Archive for November, 2018

Oh Christmas Tree 2018

November 28, 2018

Like most of American, last weekend we mobilized ourselves away from the Thanksgiving leftovers, but not as you might think, to hit up the madness that is Black Friday sales. No, in this house we are allergic to Black Friday. Its a blood sport, pure and simple and we have zero interest in participation. We do however have major interest in spectating. And by spectating I mean we love to watch the Friday evening news, as they show footage of mobs of people trampling, fighting and getting arrested over heavily discounted pots and pans and flat screen tv’s. Its gobsmacking stuff. Also, in this day of online shopping, its baffling and unnecessary. So no, we did not go near any kind of store or mall on Black Friday. What we did do is hit up the tree farm and get ourselves our Christmas tree.

One of the first to arrive. Bright and early and ready to choose our tree.

Excitement pulsing through him, Keane is out of the blocks and in a mad rush to get to the trees.

As usual we go straight to the big ones.

It didn’t take long to make our selection.

And while Daddy took care of the business side of Christmas tree purchasing, the boys took off to play tag amongst the rest of the trees.

Time to load this baby up and take it home.

We’re definitely excited.

Back at home and we are ready to decorate.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a string of Christmas lights to untangle.

Shark ornaments for Cullen of course.

Gobble Jog 2018

November 24, 2018

Another Thanksgiving, another Gobble Jog for this family. A 6.15am alarm shocked me out of a deep and cozy sleep, as I fumbled around in the pre-dawn darkness, not wanting to wake the sleeping men of the house by switching on lights, bitching to myself about myself, wondering why oh why I keep doing this. My good friend Mike who always runs the Gobble Jog with me, had the car already running to defrost the windshield and by 6.45am we were on our way to Marietta Sq and the start of the 2018 Gobble Jog 10K. As per usual, by the time I finish the 10k, I have about 30mins before The Husband arrives with the kids and we make our way back to the start line for the start of the family 5k. This year Keane insisted he was running the entire race, without wagon support (aka, the stroller). So Daddy was elected Keane’s racing buddy. Cullen felt there would be some definite moments over the 5km where he may need to rest his little legs. So we partnered up and I ran close to him with the support wagon. They both did really well. Finishing more tired then previous Gobble Jogs purely cos they insisted on running most of it. And as they learned, running can be very tiring. But worth it when you cross the finish line and gain access to unlimited free Gatorade and cool Gobble Jog shirts with pictures of funny turkeys on the back.

Me, in early morning 10k action.

2 little Gobblers arrive ready to race.

Killing time before we head to the start line.

My friend Mike who ran the 10k with me.

Mike making sure Cullen’s hands stay warm and cozy on this frigid Thanksgiving morning.

The Doyle boys.

Pre-Family 5K, family shot.

Off to the start line.

Cullen’s last minute change of plans as he tells me he’s going to run with Daddy and Keane.

And we’re off.

Keane and Daddy take off.

Cullen and I trot along at our own steady pace.

But look who’s up ahead? We caught up with Daddy and Keane close to the half way mark, as they walked for a portion of the race.

Quick stop at the hydration station.

Less than a mile to go and still going strong.

Cullen’s face of determination.

The post race fatigue had some of us feeling all kinds of emotions. Cullen’s were more angry based as he lashed out at Momma for her picture taking.

Picking up our finishers shirts.

Gobble Jog finishers.

When Cullen is over it, he’s over it. Trying to sweet talk him into a photo with Momma.

I’m over it, Cullen’s over it, Keane is his usual easy going self.

Back to the car sucking down his 2nd free Gatorade.

