck/crane set Cullen absolutely loves.

The crane has a magnet at the end that can grab each of the shapes from the trailer. Love it, but more importantly, Cullen loves it.

Next we have the garage, the various trucks and the mat (the planes we already had).

These are a favorite with both the boys. The vehicles you put together yourself, but each one only has 3 parts, so its easy and fun for them to figure out and do.

The garage was a little more complicated, so I put that together for them.

Someone’s having fun and he just can’t hide it.

The train set and trains we already had but the boys loved that we found a way to incorporate them into our fictitious little town.

Being boys of course everything has to end up crashing. But I didn’t care, eventually I was able step away and let them play while I refolded laundry and cleaned cereal off the floor.

An Early Gift

May 24, 2015

His birthday is still 2 weeks away, but Keane has already received his gift. A gift we were careful to emphasis had to be SHARED with his brother. And why did he get it now? Call me a pessimist but I just knew the assembling of this gift was going to take A LOT of man hours, was probably not going to go seamlessly and whatever challenges it was about to throw at us, I wanted to make sure they navigated and resolved before The Husband left to go to Europe for 2 weeks, returning a mere 2 days before Keane’s birthday party. Waiting just wasn’t an option. I couldn’t risk the pressure and stress of a jet-lagged husband trying to assemble the playset 48 hours before a group of overly charged and sugared 3 year olds were due to show up on our door step. So an early birthday gift for Keane it was.

We definitely need to give a shout-out to The Husband and our visiting intern Alex who started putting this bad boy together at 9.30pm Friday night, working with little miners lamps until 2.00am. Were up and at it again by 8.30am Saturday morning and had it all done in time for The Husbands departure to the airport at 3pm.

When you see how much fun these little boys are having, it was so worth it.

Outdoor Play

May 17, 2015

This week Keane wrapped up his school year on a very busy note, with a “Summer’s Coming Party” and a recital of songs learned throughout the year and preformed for parents. Songs about dinosaurs and worms sang with the volume and enthusiasm only a 2 year old can deliver. Cullen has one more week to go before he too will be given his freedom for the summer. So look out mom friends, this momma will be seeking you all out for lots of play dates to help with the long hot summer of entertainment and fun ahead.

Speaking of summer heat, here are the lads cooling off after our Saturday morning forrest excursion.

Water, rocks, sticks, what more could a baby ask for?

Always running.

This is our friend Alex, he just graduated from journalist school in England and has aspiration of becoming a sports journalist specializing in the area of track & field. So he’s staying with us for a couple of weeks to work with The Husband. Keane and him have become best buddies, so like it or not, when he’s done with his day at the office, he finds himself being included in all of our toddler adventures. Here he is teaching Keane how to take on the stepping stones.

Then he watches and encourages as Keane attempts his first solo crossing.

Wahoooo! So proud of himself.

Cullen hears all of the cheering and excitement and wonders whats happening.

So over he goes to watch his big brother in action.

Cullen decides to share his rock finds with Alex.

Before fishing for passing leaves.

Watch out! Here comes Keane, making his 50th crossing on the stepping stones. Once he got the hang of it, he just wouldn’t stop.

Still beaming with pride.

Luckily this momma knew this adventure would end up in the river, so I brought along some dry clothes and shoes for the boys to chance into.

Nice and dry and ready to run some bridge races.

Keane and Alex are in the blocks, ready for action. Cullen is ready in his own way.

Go! Cullen was pissed he missed the starters gun, but tried to chase everyone down anyway.

And then decided it was all very funny.

The winner.

Encouraging Cullen to run all the way to the line.

Keane gives his brother a big hug for finishing the race.

The cars turn to race.

Breast Cancer 5k 2015

May 10, 2015

For the third year now, Mike and I and Keane have participated in the Atlanta Breast cancer 5k. Cullen joined the squat last year as a wee 3 month old, but this year he’s back as a whooping 15 month old and ready to race.

This is the first year Keane could register and receive his own number. Such a big boy moment. But 2 seconds after we put it on, he wanted it off. Oh well.

Its always a risky business giving a professional camera to a stranger and asking them to get a group shot, but I would have to say, this stranger nailed it.

The boys are feeding off of all the pre-race energy thats flying around.

Keane and Mike give Cullen a quick lesson on the starting commands and positions. “On your marks”

“Go!”

So rare is it that I get to be in a photo with my boys, and this is how Cullen wants the moment captured.

But a photo with Mike? No tears, just a slight pouty lip.

Each year it gets harder and harder to get Keane into the stroller. He wants to run the whole race himself. I have no idea what I said to get him not only in, but happy to do so, but I definitely want to remember it for the future.

Cullen gives me the laziest, most disinterested wave ever.

Finally out and off.

Pit-stop at the half way mark for some rehydration.

And a little time out to explore the city trees.

Back into the stroller as we try to make up some ground.

But it was always going to be temporary and eventually they both wanted to get out. Here’s Cullen taking his place amongst all of the participants.

Go Cullen!

Shades on as we get closer to the finish.

Mike managed to snap this shot of us just after we crossed the finish line.

Hmmm, not going to say a whole lot about this shot, I’m just glad he managed to squeeze me and the boys into the frame. Waaay down there at the bottom if your looking for us.

Works of Art

May 8, 2015

I don’t even know how to explain what your about to see. I’m not even sure where the, lets call it “inspiration” came from. Or how it went from being an inspirational idea to an actual project, but next think I know, Keane and I are rolling out great big sheets of paper, Cullen is choosing his paint, we are down to our underwear and are about to paint with our hands and feet.

Keane can’t wait to get started, Cullen is not sure whats about to happen and the panic is written all over his face.

So he watches Keane.

And what do you know, he gives it a go and likes it, or at the least, doesn’t hate it.

Slowly things are gearing up to get really messy.

Somehow the diggers always seem to make their way into our projects.