Archive for October, 2017

Halloween 2017

October 31, 2017

If our Halloween is looking a little deja vu , its cos it is. For a 2nd year the boys had a preference for the prehistoric/Cars theme. Cullen wouldn’t entertain the idea of being anything other than Mater again and Keane changed things up a little by not being an actual dinosaur himself, but rather a Dino Rider. Although we did have a brief moment when Cullen saw Keane’s costume that he too wanted to be a Dino Rider. So with a few clicks of the mouse, a second Dino Rider costume was rush ordered to our door. However, the night before it was back to wanting to be Mater, so Daddy had to perform emergency costume surgery and resurrect last years battered and beaten Mater. I was Mater’s mechanic. When you have 2 kids and a husband to get ready and out the door, it helps to always keep your own costume efforts to a minimum. Daddy was Dino Riders sidekick, Big Dino Rider. From our house we hit a pre-trick or treat party at our friend Bryson’s house, then trawled the hood for candy. The boys had a blast and are both currently in a candy coma. I too have a wish to fall into bed and drift off into a restful coma. Halloween is not just taxing on kids you know.

Mater 2.0

One happy Dino Rider.

Here comes Big Dino Rider.

The family shot.

Some of our pre-trick or treat party friends.

The excitement, its almost trick or treat time.

Spotted, Mater fueling up on tiny cupcakes.

The gathering of kids.

This Dino Rider is anxious to get going.

Our friend Bryson as a jelly fish. How cool is his costume?

And we’re off!

Someone is getting tired. With no energy left to run to doors, the candy came to Mater.

Our Dino Rider is running out of steam too.

The final house before the words “momma I’m tired”.

Halloween Ambush

October 26, 2017

Last week Halloween preparations began. It was completely spontaneous. Outside of the pumpkin carving we never really do a lot of decorating for Halloween. But a run to the shop to grab some essentials for the house, we stumbled our way into the “seasonal aisle” that was full of all things black, bat, cat, skeletons, spiders, witches, basically everything designed to promote terror. It was a Halloween marketing ambush and guess what, it worked. Immediately the boys were hit with the notion of decorating. So 20ft of fake spider web, 2 fake spiders, a couple of howling ghosts, strands of orange twinkle lights and 3 bales of hay later, there we were, giving our house the haunted look.

The fake cobwebs were a tricky business, but the lads wrestle with it till their little arm muscles ached, cos a front door draped in cobwebs was the vision.

Over dealing with the webs and ready to add their fake spiders.

Ta-Dah!

After our visit to the pumpkin farm, we now had the final finishing touches to add to our front door area.

Keane the director of pumpkin placement.

And just a little FYI, Keane is choosing his own clothes these days. He wants zero input from anyone, and we tell him he looks amazing and applaud him for his very unique combinations.

A touch of the spiritual.

Done!

Set Up For Success

October 22, 2017

Back from my 4 day trip to New York, 4 very enjoyable days. There is nothing like a break away with a good friend to help you switch off and recharge. I actually surprised myself at how well I disconnected from my role as mother for the entirety of our trip. Usually if I have to leave the boys, even if its only for a few hours, I can get a little consumed worrying and wondering if everything is ok. Did The husband remember the millions of instructions I left? Did he feed them nutritious food and snacks and not just utter crap? Did he remember that pajamas are not in fact clothes and the kids should not be wearing them all day? Were sibling wars navigated fairly and tantrums handled swiftly? Or just handled. Never mind swiftly. Kids have endurance, that’s one thing we learn quickly as parents. Did he adhere to my warning that silence (unless they’re sleeping) is a problem? They are up to something and you should go check on them immediately! Were they tucked into to bed at a decent hour? An hour I like and not an hour they like. All of these questions, and more besides, usually make up the sound track to my time away from my kids and resisting the urge to send another text, or another quick call to make sure everything is ok, is a constant struggle. But like I said, this time I peaced out.

Not in an “I’m never coming back” way obviously. But I had done everything I could to set The Husband up for success. I batched cooked a bunch of healthy meals. Fully stocked the pantry with everyones favorite snacks. Had the school clothes washed, ironed and ready to rock for each of the mornings. Rescheduled their swim classes cos I knew the added logistics of getting to swim, on top of the daily school run, the preparing and packing of separate swim bags and extra snack bags was just a lot of potential for disaster. A day like that really requires an expert level of multitasking, and lets be honestly, if its multitasking thats needed, then its a women you should call. Anyway, the point being I had prepped as much as I could. Once on the plane there was nothing I could do, these men of mine were on their own. But guess what? They survived. In fact, as much as I enjoyed the break, they enjoyed the break.

