Archive for April, 2016

Beverly Hills Baby

April 27, 2016

For our last day in California we got to hang out in swanky Beverly Hills. The Husband had some meetings there so while he busied himself with all the business stuff, the boys and I busied ourselves walking the swanky streets searching for a place where a girl could drop a cool million on something shiny for herself. Namely I was looking for Rodeo Drive. Cos lets be honest, there’s no women out there who doesn’t want to do the Julia Roberts, Pretty Women thing to a couple of snooty, stuck up Rodeo Drive sales assistances. Grant it Julia didn’t have 2 little boys in tow when she put her best bitch forward, but this was me, making the situation my own. Only problem was, we got lost, and the boys got hot and tired. So it was back to the hotel. No Rodeo Drive window shopping for the totallty unattainable for this girl, at least not that day (wink, wink).

Our hotel and a view of the streets and downtown LA. from out room.

On my nerve with the boys always wanting to hang out on the balcony. They’re both climbers and I just didn’t need the stress of them deciding to climb these rails.

Off for our walk/hunt for Rodeo Drive.

Cullen shares my enthusiasm for the expensive. He can’t wait to see him some high-end merchandise.

Keane decided to bring his own pen and paper so he could map our walk.



And sprinkles was as good as it got. They were having fun, until they weren’t.

The rain stayed with us for a second day, but we promised Ashton and Brianne we’d be on the track to help with any technical assistance or pacing they might need during their training session. And if there’s one things my boys are, its dedicated. Its an Olympic year after all. No slacking. There’s medals at stack here.

First up, hurdle work.

Impressive hurdling technique from Keane. Doesn’t get it from his momma thats for sure. Must be his godmother (Derval, are you watching??)

Trying to keep the random and spontaneous Cullen out of Keane’s way.

The “yeah, I nailed it face”.

Cullen’s turn.

His was more of the walk up and kick it over technique.

You can tell Keane is not impressed by Cullen’s kick it over technique. And you can tell Cullen doesn’t give a sh*t.

Keane walks through putting them all back up, while Cullen follows behind kicking them all down again. You know this lead to a fight.

Coach Harry threatens to beat Keane with the brush if he doesn’t run faster. (Kidding obviously)

Now its time to help Bri with her starts. Cullen misses the “Go!” cos the lid came off his water cup.

Meanwhile, back at the start line, Cullen is enraged with his cup.

Momma fixes the lid and now he’s happy and ready to take on Ashton.

An almost collision with the returning Bri and Keane.

Never really got around to working on our long jump, too busy building and trashing sand castles.

The fun is over, now its time to get some work down. DMG athletes, here’s who’s really sending out all those e-mails, contracts and proposals.

Life’s A Zoo

April 20, 2016

In my search for kid friendly things to do in and around the Santa Barbara area, the one thing that kept popping up on the information sites was the Santa Barbara Zoo. Apparently if you were a person with kids, which we were, it was a “must do“. “Small by zoo standards, but that was its charm”. “Scenic with a nice variety of well cared for animals.” Personally I’m not a big fan of zoos. I always end up feeling sad for the animals, but the boys have never been to a zoo so we thought this might be one of the better zoo’s to visit.

Our friend Brianne had a day off from training so she decided to come along for the joy.

Cullen trying to get up close and personal with the snakes.

They were pretty excited to see the elephants, but sadly this was as close as we could get.

And since elephants are one of Cullen’s favorite animals, he was pissed that he wasn’t allowed to climb over the fence for a better look.


And the elephants still lurking the background.

So the map Keane is holding caused all kinds of drama. Both boys wanted to hold it and navigate our way around the zoo. There was lots of yelling and tears of frustration. Had I known I would obviously have asked for 2 maps on our admission, but live and learn and in the end we figured out a sharing system that both agreed to, begrudgingly. Until I was able to locate a 2nd map. Joy all around.

Cullen’s turn with the map.

Thankfully they were able to put their differences over the map aside to have a little fun with this thing.

A momma giraffe and her 1 week old baby. So cute.

The boys, very neutral about it all.

The king of the jungle himself.

Cullen trying to bother a couple of sleeping foxes.

Not 100% sure but I feel like this guy was begging us to save him. He kept making his way to where we stood, moving faster then I thought a turtle should and his face looked very “pleading”.

So all the animals we saw were very nice, but what the boys really wanted to see was some dinosaurs. Without getting into the whole Jurassic Park story and how badly that ended fro all involved when they tried to create a dinosaur type zoo, not to mention the small issue of extinction, which I did my best to explain, Keane was insistent that dinosaurs were real and were somewhere here in the zoo. So we kept looking.

Cullen got in on the whole dinosaur search too and kept asking me “where triceratops go momma?”

Footprints, could this lead us to the dinosaurs?

Stepping stumps.

Jungle trees.

A choo-choo, now this was a welcomed distraction from the dinosaur questions.

Brianne was sweet enough to try and grab a photo that included me for a change.

Our driver.

The best shot I could get of our train ride while seated on the train.

That evening the rain moved in, but we still ploughed on with our plan to walk the Santa Barbra Pier.

Pause to watch a rowing race in action.

Cullen loved the pier.

Non-stop running.

Cullen was convinced the fog on the mountains was a “bolcano” (a volcano).

Bird watching.

Managed to grab this shot of the pigeon taking off.

LOVE LOVE LOVE this shot of Cullen. Don’t ask me what he’s doing, I have no clue.

