Back On The Rocks

January 19, 2017

We hit the rocks again this week. But this time we tried a new rock climbing gym and it was, to say the least, a major success. Our first rock climbing experience was fun, for the kids, but not so much fun for the mommas. Full disclosure, the staff were less than enthusiastic about the existence of our children, despite the fact that we inquired ahead of time to make sure the kids and their age range were welcome. “Absolutely” we were told. But when we arrived, it was a different story. ALLERGIC! Thats what the staff were towards our children. We could see it all over their faces and it was confirmed when they began the games:

Allergic Staff Member: “Sorry, its scheduled only climbing today”.

The Mommas: “Great, we booked 11am – 1pm”

Allergic Staff Member: “Oh but cos of their age, they will need a qualified instructor”

The Mommas: “Yep, Clive is apparently the guy who will be showing our boys the ropes (a little climbers humor with accompanying har-di-har-har smile to try and win them over)

Allergic Staff Member: “Yes but if they’re not enjoying it and want to stop after 20 or 30 minutes, you still have to pay the full 2 hours”.

The Mommas: “Thats fine. We understand”

Allergic Staff Member: “There is also a lengthy waiver to be signed for EACH child” (particular emphasis was place on the word “each”, like the idea of lengthy paperwork for a total of 3 children should cause us to tremble and run screaming for the door).

The Mommas: “We already filled those out through your website”

Allergic Staff Member: “Oh when did you do that? See, they’re only good for 30 days”

The Mommas: “We did them yesterday. As in 1 day ago. So we’re covered for a further 29 more days. Now, is there anything else??? (said with absolutely zero climber humor, or har-di-har-har smile. Right now we are fecking irritated and couldn’t care less about winning anyone over with our charm and personality).

Allergic Staff Member: “I’m not actually seeing you on the schedule for today”

The Mommas: “Really?? Well can we talk to Greg cos he’s the guy that took the booking along with a deposit?”

Allergic Staff Member: “Oh you talked to Greg, ok, well hold on, let me see here”.

Greg is apparently the owner and Allergic Staff Member didn’t seem to want to involve him in his game of getting us to leave. So all of a sudden everything was fine. There were no issues and our kids were clear to climb. The boys were oblivious to any of this of course. But the mommas were pissed and irritated and ready to drink about it, later in the day of course, cos we’re responsible angry mommas.

So when the boys talked about wanting to go climbing again, we trolled the world wide web to find somewhere, anywhere that wasn’t the above gym. Thats when we found Stone Summit. Y’all, this place is amazing. And totally kid friendly, like, genuinely. The boys had an absolute blast and are already planning their next visit.

Stone Summit had an entire area dedicated to kids climbing, compete with dinosaur slide. That alone made it the undisputed winner with the boys.

Snow-Not-Snow

January 15, 2017

Last week I gave myself the week off from blogging. I can do that cos I’m my own boss. Well, not really, the kids are my boss, but evenings, when the boys are tucked up, asleep in their beds and momma has “officially” clocked out for the night, (unless one of the boys wakes up, at which point I have to immediately clock back in) this is my opportunity to get stuff done. The stuff thats impossible to do during daylight hours while the kids are awake and in a constant state of needing something. But exhausted from surviving the day, you only have a few productive hours before your body will eventually demand sleep. So you need to work smart, allocating your remaining energy to the most important tasks. And last week blogging didn’t make the cut. Honestly, I couldn’t be arsed. I just wanted to sit on my arse, or go to bed early, or read a book I’ve been trying to ready since the birth of my first child. To treat myself to a mental vacation of sorts. So thats what I did. But I’m back now, feeling as refreshed as anyone with young kids can. Ready to share some photos from our trip to Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park. Cos the snow-not-snow of last week, wasn’t enough, we wanted more not-snow to sled and tube and build in.

We went with our friends Amaya and Julian and as you can see from the attire, it wasn’t exactly cold. It was 70 degrees (F), thats 21 degrees (C). A massive contrast to the sub zero temps of last week.

Stone Mountain.

And OMG! If a T-Rex was not the first thing we saw when we walked in.

More amazing news, more dinosaurs are on the way. I know one little boy who cannot wait for that.

Spotted, another dinosaur just to tease us some more.

Eventually we made our way to the Snow Mountain part of Stone Mountain.

Sled time.

Inspired by the dinosaurs, Cullen is now a dinosaur.

Until he turned snow digger.

Obviously the snow is not real, not in 70 degree heat. Its manufactured and periodically pumped out.

And there’s nothing soft or fluffy about it. This snow hurts. Keane had to assume the crash position to absorb the impact.

Its not easy to build in but the boys manage to build themselves a little snowman.

They kept asking me to build them an igloo, yet every time I laid a few ice bricks, this is what happened.

Destroyed.

Time to go tubing.

Cullen is launched.

Here comes Keane.

With a lot more momentum he passes Cullen.

Bye Cullen!

Gradually making his way.

