Sunday, 28 April 2013

Is it finally spring in Belfast?

Well we actually got out into a bit of sunshine this weekend.  We headed over to one of our favourite parks on Saturday, Lady Dixon.  We did our family photo shoot here last October. It's a lovely park with acres upon acres of beautiful landscaped areas, rose gardens, walled gardens, loads of walking trails, ponds, play parks... so much to see and do.

It's always a good sign when you see your shadow!
Best picture I could get of these 2 crazy lads...
Amazing walled gardens
Awesome looking tree
Liam is a giant in this photo... he is in real life too.  The boy is going through some major growth spurt at the minute!

Mom's visit, Easter and the snow!

So much for me keeping this blog up to date, eh?  I'm a busy bee these days and I need to figure out how to upload and update the blog from my phone or the ipad.

So my mom came over for a 2 week holiday at the end of March/ beginning of April.  She arrived on the Friday when the biggest snowstorm 'on record' was starting.  The roads were moving at a snails pace, but I made it to the International Airport eventually.  The normally 25 minute journey took me over an hour in both directions.  It was stressful getting up the hill to our development.  I got stuck for a few minutes in the first entrance to our street so I went around the back and was able to get on the curb in front of our neighbor's house.  Her husband had to abandon their car at the bottom of the development.

We didn't tell the boys my mom was coming over.  I just told them that morning that I was heading out to bring them a surprise.  Both of the boys were so excited to see her when she surprised them in the living room.  They gave her big hugs and kisses and Cian wasn't strange with her at all.

She brought loads of goodies, but a few of them came in very handy with the strange weather.  New hats, scarves and amazing snowsuits.  They got everything on and got out to enjoy the snow.
We made snowmen (back garden and front) and took the sled down the hill by the play park.  We were stuck inside for 3 days, 4 if you count the Friday.  Ollie skipped into work on the Monday, he was so ready to get out of the house!

Our very Irish looking snowman, Sandy.
Cian got the chicken pox a couple of days before Easter... great timing, so we didn't get out much during her stay.  I took the first Tuesday off and left the boys in daycare/school so that we could visit the Titanic Experience.  It was excellent... much better than I expected!  We enjoyed lunch, did some shopping at Ikea, Sainsburys and B&Q before picking up the boys to head home.

We celebrated Easter at our house.  Mom and I stayed up to get the baskets all ready. She brought loads of candy and toys with her from NJ.  They loved it... especially the bunny ears!  Cian was full on with the chicken pox at this stage so he wasn't feeling the best.

We had Anne, Annie and Gerard over for dinner so it wasn't too stressful.  I did rocket topped king prawn with marie rose sauce on wheaten bread for starters.  We had a stuffed pork (I had fish) with roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, carrots and gravy.  Yum.  For desert, I made my tried and trusted (totally amazing) carrot cake and had my first successful attempt at a pavlova (meringue topped with whipped cream and strawberries) which was super tasty.

This is how photos go in our house!
We spent most of Easter week cleaning the house (we were housebound because of Cian's chicken pox).  My mom gifted us a shark steam mop and it is awesome!  The floors are clean enough to eat off. 

Mom brought over the good ol' Kraft Mac & Cheese and we let Liam make us lunch one day.  This was the first thing I learned to 'cook' as a child.
We got out to Wallace Park.  It was cold, but thankfully sunny and dry!  Liam enjoyed showing off his spiderman skills.
Picture with a random child on the swing
Success!  A cute photo of the kids with my mom!
I think she enjoyed herself while she was here.  The snowstorm and chicken pox did make it a little less exciting and we didn't get out as much as I had hoped.  The zoo was closed over Easter, it's biggest long weekend of the year!  We'll have to make up for it when we head home this summer... flights are booked and we'll be back in the sun for 15 days in July/August!  Woo hoo.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Fun at the Market

We popped down to St George's Market on Saturday morning.  It's full of nice stalls with fresh fruits & veg, meats, crafts, cookies, muffins... loads!  A visit to the market is always a nice little family outing.

The stink face...

They had a bunch of cute little animals in- hamsters, chicks, lambs, goats, puppies and a rabbit.  They boys were so excited to pet them and get kisses.
We all want a puppy now... well Liam, Cian and I do anyway.

Snow Day

Just a quick post to share with those of you who follow my blog, but not Facebook.  We had quite the snowfall on Monday night/ Tuesday morning.  To say the roads were treacherous would be a huge understatement- it's the worst I've driven in and we had pretty bad snow growing up in New Jersey and very bad snow when I was at university in Massachusetts.  We live up the side of a hill on the edge of Belfast and it's tough to get up at the best of times.  There were a couple of dozen cars that were abandoned due to the snow.  Luckily I had someone looking out for me and I was able to get up the hill with the boys without much hassle.  They just aren't equipped for snow and ice here in Northern Ireland.  But with the winter weather getting increasingly worse these past few years, they will need to invest in more gritters and snowplows!

Playing out in the snow...

Building snowmen in the backyard...

So, with all of the 8 inches of snow, schools were cancelled and we had a snow day!  The boys were so excited to build snowmen and use the new sled we got on Friday.  As we live on a hill, there are loads of hilly bits throughout the development. This provided an excellent place to try out the new sled.

