Archive for August, 2017

Soccer Season

August 29, 2017

Its almost Fall and that means soccer season is back. This year Cullen is finally old enough to play on the u4 team. However the u4’s don’t actually start for another couple of weeks. Which gives me plenty of time to prepare for whatever kind of extreme emotional reaction Cullen may have on his maiden voyage into organized sport. With Cullen you just never know. His typical reaction to trying new things is to resist, resist by way of loud proclamations of “No!!”, sit down protests along with angry tears. Over time I’ve managed to develop a swift and effective response to his tantrum and can usually calm him down, give him the reassurance he’s really looking for and talk him into at least giving it a go. Of course once he’s allowed himself to give it a go, he loves it, but getting him to that point can be a major challenge. But there are those rare occasions where he completely surprises me by diving right into a situation totally uninhibited. And based on his excitement at watching Keane at his first practice on the u6 team this week, and his eagerness to play, I’m hoping when his time comes, he’ll break with tradition and show up happy and ready. Thats the fantasy anyway.

But this week it was all about the u6 team and their first practice of the season.

Team talk and coach introductions.

Pre-practise stretching.

Drills.

My sideline side-kick and his cars for entertainment.

Water break.

Cullen buzzed around Keane like a mosquito during his water breaks.

Which can also make a boy thirsty.

Dribbling drills.

Still chilling happily.

Its impossible as a kid to sit on top of a hill and not want to roll down it.

Getting ready for some 1 -on-1 and 2-on-2 play.

This kid right here, he and Keane had a pretty intense 1-on-1 game.

Both were relentless in their efforts to stop the other scoring.

And this kid also revealed himself to be the grabby hands and elbow to the face type. Note his grab on Keane here. I can’t tell you how hard it was for me to restrain myself, remain on the sideline and let Keane handle it, when all I wanted to do was rush this kid.

Keane managed to block his attempt to score and got possession of the ball.

But there he goes again with the hands to the face.

Keane pushes clear of his restraints.

And eventually went on to score. #inyourfacekid

Post practice gathering.

After Keane’s practice Cullen wanted to play soccer with him. See, this is why I dare to hope that when his time comes in a couple of weeks, Cullen will show up happy and ready to roll.

Of course we couldn’t leave without hitting up the playground for few minutes.

Water Water Everywhere

August 24, 2017

They may be back in school, but on the weekends we make sure to fully enjoy these final weeks of summer with lots of pool time fun, lake excursions and city splash pads. Downtown Atlanta has lots of splash pads, but this one is a favorite.

Solar Eclipse 2017

August 21, 2017

In case you didn’t know (and I don’t know how you wouldn’t, its all thats been talked about over here for the past month) a solar eclipse happened yesterday, and our position on the earth’s globe, put us right on the path of the eclipse. Witnessing 97% coverage meant we didn’t quite experience the brief nightfall in the middle of the day that 100% coverage would have given us, but things did get very dusky, with lots of deep shadows and temperatures dropped noticeably by about 10 – 15 degrees (fahrenheit). The boys were into it so we took them to Tellus Science Museum, their favorite museum, so we could watch with thousands of our solar loving friends.

The only place to be during a solar eclipse is a science museum.

The boys just hanging out, snacking and waiting for the moon to show up.

Test driving the viewing glasses.

We picked a nice patch of tree shade to hangout.

Daddy showed the boys how to make their own viewing boxes from cereal boxes.

The crowd is gathering.

This really cool observatory had 3 telescopes open so you could really get an up close look at the solar event.

While we wait we find lots of ways of entertaining ourselves.

Solar check, moon was just over 50% at this point.

This solar eclipse did amazing things for my skin tone, look at how tanned I appear.

Moon at 97% and we’re in the best position to witness the wonderment.

One happy solar viewing family.

Open Ocean Dining

August 17, 2017

The weather throughout the duration of our visit to Ireland was uncharacteristically perfect, and when that happens you take full advantage and make all of your plans outdoor related. So my good friend Derval (along with being highly skilled on the track, also happens to have some skills in the culinary department), packed us a picnic basket filled with tasty nibbles and we took to the seas for an evening of open ocean dining.

Rocking this seasons trendy life jacket look, we took the short walk from Derval’s house to the dock where our boat awaited.

The Husbands readied the boat and we all hopped on board.

Captain Keane pilots out to the open sea.

Or maybe Peter was the one doing the real driving.

Below deck the porthole tourists take in the views.

Busy night on the Atlantic ocean.

This island off the coast of Crosshaven was the destination for our evening picnic.

Boat secured and we’re off to explore.

Rocky beach shenanigans.

A lesson in skimming.

Post picnic, as the sun was setting, we headed back to harbor.

Crosshaven, Co. Cork.

Snack party.

The comical squeeze through a tiny door.

Safely docked.

To avoid any kind of bedtime, the kids plot to steal a row boat and leave. But the boat proved to be a slight challenge to flip.

Into the South West

August 13, 2017

When you and your besties are at the same stage in life, having and raising kids, then visiting them automatically comes with bonus features like their patience and complete understanding of children’s ability to turn a perfectly clean and orderly space, into a zone of natural disaster in less than 5 minutes flat. This is of particular importance, especially when the space is their brand new, still smells of fresh paint, newly laid carpets and a peppering of recently varnished wood, home, that also just happens to have the Atlantic ocean as its out of the window view. Thankfully my besties adorable little 2 year old daughter, had already blazed an established trail of destruction ahead of our visit. My lads, having a few years destruction experience on little Dafne, showed her how to take things to a whole new level. Lets just say there was no bed left unbounced, or with any of its pillows, sheets or blankets. And plenty of sand, rocks and water dragged via diggers and trucks, through a pristine kitchen and living space. Yes, its so nice to be at the same place in life, the place of insanity that is motherhood.

From one bestie in Navan, Co. Meath, to another bestie in Co. Cork. The morning following our arrival kicked off with breakfast for these ladies, and a gathering of freshly laid eggs.

Daddy and Cullen check the hut for any eggs.

Bingo! Thanks lady hens.

Keane took off like the hens were after him for stealing their produce.

Cullen just ran cos Keane was running.

Comparing eggs.

Not sure if they realize, but I can actually see them. Whispering and huddling together like they got away with a big egg raid.

Dafne chillin with The Husband and bemused by the boys joy over her chickens and their eggs.

It was a sunny one, so off to the beach we went.

Water might have been cold, hard to tell from Keane’s reaction.

Just one of the lads.

Being close enough in age, Cullen and Dafne just kind of got each other.

No rock ever left unclimbed with my 2 around.

In a mad rush to join the lads on the rocks, Dafne went down.

I’ve seen this pissed looking face plenty of times over the years, on her mother.

The climbing crew.

Just throwing in this random photo cos I happen to be in it, and we all know how rare that is.

Somebody is up to no good.

Dafne, like Cullen LOVES trucks, anything vehicle to be honest. So they teamed up to create a sand bridge and road.

This was the cutest thing ever. Every time Cullen built something, Dafne “prettied” it up by adding rock and shell accessories. Cullen didn’t get it (he’s a man, go figure) and is more worried about the damage these accessories might do.

There she goes again, castle accessories.

Everyones favorite part, the destruction.

And she did it all by herself.

Too cute.

Leaving his mark.

Beach safety now in the hands of this lady.

Always happy, always smiling even when Mammy’s taking her home for nap.

While Dafne went for her beauty sleep, the boys and I hung out a little longer.

The boys discovered mussels.

And I thought them how to hit them strongly and swiftly, yet not too hard or you’ll smash them, to get them off the rocks.

When life is a beach.