Archive for February, 2016

Not Always To Plan

February 14, 2016

So before I started on the over sharing of photos from our trips, I was planning on firstly blogging about Cullen and how this week my baby turned 2. Yes, its already been 2 years since his world debut, so hard for me to believe. But last night I found myself up in the wee hours with a sick little boy. A visit to urgent care this morning and we discovered Cullen has a chest infection. I wasn’t surprised. I knew the long flights and travel to places of varying temperatures was going to have at least 1, if not both of them pick up something. So as soon as the sun rose and the doctors office opened, I was there. Now we are nicely medicated and already showing signs of improvement. Fist bumps for modern medicine. What I don’t have is much sleep under my belt or the will to starting combing through the photos from his birthday celebration yesterday. But since I already had the first blog from our trip ready to go a couple of days ago, lets just go ahead and start with those. We can always do a little birthday flashback once I start to function as a normal human again.

Day 1 of our Orlando trip was all about settling in, into our apartment and its pool and surrounding lake. Not surprisingly the boys were up early and the pool was all they wanted to do. No patience, Keane jumps right in.

Cullen’s pace was slower and steadier, like a vacation should be. Lounge chair time took priority for him.

Then he spotted a boat and it was game on.

“Watch me belly flop momma”

A disinterested response to Keane’s belly flop from Cullen.

James, also in full on vacation mode.

Dinara getting a lesson on all things rocks and boats from Cullen.

Paul and Dinara, obviously not having any fun.


The eldest and the youngest.

Hot tub time.

After lunch, we napped. After nap we took a walk around the lake before enjoy another round of pool time.


Not sure what grabbed everyones attention here.

James and Keane are gecko hunting.

Paul and Cullen are bird spotting.

National Geographic better not start blowing up my phone for a copy of this image, I’m a very busy mother.

These two.

Not always easy to get them all together, so you have to grab the moments when they happen.

Spontaneous race from James and Keane.

Would loved to have heard the conversation was here between a 3 year old and a 6 year old.

The boys contemplating life and the trails end.

We planned on finishing our walk with a pool dip, hence the floaties on The Husbands head.

Keane thinks Daddy’s head accessories are hilarious.

Fun game of pushing, fun for Cullen.

James was a good sport.

When Cullen gets happy, he likes to run….

…with his arms outstretched backwards.

Keane, never one to pass up a little over-speed on the down hills.

Cullen quickly learns the game and takes off too.

Mom and her boys.

Someone’s getting tired.

Not too tired to enjoy a sunset swim though.


Cullen choosing to work on his dive technique in the shallow waters.

Oh look, its me.

We’re Back

February 11, 2016

Its been almost 2 weeks, but we are back. Back from warm and toasty Orlando with the Doyle clan, and back from a less warm, less toasty, more wet and blistery Ireland with the Shinkins clan. Both were equally fun, but you know whats not fun? O’Hare airport in Chicago. Yes thats right employees of O’Hare, I’m calling you all out and putting you on blast as hands down THE WORST airport I’ve ever been too. And I’ve traveled a lot. Our return flight from Ireland had us connecting in Chicago, then onwards to Atlanta. Now, traveling with kids is a major challenge in and of itself, but then you throw in an entire airport of staff who go above and beyond in their efforts to ensure you and your children’s airport experience is nothing but pure misery and torture. I was in full on rage mode the entire time we were there. In fact, sitting here writing about it I realize I’m still f*#king raging. I wish I could tell you that over the 3 hours of our layover, in the unstructured, free for all lines at both passport control and security. In the face of security officers who were less about being of assistance and ensuring a timely path through the security process, but more about being in a huddle of non airport related conversation. In the rage-off with the shop staffer who’s chosen magical power would have been to make me and my kids spontaneously combust with a simple 3 second eye stare cos I had the nerve to interrupt their visible bored with my need to pay for 2 fruit cups and a bottle of water. With my frustrated fellow travelers who watched as I struggled to push the buggy, keep a hold of back packs, snack bags, important travel documents and of course the children, choose irritation along with heavy breathing sound effects and “tut” noises rather than offer any kind of help. And lastly the illogical flight attendant who taught it was completely reasonable for my 3 year old to be assigned a seat 6 rows away from me next to perfect strangers (who up to this point had all proved themselves to be assholes), and it was I who was being the difficult passenger by insisting that they move him to a seat that was right next to me. Yes, I wish I could say I found a way to rise above it, to put on a smile that radiated nothing but kindness and serenity, to brag on how in the midst of this shit show I found a way to remain calm and in complete control, I wish I could, but I can’t. I absolutely lost my shit, at least 3 times, and I’m not even sorry. Chicago O”Hare, you deserved it.

But as a way of presenting ourselves as completely bipolar, let us flip back to a couple of photos of cute children enjoying precious cousin time. There’ll be a lot of sharing happening over the next week or so, just as soon as I can get the fog of jet lag to lift, our daily schedules back on track and find a second to start combing through all of the moments captured. Until then here are the Doyle boys enjoying the poolside hot-tub in Orlando.

And here are the Shinkins boys and girl enjoying a park walk in the sharp and awakening chilly Irish winds.