Archive for January, 2018

Memory Keeper Catch Up

January 31, 2018

I’ve never been the type of mother that was able to keep baby books for my kids. Yes, I bought one when I found out I was pregnant with Keane. My plan was to write in it regularly. Document all of the check ups, glue the sonogram photos into the designated windows on the the appropriate pages. Chronicle the story of his arrival into the world and all of his various milestones that first year of his life. Like the first time he rolled over, sat up, first word, steps, first haircut with accompanying small clump of baby hair sealed safely in the tiny envelop provided. But guess what, I did none of it. His baby book is blank. Don’t get me wrong, I still have the sonogram photos, they reside in a draw in my closet. I have a small lock of his hair from that first hair cut, thats in the night-stand next to my bed. I have all these special and important things, they’re just not organized or presented perfectly in the pretty baby book I bought, over 5 years ago.

It use to really bother me that I failed at keeping such an important log of the very beginning of each of my kids existence. That somehow I’d missed out on providing them with that ever important first piece of the puzzle that is their life. Then I realized, I absolutely do keep a diary, of sorts. My diary for them just happens to be of a visual nature. The photos I take serve as the story of their life. And at the end of each year, I put together an album, filled with photos of all of their milestones and all of their adventures. Well, at least I did for the first 2 years after Keane was born. Then Cullen arrived and, well, the struggle became real, time was limited, my exhaustion levels were always high, so photos sat on hard drives.

Fast forward to last week when the boys were thumbing through the 2012 & 2013 Family albums and Cullen kept asking “is that me when I was a baby momma?“. And I, shamed faced and riddled with guilt had to keep replying “no buddy, thats Keane. You weren’t born yet”. To which he said “wheres the book that I was born?“. To which I said, “momma is making it right now. It’ll be ready soon. In the mean time why don’t we pull up mommas blog and swipe through photos of you as a baby?”. He said “no thank you momma, I like the book“. And that right there was the kick in the arse this mother needed to get her shit together and start catching up on the 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017 Family Albums. Shit, thats a lot of work right there. But I did it to myself. Now its time for this visual memory keeper to play catch up.

This week I’ve been working hard on putting together the 2014 Family Album. It should be finished and ready to order by the weekend, then I can move onto 2015. Below are just some screen shots from the album creation process. A little peak at some of the pages from the album that will at last include the part of the story when Cullen joined the family.

Mental Health Break

January 26, 2018

After a long week of snow and freezing temperatures, and existing in a house that for the most part looked like it had been burgled and taken over by squatters, the boys celebrated the reappearance of the sun and its toastie snow melting rays with a scoot at one of the local parks. And let me tell you, we all needed this. Bunker style living is not easy. It wears on the nerves of everyone, but the change of scenery, the return to the great outdoors was the mental health break we all needed.

Safety is no accident kids, helmets on.

Cullen, a symbol of the joy we are all feeling.

Time to roll!

An avid scooter Keane took off faster than I could set my camera and lift it to my face, but still on a slight scooter learning curve, Cullen moved at a pace that gave enough time to shoot.

Determined joy.

The reappearance of Keane.

Chasing down his little brother.

Cullen tries so hard to keep up with his big brother, and there are definitely moments when he gets pissed of being constantly beaten (not physically of course) or lapped. But this day he was having too much fun to let it bother him.

One of these days, in the not so distance future, Cullen will close the gap and Keane will have some real competition on his hands.

Some patches of that stubborn, unwanted snow.

A break to make tracks and footprints at one of the baseball fields.

Water And Ice

January 23, 2018

A 7am game on the 3rd morning of the tournament meant a very early start to the day. But early starts are no bother to my 2, they have a standard wake up time of around 6am most days, weekdays AND weekends. The mere notion of sleeping a minute longer to give momma a shot at a tiny bit more rest, is just hilarious to them. So bright and early there we were, Team P.Doyle cheer squad.

Today the team wore black.

This was a great game.

The boys hustled and played hard.

Something or someone appears to be blocking James view of the game.

Unfortunately it wasn’t a victory for Paul’s team this game. But we were very proud of how hard he and his teammates played.

The obligatory Doyle Boys group shot.

The perks of having a game so early in the morning meant we had plenty of time to get back to the hotel and play in the pool before starting our drive home to Georgia.

Whenever we travel anywhere with the boys, the one thing we have to make sure the place we stay has, is a pool.

A friendly game of some type of water football happening here.

James in catching action.

Full marks for spectacular catching.

Spotted, Cullen sneaking off for a dip in the hot-tub, or as he called it, the “hotdog”.

A random little Keane shark swimming past.

Out of the hot-tub and back in the pool.

Spotted, 2 boys sneaking off to the hot-tub.

Not wanting to be the bad guy, I let The Husband break the news to the boys that it was time to get out.

Ice Fans On Tour

January 21, 2018

All week I’ve been trying to get this blog post up. But with the kids out of school 4 of the 5 days cos of snow, well, nothing outside of keeping them occupied and entertained got achieve. My creativity was literally shot. At the end of each long day all I was, was a heap of depletion. But the snow has finally melted. The roads are no longer a frozen and slippery hazard. The kids can once again resume outdoor activities and my mojo is starting to kick back in. So now we can talk about our trip to Nashville last weekend where we went to cheer and support our big cousin Paul in his ice hockey tournament. The team flew all the way from Massachusetts to take part in this tournament and since my boys are huge fans of their cousins and everything they do, there was no way we weren’t making the short 3 hour drive to see him in action.

We arrived on day 2 of the 4 day tournament and the boys were so proud and excited to see their cousins. Here they are lurking outside the changing room, waiting for Paul’s team to come out.

Thats Paul, centre of shot, white jersey, black shorts, waiting for the puck drop.

His 3 biggest fans.

Paul dominating.

The fans going wild.

Yay! Paul scored.

Group hug for the score.

The Husband focused on video while I captured the stills.

The young fans found it hard to stay focused, so there were a few breaks in cheering to play with sharks.

Climbing stair rails.

Also to run a few sideline races.

And offer piggyback rides.

Keane wanted to get a closer look at the team box.

And give his cousin a wave of encouragement.

Back on the ice and it was a victory our team.

Winner high-fives.

Paul is literally their hero.

Later that evening and Nashville was overrun with Patriots fans. Well, at least the lobby of our hotel was, as everyone gathered to watch the Patriots beat the home team, Tennessee Titans and inch their way closer to Super Bowl qualification.

Keane and Paul, and don’t ask me why Keane wanted to bring and wear his baseball helmet, he just did.

Cullen has zero interest in the game, but 1000% interest in playing on the floor with his toy sharks.


The focus.

Yes, they all want to sit on the same chair together. Personal space? Never heard of it.

Snow Over It

January 17, 2018

We just can’t get a break in weather these days. More freezing temperatures, with accompanying snowfall. Not as much snow as the pre-Christmas showing, but snow nonetheless. I’m snow over it, get it? Of course this type of weather means yet another school free day for the boys. The past 6 weeks it feels like they’ve been out of school more than they’ve been in. This momma is ready for things to get back to normal. I’m running out of entertainment ideas for 2 house bound boys and suffering a serious dip in motivation. I know come summer I’ll be bitching about the heat, but damn, is it summer yet?

Of course the smallest snow flurry means the boys want to get out there and play. So out I go too, smiling and acting like I’m having the best time and not in reality freezing my ass off.

We took a stroll down to the pond to check the freeze situation.

Large patches of thin ice covered about 60% of the pond.

And the boys just couldn’t resist taking the boat out to smash their way through some of the ice.