Facebook Won

So the mommy blogging thing lost steam and the mommy thing stole all my crafty time and Facebook is just easier.

House reno courtesy of a washing machine flood may be the thrust of the 2014 blogging year. Stay tuned. Or not. Your call.

In the meantime, how cute are my kids?

mario and luigi costumes

Fashion notes:

The hats were purchased through Amazon (direct from China). The t-shirts are FOTL from Walmart and the overalls were sewn using McCall’s M6592 and some pants fabric from JoAnne’s. Tada.

merry christmas!

Yeah, it’s March. So?

We did some stuff in December.

Stuff like building this adorable christmas tree from old pallets. B broke up a pallet and trimmed the planks and the boys painted each plank. Then B screwed the trimmed planks to a 2×4 and added a base.

liam
building our tree!

The boys then painted a few birdhouses and spread peanut butter and bird seed on them.

kellan
hard work making these decorations

And voila!

liam and the tree
tada!
pallet tree
our new christmas tree

Also. We met santa. So that was pretty cool.

liam and kellan with santa
santa!

Then we spent some time in PA, which was cold and white.

liam
yummy snow!
kellan
snow kellan

Maybe there will be a seasonally appropriate post some time soon.

happiest place on earth

We just had the best vacation ever. Seriously. The best. Walt Disney World really is the happiest place on earth as far as I’m concerned. Travelling with great friends made it even more fun. Thank you Ronnie, Brian, Connor and Caitlin for an awesome adventure. Let’s make it an annual event!

with pluto and goofy
group shot!

The boys were excellent travelers, so the six hour drive (each way) in the silver bullet was as painless as possible.

Our adventure began at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The kids had no idea what to expect, so every second of the ten hour day was exciting.

caitlin, connor, liam and kellan
day 1: hollywood studios

Our first stop was at Disney Junior – Live on Stage. It was so cute! As soon as Mickey popped up on stage, Kellan began waving and shouting, “Hi, Mickey Mouse!” I may have teared up a bit.

We wandered around the park and let everyone burn off some energy at Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

kellan
go, go, go

The boys were mesmerized by Lights, Motors, Action! and Brian (not my Brian, the other Brian) had a starring role in Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. And, of course, the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun Parade was a huge hit. We pretty much owned the joint.

team monahan
team monahan

Day two was laid back. We caught up on a tiny bit of missed sleep then spent the late afternoon and evening at the campsites at Fort Wilderness Resort. We didn’t sleep at the campsite, but we grilled burgers there then spent the rest of the evening at the pool, eating s’mores and dancing at Chip’n Dale’s Campfire Sing-a-long and watching Homeward Bound, the featured Movie Under the Stars. It was a great way to sneak in a low key day to help the kids (and grown ups) recoup some energy. Plus, we received resort privileges and a parking pass that was good at all the parks.

We hit Animal Kingdom on day three. We immediately went to the Kilimanjaro Safari. Everyone loved seeing the animals as we bounced down the road and the animals were all up and moving in the morning. Naturally, Dinoland was a big hit. The kids played for ages in the Boneyard. Honestly, for all the cool stuff to see, the play areas may have been the biggest hit.

laim and caitlin
dinosaur bones

Liam was crazy about the Dinosaur ride. I worried that it would scare him, but he loved it. It’s his favorite part of the trip. We ended the day at the Festival of the Lion King, which was absolutely amazing. Sadly, Liam chickened out when invited to join the performers, but luckily for us, Connor jumped right in!

liam, mickey and kellan
finally meeting the big cheese

I must admit, however, that my favorite part of the day was spent in the shade  behind the Dawa Bar sipping mojitos with my Brian while the hooligan’s napped!

nap time
disney 2, boys 0

Day four was a big night! After a lazy day at the pool, we dressed up for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

halloween party
boo!

It was a super late night and though Liam slept through it all, the Kel-Kel monster partied like a rock star.

video of kellan dancing
click to see some moves like jagger

The Boo to You Parade was really cool as were the amazing Happy HalloWishes fireworks. Plus, I got to do my first zombie makeup!

zombie
cutest. zombie. ever.