Let It Snow’ish

January 8, 2017

This weekend it snowed! Well, it was more of a frozen rain that stuck around. All crunch and no fluff sadly. But even the smallest peppering of white and the lads were excited. Traditional snow activities like snowman building or snowball fights were just not an option. The snow texture was all wrong and the amount was also an obstacle. So ice smashing was what it was all about. I on the other hand was a grumpy 90 year old who fantized about staying inside, cozy on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, fire optional, sipping a hot beverage while reading a book. In my fantasy there were no kids, so there was zero reasons for me to be outside freezing my arse off in Baltic temps. But not being 90, yet, and with 2 very excited kids, outside smashing ice was how I spent my day.

See, minimum snow.

But it still put a smile on these boys faces.

Frizbee, trapped in ice.

Let the smashing begin.

Off to see if the pond is frozen.

No, still liquid.

We were hoping it was a little frozen so we could test Keane’s Thunder Trax out on the ice.

Keane is full run mode. I didn’t even realized I captured this photo. Maybe my brain is already 90.

Daddy helps Cullen get a little more power behind his ice smashing jump.

So our quarry was frozen over. Yep, we still have our quarry and the boys still love to play in it.

Cullen is frustrated cos his digger can’t get at the rocks.

Daddy adds some hot water to thaw.

Diaster, gloved hands playing in the ice cold water means we are 2 minutes away from frost bite fingers.

Glove change and on to a different project. Smashing the ice on the cover of our new sand box.

Its done nothing but rain (now snowed) since we built the sand box. So this is as much action as its seen in the past 2 weeks.

Keane wants to know when its his turn to smash ice with the digger. Cullen pawns him off by offering a chunk of ice.

Keane takes the bait and Cullen buys himself several more digger minutes.

But it was only a matter of time before Cullen had to give up his seat for Keane to have a turn.

I swear, Keane was on it less than a minute and this guy was hovering, demanding his turn again. Keeping the pressure on by being all up in his space.

The face of a boy not happy to wait his turn.

Victory, its Cullen’s turn again.

Happy New Year!! It might be just me, but does anyone else feel lucky to have made it out of 2016 alive?? I mean towards the end there, George Michael, Princess Leia, Princess Leia’s mom (her real life mom), each one a blow cos these were my people, from my era of growing up. Massive Wham! and George Michael fan as a wee girl. The older brother was and still is massively into the Star Wars, which means I was into the Star Wars cos it was the 80’s and 1 TV was all any home had, so everyone watched the same thing at the same time, image that children of today?!? Anyway, bottom line, I exited 2016 dressed in a gold bikini, hair styled in 2 side cinnabons, drinking and twerking to “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” out of respect for my generations fallen idols.

The boys closed out 2016 climbing walls with their friend Bryson and new friend Heather.

Bryson.

Heather.

Paying full attention to the pre-climbing ground rules.

First up, Bryson.

Half way is perfect for the first go.

Keane all clipped in.

He got about half way on his first try too.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the swing down from the wall.

Cullen came along too but showed little interest in channeling his inner Spiderman. He was happy playing with his trucks in the rubber shavings.

Making friends.

Everyone taking a break from climbing to do some digging.

Heather’s baby sister, 13 month old Colette found Cullen to be very interesting.

Keane was sweet enough to share rubber shavings with baby Colette.

Bryson is back on the wall.

This time he made it all the way.

Heather and Keane watch on in excitement.

Hurry for all the way!

Celebration high-5.

Off for a together climb.

Off course right before its time to leave Cullen starts to show a curiosity. Looks like we’ll be climbing again soon.

Sand Storm

December 29, 2016

We didn’t really take into consideration the impact sand would have on our lives when we decided to build a sand box. Nope, the focus was predominating on the fun the boys would have not just by acquiring a large sandy place to play with their trucks, dinosaurs and digging toys, but on how much they would enjoy the process of actually building it. And while the building was fun and the playing is even more fun, the open invitation for billions of sand particles into my home is absolutely zero fun. And despite the implementation of a system of disrobing and shoe removing and sometimes a hosing down of the feet, the sand still finds a way into the house forcing me to put down my cup of tea and snacks, pause my soap opera watching, delay the afternoon I had planned trying on new clothes, teasing out new hairstyles and playing with bolder make-up ideas as I gossip on the phone with my other mom friends, cos we all know thats how us full time mothers actually spend our days. Ok whoops, and pause ⏸ some passive aggressive totally unrelated to sand-box building anger seeping through the cracks there. Back to sand and its invasion on our lives. Or not, lets just get to the photos part, much more fun.

Hitting the Home Depot for lumber selection.

Siblings.

Cullen approves the layout and location of proposed sand box.

While Cullen napped the big boys glove up and get to work.

So the sandbox building was paused cos Andre had an interview scheduled with a Canadian radio station.

Keane and Andre’s mom watch on patiently.

Andre, in serious media mode.

Interview done, back to work.

It doesn’t look like it, but Andre is helping. The moral support kind of help.

A run to the local quarry to pick up a truck full of sand.

Manual labor, puts hair on your chest.

Hooray! Cullen’s awake and ready to get suck in.

Andre is back with his mortal support and his curiosity at how it all turned out.

Opps, distracted again.

Our little friend Dylan dropped by to check out the finished result.

It all looked very appetizing to Dylan, he kept trying to sneak a taste.