Am sure I will get into a bit more info from our trip in the next blog post, but right now there is a new week to get ready for and a few hours sleep I’d like to have tonight. And of course there are the photos from our day at the pumpkin farm that I tried but failed to share before I left for New York. Here they are, minus any commentary, cos you know, sleep is the goal right now. But we went, we meet up with our 2 friend Julian and his sister Amaya, we had a blast and we left with a wagon full of pumpkins.

Nobody Likes You Ophelia

October 16, 2017

I thought I’d have all the photos from our day at the pumpkin farm ready to share. But I ran out of time. And tomorrow I’m taking off for a few days. Just me and my bestie from Ireland. I’m flying from here, she’s flying from there (there being Ireland) and we are meeting in New York. No kids, no husbands, no schedule. Just us, doing whatever we want in the city that never sleeps. That is if hurricane Ophelia hasn’t ruined Irelands entire infrastructure. She hit the homeland hard yesterday. All flights were grounded, trains and buses were all cancelled and trees came down all over the place taking out power and blocking roads. Its so typical. Here we are, just a couple of mothers desperate for a break from the daily grind, and here’s mother nature trying to sabotage the entire plan. Way to have our back bit#h! But we are crossing everything that flights out of Dublin will be up and running again today. Either way I’m planning to get on my flight. NY here I come! I’m about to have the best time hanging with my best friend, or I’m about to have the best time hanging with myself getting to know me a little better. The first option is preferable.

Out Of The Wild

October 12, 2017

Out of the wilderness and back to civilization for the second part of our trip. Pigeon Forge, TN was the destination. Not really sure how or why we’d decided on this, maybe a subconscious fondness for Dolly Parton (the Dollywood theme park is located there). But en route we took a day trip to Chattanooga, TN for 2 reasons, 1. to ride the Incline Train to the top of Lookout Mountain and 2. to visit Ruby Falls, located 260ft below Lookout Mountain. A clear determination to experience this mountain from every which way. After Chattanooga it was onwards to Pigeon Forge where we upgraded ourselves from tent life to cabin life. With it came vacation luxuries such as a pool, bounce pillow for the kids and kids at heart (that would be The Husband and I). This camp ground had everything, we almost didn’t have to leave, but of course we did, cos Pigeon Forge is basically an amusement park type city and the kids were looking for their adrenaline fix on some fast moving rides.

And that essentially is how we closed out our adventure. A week of fun new experiences for the kids, and 2 parents who managed to navigate, coordinate and juggle life on the road, tent & cabin without killing each other.

Out of the wilderness and our first stop was the choo-choo city of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

On our evening stroll we found a small park with games. This is corn hole tossing. Objective? Toss bean bags at the board opposite in an attempt to get the bags in the hole.

Cullen plays by his own rules as usual.

Giant Jenga. Stack the wood, remove 1 piece at a time until the pile collapses.

Timber!

Bright and early the following morning we headed off to ride the incline train to the top of Lookout Mountain.

Tickets please.

Theres our ride.

Hard to really capture just how steep this ride to the top was.

Checking out the views.

Chattanooga, as seen from the top of Lookout Mountain.

Back to ground level and off to Ruby Fall.

A hike 260ft under ground to the center of Lookout Mountain to see the Ruby Falls.

Our cabin accommodations in Pigeon Forge.

Everyone was excited to try out the Alpine Rollercoaster.

The first ride Cullen and I rode together and Daddy went with Keane. But I made Daddy go a couple more times with each of the boys so I could get photos. First up Daddy and Cullen.

Off they go.

Look carefully, can you see them??

Oops, notice Cullen started the ride with a hat, but now appears to be missing it?

Delighted with himself, and excited to inform us that the hat did in fact blow off.

Next Daddy goes with Keane and the ride has now become a hat recovery mission.

Here they come.

All smiles.

And look, the hat. Mission accomplished.

Our official Alpine Rollercoaster photos.

Panning for gem stones.

We’re rich! Bags of gems found.

A bike to pump food to some of the local goats.

Pool time back at the camp ground.

A grand entrance by Keane.

Cullen wanted, but didn’t want to go under the giant mushroom.

He made a run, then changed his mind at the last second.

The bounce pillow.

Suddenly the middle aged parents are 6 years old again.

Momma’s turn.

I promise you, in my head I jumped way higher and my splits were more impressive then this.

Everything always ends up a wrestling game.