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...