Archive for April, 2017

Challenging Times

April 30, 2017

There hasn’t be enough hours in the my week. Which means there hasn’t been many any opportunities for me to upload, cull though and prepare for the blog, some of the photos I captured of the boys and some of their goings on from last week. But luckily, my sister-in-law Dinara, e-mailed me a gallery full of photos over the weekend from the one rainy day we had during the cousins visit that saw us take on the challenging walls of a local rock climbing gym. Dinara was the photographer for this activity, which worked out perfectly since I was busy dealing with a particularly moody and emotional toddler. Yep, the fun never stops in the game of motherhood.

The 3 big Doyle’s are off.

James is first to the top and gets to hit the victory button.

Cullen, and me, walking with purpose and focusing very hard on trying not to lose my shit in the midst of his breakdowns.

This rock climbing gym was full of bright lights and funky walls.

Paul on a happy decent from a sumitted climb.

Keane makes it to the top of the circle wall.

Pretty proud of themselves.

The wasn’t an easy climb.

But it grabbed Cullen’s attention for a few minutes, thank goodness.

Cullen eventually managed to find some joy playing in the climbing cave with his big cousins. So I took the opportunity to spend a minute encouraging and praising Keane for his climbing achievements.

Now everyones playing happily in the cave.

Yep, thats how I was feeling at the end of it all too. And I didn’t even climb.

Group shot for the end of a fun evening of climbing.

Boats And Tubes

April 24, 2017

The weather for 4 out of the 5 day visit by our Boston cousins was perfect. So we squeezed in another action packed day trip to the lake. After checking off all of the responsible things one should do for a day trip to a lake, such as sunscreen, compulsive life jacket attire, water for hydration, food for sustenance, it was time to let these wild boys have a little fun.

Firstly everyone had to get acquainted with the water and its not yet warm and toasty temperatures.

Some of us took the slow, lowering one foot at a time approach.

And some of us just took the plunge.

James is in and the face tells us all that this water is in fact cold.

Cullen and his rage at the still chilly water temps.

Paul is manning this voyage.

The anchor is dropped and these boys are ready to play.

James takes the kayak out of a paddle.

Later James!

Keane following in the 2nd kayak.

Paul is big enough to handle the man sized kayak.


James returns from his expedition.

And tries to help Keane out of a trapped in a branch situation.

Daddy and Cullen are off to the rescue.

Keane is free.

Towing this little tug boat back to base.

Cullen wore his scuba diving mask for the entire mission.

Cullen had a toddler meltdown cos he wanted to take the kayak out by himself. As a responsible parent, I knew letting a 3 year old off to kayak solo would be less than ideal. But we managed to find a compromise that Cullen was happy with, big cousin Paul would tow him as he sat in his own kayak.

Couple of curious friends show up.

Time to take on some tubing.

James and The Husband are first up.

Safe to say they’re into it.

Brave enough to stand.

Next up, Keane, Cullen and Daddy.

If your wondering who was driving the boat, it was me.

Loving every second of it.

The Husband and Paul.

Thats my signal to go full throttle.

These fearless boys.

Wahoo, mommas turn.

There’s no doubt that Cullen was a big fan of this adventure.

All the boys.

A bold move by Paul.

That resulted in an overboard situation.

But he swam his way back to his tubing peeps.

High five from brother James for a safe return.

A stop off at “Egg Island”. This is what my boys like to refer to this small peninsula, cos the last time we docked there they found what they believe to be a dinosaur egg.

Cullen happy doing his thing by the lakes edge.

Keane and Paul are on a mission to start a camp fire.

When Cullen heard they were working on a fire he was all in.

A causal peddle boat ride to wind down another fun day.

All In 1 Day

April 20, 2017

If you want to know what 4 little boys can pack into 1 day, then your about to find out. Our Saturday morning kicked off bright and early with Keane’s 9 am T-Ball game. You can see him there getting a serious stretch in before the opening pitch.

This particular morning and the stadium was packed full of Keane supporters.

Serious stance.

Getting armored up for batting.

The supporters are scattered all over the stands. Paul looking for the birds eye view.

Daddy and Cullen are top of the bleachers.

Dinara and James are field side.

Bryson and Keane wait their turn to bat for the team.

And pass the time doing who knows what.

Keane is up.

The fans are going crazy.


Off he goes.

Rounding 1st base.

Through 2nd.

Past 3rd and heading for home. Our vision maybe impaired but we’re getting this home run.

Almost there.

Cheer squad.

Yes, high-5’s from coach for an awesome home run.

Its hard to stay focused for an entire game.

End of game high-5’s.


After the T-Ball game we raced back home for some lunch then it was off to a helicopter Easter Egg drop. One of the mothers at Keane’s school told me about it during the week and I thought it sounded like something cool and different for us to do. Well, as it turns out, I wasn’t the only one who thought it was cool and different, so did 5 million other people. That number might be slightly exaggerated, but bottom line, the crowd was huge, traffic getting there was a bitch and parking was a challenge. We literally arrived 5 minutes before the helicopter dropped the eggs.

We’ve just walked onto the field and here comes the helicopter.

And there drop the eggs.

Keane with bucket in hand ready to catch some eggs.

But guess what? We got zero. Yes, ZERO. 100,000 eggs dropped apparently and the place was so packed that we saw none of them. Keane and his empty bucket.