Fish. The Return

November 15, 2018

We had a fish tank for 2 years. I didn’t like it. It was suppose to be Daddy’s responsibility. He was suppose to keep the water clean and fresh, the chemical balance in check and the fish feed and healthy. That lated a few weeks, then, just like everything else in this house that needs to be kept alive (kids, dogs, cats and gecko’s) they end up my responsibility. So as the fish began to pass (cos fish don’t have the longest life expectancy), we stopped replacing them. And eventually, we were fish free and the tank was gone. Bye! That was until Cullen became a major fan of all things ocean. He’s obsessed with sea creatures but he’s completely obsessed with sharks and has been for over a year now. Recently we read a book about a girl who loved sharks, as much as Cullen does, and in the book her mother got her a fish tank so she could have her own “mini aquarium” at home. You can see where this is going. Yep, the fish tank is back. Its smaller than the previous one, but its back non the less. And I’m not thrilled. I’m thrilled it brings Cullen joy and he gets to engage in something he loves, but I await the moment when once again, another living thing ends up on my list of “Things to Keep Alive Each and Every Day”.

The first week we had a some casualties. Learning to get the chemical balance of the water right is a tricky business and 2 of the fish did not survive our learning curve.

But like the responsible aquarium owner he is, Cullen fished out the casualties.

That is/was “Pleaky”.

The boys prep to give the fish a proper burial and dress in some of their old Halloween costumes for the funeral.

Little sticks to mark the sacred spots of “Pleaky” and “Whitey”.

Lacrosse or Nothing

November 11, 2018

Keane waited all summer long for his first lacrosse practice. On one of our visits to Massachusetts, while watching his cousins Paul and James play, he decided that this was a sport he needed to try. So I hit up the Google machine in search of a local lacrosse teams that catered to 6 yr olds. Not an easy task as it turns out. Most clubs I discovered, required the boys to be 8 yrs old before they could play. I talked to Keane about this, suggesting maybe he sign up for Fall soccer instead. But he was having none it. It was lacrosse or nothing. So back to the keyboard, back to the Google, text messages to moms I knew had older kids playing the game to see if they had any inside info on lacrosse for younger kids. Eventually, I found a team, and luckily it wasn’t far from where we live. I searched the world via the web to find a team that was basically up the road from our house. And I can’t say enough about this team and their coaches. They were top class. Which makes such a difference to the kids enjoyment and participation. A happy kid, a well run team and amazing coaches, also makes for a happy parent.

Here are a bunch of pics from Keane’s first practice. Which was last month. You might say I’m bit behind on life right now.

Listening to the basics of lacrosse from coach Chris.

Working hard on mastering ball pick up.

Drills time!



Drop it!

Race back!

Time for team jersey.

Keane is number 26.

More skills work.

Wait for the whistle.

Now go!

Team talk at the end of a great first practice.

Sweaty and happy.

Lacrosse is a game with lost of equipment.

Drills & Skills

November 6, 2018

Last year Cullen had a more hate, less love relationship with soccer. If I had to describe Cullen and his interest in sport right now, in this moment, I would say he’s not sports biggest fan. He has moments of interest and brief participation, but overall his interests lie elsewhere. This year a couple of kids from his class signed up for Fall soccer. I asked Cullen if he’d like to sign up too? Fully expecting him to say, “Hell. No!”. But to my surprise, he said “Yes!” Wow, ok then. So sign him up I did, albeit skeptically. But in a surprise twist of events, this year he was into it. Happily taking part in all of the drills and skills. Hustling in games. Showing his inner thug by dragging on the arms and shirts of players on the opposing team when they tried to take the ball. And displaying lots of emotion (tears) when the other team scored. The exact opposite of the Cullen that played soccer last Fall. Which was nice cos that saved me a mental battle of doubt and guilt with myself, for feeling like some kind of pushy mother, making him do something he had no interest doing.

Off to practice.

Dribbling and scoring skills.

Cullen’s friends and teammate, Ashton.

Ashton was excited to share his goal scoring excitement with our other friend, Zachary.

More skills work.

Game time and Cullen with the kick in.

There he goes!

Oops, some illegal handball action.

Doing his best to get between the red team player and the ball.

Yep, watching the other team score can be emotional.

End of game high-fives cos if nothing else, we’re good sports men.

Everyone wants a “Well Done” sticker from coach.

But look who got the “Player of the Game” medal, Cullen!!

So proud of himself.

Shot with his friends and teammates.

Now off to the playground for even more fun.