On our last park day, which was also my birthday(!), we ate and drank our way around the world at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. I love, love, love the F&W Festival. Like alot. The boys seemed to have fun too…

kellan
i wuv sweedish meatballs
liam
cheeeeeeeeese!

Just when you thought that it couldn’t get any better…we met up with Shawn, Ashley, Emory and Mr. and Mrs. G.

kellan, emory, liam and jen
chillin’ in new zealand

Alas, the boys crashed crossing the bridge from France to England so B and I were forced to sit on a bench next to the Ireland Marketplace. Hard as it was to nibble Irish cheeses and Fisherman’s Pie and sip Guinness, we sacrificed two hours so that our cherished children could rest.

mommy and daddy
cheers!

What an amazing (and exhausting) week. Can’t wait to do it again!

kellan
no nap! no nap! zzzzzzz….

who’s two?

The Kel-Kel Monster!

Kellan Robert
the birthday boy!

Our baby’s not a baby anymore. WAAAAH! If I were younger and much, much less lazy, I’d totally have baby fever right now. Alas, I am old and very lazy, so I’ll just have to befriend some pregnant ladies.

Back to the subject at hand. Kellan celebrated his second birthday in style. Grandma and Grandpa came to brunch with delicious coconut cupcakes.

kellan robert
vees are reary yummy

And after naps the neighbors joined us for some cake (and adult beverages). It was a super fun day.

happy birthday, kellan video
happy birthday, kellan video

So, now we have two big boys and no babies. Guess it’ll have to do.

Kellan and Liam
buzzy and batman

The cake was inspired by a post on somewhere in the middle. I used Pilsbury’s box mix with an extra box of pudding and an extra egg, spread pudding between the cake layers and used a Betty Crocker tub of frosting. I figured the whole thing is going to be dripping in M&Ms and Kit-Kat bars, who’s going to notice the cake?

kit-kat cake
cake and candy!?! oh yeah!

Words of warning: the M&Ms got cloudy after spending a little time under the cake dome. The cake was totally cool and it wasn’t terribly hot in the house. Perhaps refrigerating the whole thing may have helped? Anyway if you make one of these either add the M&Ms right before bringing the cake out or leave it uncovered.

What fun.

summer, summer, summer

Man, it is HOT. But these boys are movers and shakers, so we are outside all day long. The backyard is a mish-mash of canopies: an umbrella over the pool, a sun sail over the swing set and a castle (gazebo) at the end of the driveway.

Dining is alfresco and fluffernutters are frequently on the menu.

liam and kellan
lunch time in the castle

Cleanup is a breeze. We just chuck the boys back in the pool and voila, marshmallow no more.

Liam and Kellan
cheeeeeeeeeese!

Our Kel-Kel monster still naps in the afternoon (knock wood repeatedly). And, occasionally, when the new guy is down I can con the old baby into a snuggle in the hammock.

mommy and liam
hammock time

Although hammock time is the best part of my day, Liam still prefers Godzilla time. He puts on “Godzilla Shows” regularly.

liam, godzilla and (fake) mechagodzilla
“heeshhh, aaaaaaargh”

Liam has been mad about Godzilla for more than a month now. We let him watch Godzilla vs. Mothra on Crackle several weeks ago (so that B and I could stay in bed past 6:30 one Saturday morning) and the boy loved it. He immediately began asking for a Godzilla toy. So we made a deal with him. Liam had to clean up all the toys in the living room before bed to earn a check mark on his Godzilla chart and after five checks we’d buy the toy. Low and behold he cleaned the living room every night before bed.

You have never seen a kid so proud. He still has the chart and the box that Godzilla came it.

In the past couple months he’s watched all the Godzilla flicks that Crackle has to offer plus the 1998 American version.  However, the poor, neglected child only has one “real Godzilla toy” and so must pretend his robot is Mechagodzilla and that Red Death is Gigan and a dragonfly puppet is Mothra. Sad, right? He’s scamming for more “real” monsters through various charts, birthday and Christmas lists.

liam's godzilla show
dragons, dinosaurs and monsters, oh my!