Paul comes up empty too.

Luckily there was a toddler hunt about to happen right next to the helicopter drop. And since we had in our possession a toddler (at least I think we can still consider Cullen a toddler), the situation was saved.

Having more luck with the toddler hunt then the helicopter drop.

As the biggest cousin Paul stepped up to carry the egg buckets for the little cousins.

Back home and a water ballon war is about to start.

Daddy showed up and was an immediate target.

Having blasted through 300 water balloons and they’re still not ready to be done. So it was out with the hose.

Done with the water game. Time to towel off and head to the fire pit for some smores.

The best way to end a very busy day, outside fire roasted marshmallows.

Always when there’s food, theres Dexter.

Cullen, you might have a little something on your face“.

Easter Sunday 2017

April 17, 2017

We Eastered hard this weekend. The cousins arrived from Boston late Thursday night. The weather was hot, the eggs and chocolate were plenty and the action was non-stop. Four boys, age range 3 yrs – 9 yrs, Will-Wear-You-The-Heck-Out. Believe me. There is absolutely no down time. Their energy is limitless. You think the next activity or adventure is going to be the one that lays them out, but they keep getting up, like the damn Terminator. But its been so much fun and my boys have LOVED having their big cousins around. The goodbyes will be hard today and 2 little dark clouds will hang over my boys heads for the next few days and they try to readjust to not having their cousin-buddies around. Of course there will be lots of photo sharing this week, all of it from the 4 days of packed out fun. The order will be random, but we’re going to start with Easter Sunday, since it just happened like yesterday.

Of course we started our morning off with the traditional Easter Egg hunt. The boys are in position, they’ve spotted some eggs, they impatiently wait the call to “Go!”

Its a Go! and James Bolt is out of the blocks and gunning it towards the eggs.

Keane is in hot pursuit.

Big cousin Paul and Cullen bring up the rear.

No wait, Dexter brings up the rear. No clue whats happening but he wants in on it.

Eggs a plenty.

We are hunting, we are grabbing and we are bragging to our friends.

Paul stumbles across something big and pastel colored in the bushes.

Its a giant egg and its got Cullen’s name all over it.

Keane spots another.

This time its for James.

Yet another.

For Keane, but there’s no way he getting it in that bucket.

Cullen found another, and its for Paul.

Dexter closes in on one random and forgotten purple egg.

Grabbing the final few.

All smiles for a successful hunt.

Now its off to see whats inside all these eggs.

Keane got a dinosaur. Imagine that.

Someone got some bubbles in their egg.

Cullen loves bubbles.

After the thrill of the hunt, we headed off to the lake. The boys spot a fish swimming happily next to the dock and so began the capture mission.

The face, I promise you he’s happy and loves to take the boat out.

James is the captain of this voyage.

Cullen likes to get hypnotized by the fast moving waves.

Turtle spotting.

The weather has really only started to get hot the past 2 weeks, so the water is not exactly warm yet. It’s cold, but these kids were still game for a dip. James chills on the tube, Keane waits excitedly for his turn.

James the brave, drives right in.

Followed by Paul.

Keane, relaxing away his troubles.

Momma and Cullen think about getting in.

But change their mind. Cullen opts for the floaty bed instead.

The Husband bought himself a kneeboard and cold water or not, he was taking this bad boy for a spin.

There he is, putting on a show for the smaller Doyle boys.

No hands for this brave fool.

Would you look at that, gone. Man overboard.

We thought about leaving him.

Dinara and James.

Momma with a tired Cullen and a tired Keane breaking down in the background.

Easter/Dinosaur Eggs

April 12, 2017

Remember all of the rain and thunderstorms I mentioned last week? Well, when you’re on your 3 day straight of that kind of shit weather and your very outdoorsy boys are confined to the not so great indoors, you have to step up to the mothering plate and do something to take the edge off. With Easter looming I thought this would be the perfect time to make a start on some Easter decorations for the house. So I scored us some giant white Easter eggs that I thought would be perfect for the boys to decorate. But when I showed the eggs to the boys, Easter was not the first thing they thought of, nope, “You got us giant dinosaur eggs! Thank you momma!” “Mmm, not exactly, but ok. Yes! Giant dinosaur eggs! Momma the hero! And it just so happens that a couple of weeks ago I also picked up some paper dinosaurs at a craft store that I was saving for an emergency situation such as this. So now we had ourselves a very prehistoric craft time in operation. Yes, this had the potential to be very messy, but I was honestly beyond caring. Like I said, it was day 3 of thunderstorm confinement, #desperate.

It all started off so civilized and cute.

Cullen painting his favorite dinosaur, the T-Rex, his favorite color, blue.

Keane went with the Triceratops, his favorite for this particular activity and painted it his favorite color, orange.

Oops, Cullen leaned in a little too close with an open mouth.

Now, this is when things started to go awry. Keane goes rogue with the paint and decided to decorate his hand.

Then he hand-stamped the table cloth.

Monkey see – Monkey do. Now Cullen is game for a little hand art.

Busy busy.

Cullen’s dino and egg.

The hand painting went to a whole new level. Now we’re just dunking them straight into the paint dishes.

Look Keane!

Look Cullen!

Skipping the brushing and applying directly with our messy hands.