Track, Shoot, Swim

April 17, 2016

The second day of our trip was a busy one. Kicked off with a dawn dip in the pool of course, then it was straight to the track to meet up with our friends Ashton (Eaton) and Brianne (Theisen-Eaton) who are in Santa Barbara for a month long training camp. Post training session it was lunch and nap. ¬†Beauty sleep was important cos later we got the opportunity to be on the set of a photo shoot Ashton was doing for a well known fashion magazine. I’m not suppose to share the name of the magazine, at least not until the photos are published in the June issue, but if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, then you know its a little too late for that. Cat. Bag. Out, if you know what I mean. However, it didn’t go unnoticed and after one Mademoiselle Wintor had her people reach out to my people (aka The Husband) letting us know that hash-tagging the magazine name at this point was not very high fashion of me, then it had to come down. To be honest in the back of my mind I knew it was a tad risky, but I went for it regardless, confident that me and my team of (imaginary) lawyers had put together a very convincing argument as to why nothing we did was quote-unquote, wrong, it just wasn’t 100% right. We were towing the proverbial line if you will. Sadly no-one was buying my bulls*t, so down came the photo. But I have been green lighted to share some behind the scenes pics here, just as long as I forget to mention the magazine.

The boys took possession of the equipment wagon and walked it all over the track. Ashton and Brianne were practicing some of their throwing events, so we were making sure to stay a safe distance away to avoid any kind of accident.

I included this photo mostly to give you a glimpse at the view surrounding the track. Hideous isn’t it???

Bri working on her shot put.

Ashton in the cage practicing his discus.

Watching Ash and Bri train made the boys hungry and thirsty.

Here we are on the set of the shoot. I wasn’t allowed to bust out my real camera during shooting, least I leak any photos to the press, but I could snap a few camera phone pics, so I did. And there my 2 are, oblivious to whats going on, but totally focused on the plant rockery. The model shooting with Ashton was Gigi Hadid, yep, one of the biggest models in the world right now.

Top Italian photographer Mario Testino was the photographer on set. He was so effing cool and actually really sound, not at all what I was expecting. Here he is with The Husband and there he is rocking Ashton’s 2012 Olympic medal and weird warm up hat.

So I wanted to make sure and get a photo of the boys with Gigi (yeah, I call her Gigi now cos we besties) for future bragging rights. They’re sure to thank me for it when their older. I was fully expecting her to be irritated by my request, to be so over people and their need to take her picture, you know, a diva type, but honestly, she could not have been nicer. She chatted with Keane about his fast shoes and even asked him to run around the set so she could witness his fast shoes in action. And he did. But for some reason when it came time to take his photo, I couldn’t get him to smile. Lets just say he’s working his model pout.

Cullen on the other hand wouldn’t get into the photo without momma, perfect, thats all my self-esteem needed, a photo of me next to a super model, but I did it, just to secure his future bragging rights. And while Gigi may be beautiful on the outside, is she a beautiful dreamer on the inside? No, that’s all me.

Post shoot and it was off to the beach.

Not sure why Daddy is looking the opposite way. He was probably making sure he hadn’t lost his beautiful dreamer wife.

Cullen loves to prance around on his toes, thats why I captured this shoot. Cos I’m sure as he grows up, I’ll forget these small details.

West Coast Living

April 14, 2016

So you may remember last year we took a 2 week trip to Oregon, in a camper van, (click HERE for a wee reminder) yes, me and my then 16 month old, 3 year old and Husband living and loving (using the word loosely here) our brief taste of the gypsy life. Well this year when it became clear that we were about to embark on another trip with The Husband, I had one simple request, NO CAMPER VAN. Its too soon. Almost a full year since our gypsy adventure is still not long enough for me to reflect on the experience without focusing on the challenges and reigniting some hostility. So off he went tip-tapping away on his lap-top while I hovered over his shoulder, in full on bitch stance, projecting strong bitch vibes, micro-managing the entire selection process to ensure we didn’t end up in a camper van, teepee or yurt for the week. We settled on what looked like a decent option. Location, Santa Barbara, just over a mile from the beach and less than a mile away from where The Husband needed to be for work and where some of our friends were staying. It didn’t say for sure but we thought we caught a glimpse of a pool in one of the photos. Bonus if that worked out to be true. And based on all of the photos your about to see in this blog post, there was in fact a pool, AND a hot tub, double bonus. The house which we sourced from Airbnb, was so much more than it looked on the computer screen, it was perfect and if we’d done nothing else all week but swim in the pool, the boys would have been perfectly happy with that.

Because of the time difference (West coast is 3 hours behind us) the boys were wide awake at 5am, begging to get into the pool. The sun wasn’t even up, so I told them they had to wait. As soon as they spotted dawns first sun beams, they were off. No joke, its about 6.45am and there they both are.

They both became obsessed with the pool vacuum cleaner. I tried to take it out a couple of times but they were having none of it.

Pool cleaner Cullen.

Lots of this, splashing.

Off to swim a couple of lengths.

Keane always believes Cullen needs “saving” and is always swimming out and dragging him back to the wall. You can tell by Cullen’s face that being “saved” by Keane is not up there on his list of favorite things.

Well hello there handsome boy with cheeky smile.

One minute your working your cute angles for the camera and the next your getting splashed in the face by your big brother.

Then Daddy showed up, cannon ball style.

Cannon balls all around.

Cullen not on board with the cannon ball trend.

He was more into playing diggers in the hot tub.

All wrapped up after a hard morning of swimming.