In other news, there is an escape artist in our midst. Kellan slips out of his crib like a ninja. Seriously, the boy does not make a sound until he’s opening the bedroom door or trying to wake Liam.

kellan robert
yeah, i’m smooth

We moved Kellan into Liam’s room for Aydan’s visit and it worked. So, they now share a room and we are converting Kellan’s old bedroom back to a craft room. It’s been pretty smooth sailing until now. The past two nights himself has exited the crib several times at bedtime. He climbed out four times on Tuesday night. The first three times Liam shouted over the monitor, “Mommy, Kellan’s out of his crib!” As Kellen does EVERYTHING Liam does, he immediately piped in with, “Mommy, I out of crib!”

Oy.

By the fourth escape, an hour later, Liam was asleep. Over the monitor we hear, “Nemo*, wake up. Godzilla time.” Then a few minutes later their bedroom door opens and closes, little feet pad down the stairs and then big blue eyes peep around the corner into the living room. Luckily that was his last escape of the night at around 8:45. He let himself out of his crib in the morning and sauntered into the dining room like it was no big thing. The boy slays me.

Last night was better. K stayed in his crib after only three escapes in twenty minutes. We’ll see what tonight brings.

liam and kellan
brothers

The brothers get along really well most of the time. Naturally, skirmishes break out occasionally (and sometimes often), but at the end of the day they’re pals.

Life is good.

*Liam still pronounces his own name “Lima” and Kellan mispronounces it further into “Nemo.” Ridiculously cute. However Liam is a bit sensitive about it and doesn’t find any humor in adults purposely mispronouncing his name and calling him Lima. Consider yourself warned.

outdoor living

We didn’t let the outrageous heat stop us this weekend. Thanks to our new Intex Ultra swimming pool the boys and I spent the whole weekend playing and finishing projects in the backyard. Please note that I will be using the royal “we” throughout this post as my contribution to the work effort was nothing more than pointing and barking directions.

The boys are absolute fish! They love the pool and have no fear. Seriously, the pool is the only way we can stay outside for extended time.

Liam Gregor
i’m a fish

First, B built the boys a teepee (tipi) using a 12’x15′ cotton drop cloth and some 10′ lengths of conduit hanging around since last year’s garden. We followed ZiggityZoom’s instructions and tucked it in a shady spot in the yard. So far, the boys have shown little interest. Go figure. I think it’s very, very cool.

canvas teepee
next step: paint

Next, with the aid of our neighbor Cullen, B made our reclaimed pallet rolling table. The idea came from Joy Ever After. We ignored all measurements (much to B’s horror) and made do with the materials on hand. The casters are from Lowe’s, but everything else is reclaimed. We used two locking casters and two regular, so the total cost of the project was about $25. Can’t beat that with a stick!

reclaimed pallet table
rolling pallets

We’ve been collecting pallets and crates destined for trash pickup for a month or so now and had the perfect pallet for the table top. We couldn’t find a match for the bottom, so B and Cullen broke up another pallet and crate and recreated a pallet for the bottom. They didn’t bother with L-brackets, just toe-screwed the legs to the top and bottom.

pallet table
perfect size (and price!)

It probably took the guys about two hours start to finish and more than half that time was spent busting up the pallet and crate for the base and looking for long wood screws in the shambles of our garage. I positively love it. It’s the perfect size and the ability to roll it around the yard is sweet. We didn’t do anything to the wood, though I may have B sand off a few of the really rough edges to be sure nobody gets a splinter.

Kellan Robert
cutest helper ever

After all that hard work, a shady spot to rest was in order. So, B hung a hammock using an old 9’x12’cotton drop cloth folded in half and some rope from the (still messy) garage.

hammock
shady haven

B followed Tim Anderson’s video on instructables.com. It went up in minutes and can be taken down just as quickly. It’s the perfect size for me, but too small for B. So nice. So, so nice.

Next on the outdoor project list is a picnic bench for the boys. As you can see in the image above, they currently picnic on old plastic milk crates. Surely we can do better than that.

And now for a gratuitous photo.

Liam Gregor
doin’ my best James Dean

The remainder of our weekend was spent testing tiki drink recipes such as:

mai tias
Trader Vic beat Don the Beachcomber

and

coconaut
easy and delicious!

and

Aurora Bora Borealis
i initially liked this, but by the end wasn’t digging it…

Don’t be jealous.