And a great little video of Liam enjoying sledding...

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Liam's P1 School Photos

I still need to get over the fact that my little Liam is growing into a big boy. When Liam tried his school jumper on for the first time in the shop, my eyes welled up with tears. He looked so grown up. Then on his first day of school I let several tears escape my eyes and roll down my cheeks.  He had on his tie and was holding his lunch bag like a briefcase and I got a knot in the bottom of my stomach.  I knew this day was coming, but it still kind of caught me by surprise.

Our dress rehearsal for his first day...

I REALLY wanted to go with the shorts, but Ollie said no other kids would be wearing them and he didn't want Liam to start off being different on his first day of school.  He was right, no other kids were wearing shorts.  But he looks so cute!!

He had his photos taken at school. We could order a set- your usual 8x10, 7x5, 6x4, wallets deal but I rang up and asked for the pictures on USB.  I 'll probably just go with the set going forward, but I wanted these first ones in high res.
Maybe I'll put them on mugs and t-shirts or just save for when he turns 18 and get the mugs and t-shirts made then!

I prefer the more casual one. He has a more natural smile.

Liam is doing really well in school, really well. He comes home everyday and shares the new sound he's learning. One of his favourite games to play in the car is the adding game- Ollie gives him 2 numbers to add together and he figures it out. We haven't gone above 10 yet- he's still adding up most combinations on his fingers.

Liam got the first head teacher's award. The principal (head teacher) presented him with a badge during assembly in front of the whole school. He was so proud of that badge and wore it for days.

He loves doing his homework and rushes in the house everyday to open up his workbook. They have just started reading books- well, they are picture books and we have to make a story up with them and then point to different parts of the picture I hope that continues!!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

We're back....

So it's been a while, eh?  I could list a million excuses for not updating the blog (almost everyone who reads this is on facebook or instagram or twitter or pinterest so they see my updates there) but it's mostly just that I haven't bothered.  Well, I'm making a very late new year's resolution... with 2 months left of 2012, I'm going to try and update this thing on a more regular basis.

The past year has been very full of fun and adventure.  Liam started P1 (Kindergarten) and Cian has grown into a very active toddler.  We have been back to the US twice enjoying some warm sunny weather- last year the boys and I were home for 6 weeks and this past summer we were home for 2 weeks.  Ollie and I celebrated 11 years together, 6 years married and I've lived in Northern Ireland 11 years!

At my last post (in August of last year), Cian was 5 months old.  He's now 20 months old and running around wrecking the joint.  Here is my handsome little man (as Robin):

We had a fun Halloween.  The boys dressed up as Batman and Robin for a Halloween party at Daycare.  We had intended to go to Wallace Park in Lisburn for the Halloween Hoolie, but it was so cold and Cian still has an early bedtime (7-7:15) and gets very grouchy when up late.  So we just put on our costumes and did a little trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.  It's not as big of a deal over here as it is back home, so only a handful of people were home and giving out candy.  It was still nice to get out and around our part of the development.

All dressed up and giving me a little pose...

We have a random blond curly wig that Liam wanted to try on with his costume (you can see Cian in the background crying because he wanted to try it on too).
My attempt at getting a photo of Cian with the wig on... fail!
Holding hands to trick-or-treat. 
It was really cute.  Liam would take Cian's hand and walk him up to the door.  Then they would both knock on the door (or ring the doorbell several times) and when someone answered Liam would say 'Trick or treat!' and Cian would say 'hiya' and just walk right in.  I spent more time apologizing for his over-friendliness than we did trick or treating!

We're pretty busy for the rest of the year, so I'll have no excuse for lack of things to post about. We have a few birthday parties to attend, my first fund raising event (a sponsored hike up Blacks Mountain) for St Luke's PTA, my first Ulster American Woman's Club Thanksgiving Potluck lunch, Liam's Superhero 5th Birthday party, The Panto, and loads of things for Christmas.

Till then...  

Saturday, 20 August 2011

5 months

Okay, so I'm a little late (again) on the Cian update, but I wanted to get it up before we fly over to the states for 6 weeks.

Right, so my little man is huge. He's pretty much on the same growth rate as Liam, which is big. At his 5 month check up he was a big 18lbs and 70cms. He's in US size 9months and UK size 6-9 month clothing. We changed him to the active baby pampers because he's such a mover. He spends most of his time on his tummy- he rolls over withing 2 seconds of being put down. At this stage (5 1/2 months), Liam was showing signs of crawling- he would be planking and putting his wee bum up in the air. Cian is showing this same signs and I think he'll be crawling around the same time.
Cian is eating all different types of vegetables- he's not very keen on fruit at this stage. He's tried carrot, parsnip, turnip, butternut squash, sweet potato, avocado, banana, apple and pear. We are going to continue with other fruits and veggies and start to introduce fish and chicken after 6 months.
This is what I find most of the time, Liam and Cian together.

Cian is getting better at sitting up. He still needs a bit of assistance, but he's well on his way.

My cuties.

We are off to the states tomorrow morning! I'll make sure to update the blog with loads of pictures from all of our adventures.