Archive for June, 2016

Gym Time

June 29, 2016

Summer is all about having more time to try new things and for the longest time now I’ve been wanting to take the boys to a gymnastics class. I felt it fit perfectly with the things they enjoy, namely climbing, running, jumping, crawling, swinging and rolling, basically everything thats physical and active. So a couple of weeks ago I took them to their first gymnastics class. They both loved it, my only complaint was that the mommas were not allowed on the gym floor. We had to watch from a fenced in area at the back go the gym. This didn’t sit right with me for 2 reasons, 1. you can’t get a good photo from the back of the gym and 2. how was I suppose to get any kind of photo of my little gymnasts from the back of the gym? I felt photographically sabotaged but refused to be defeated. So out with the trusty iPhone and click click we got ourselves a few sneaky photos of the boys in action.

The boys classes are on different days, here’s Cullen with the 2 year olds getting all warmed up.

Onto the balance beam and under the swing bar.

Crawl unders, climb overs.

Little boy, big bars.

Keane getting warmed up with the other 4 year olds.

Solo beam walk.

Climb and dive overs.

Swing time.

Almost Rio ready.

Splash Park

June 25, 2016

Its hot here in Georgia right now, damn hot. So most of our activities these days are water based. Lakes, pools, splash parks, we want all of it. This week we co-ordinated our trip to the splash park with our friend Bryson. And let me just say, these boys went crazy, like 3 Red Bulls and maybe a shot or 2 of vodka crazy. They were so pumped up, and moving so fast I nearly had to reach for my own alcohol infused energy drink just to keep up with them #anyexcuse

The joy of the splash park.

Happy dance.

Happy bounce.

Keane can’t believe the massive centre piece fountain.

The fast moving Bryson.

Still feeling the joy. Still dancing his happy dance.

There’s a dinosaur roaring game happening here.

Hard to tell if Bryson is drinking or sniffing the water.

Cullen trying to copy.

Cullen and Bryson found a dish, so now they must discuss.

Its time to take on the big fountain.

The force of the water had Bryson almost levitating.

Cullen did not feel compelled to run through the big fountain, not when the small ones were still making him this happy,

This red bucket filled up periodically and then dumped out water. The kids loved it. Just look at that crowd gathered, waiting to be saturated.

I was trying desperately to get a photo of the 3 friends together, but they were in a constant state of all over the place. This was the best I could manage.

Then I tried getting them to sit together, fail, Cullen hates me for it and the other 2 are busy gossiping.

Cullen then turns me his other cheek as he exits, while Keane and Bryson mock me. Kids!

Aqua Therapy

June 23, 2016

Due to a slight twinge in his calf, sustained at his last race, our good friend and client of The Husband, Asafa Powell stayed with us last week while going through some treatment. To give him a break from his daily appointments, ice baths and endless stretching, we decided to take him up to the lake for en evening of aqua fun.

Relaxing in the role of spectator.

But it was only a matter of time before the boys demanded Asafa take a go on the tube.

This shot of Cullen & Keane, you just know they’re up to something.

Right after their scheming, suddenly there was an injection of boat speed.

Cullen was loving this. He kept screaming “faster, faster Dada“.

The laughing might be more fear, then fun.

Look at shady Cullen, waving like he had nothing to do with overspeeding boat.

Someone’s happy the boat is finally slowing down.

A little lazy relaxation floating.

So Keane gets the biggest tube, while the biggest man in the group is left paddling in the smallest. That seems fair.

Owning that tiny tube.

Shark attack!

Thank goodness we had Keane to take control of the situation.

Yes a day in the life of a mother is hard work, exhausting and always difficult, but some days the universe steps in and rewards you for all of your efforts with something nice to look at.

Then suddenly you get snapped back to realty by the hostile pouty face of your 4 year old, cos apparently he’s been calling you for the last 5 minutes but you didn’t hear him, cos, well…..

…this. You’re welcome ladies ;)

Boy Time

June 21, 2016

This past weekend for the momma’s was all about the business of racing up mountains. But for the boys, it was all about the fun of hanging with their cousins. We stayed at an adorable lodge in gorgeous New Hampshire, about a 20 minute drive from Mt. Washington. It came with a pond, a river and a pool, a pool that was still very much holding onto its winter chill. The New Hampshire weather is just at the early stage of its summer warmth, so a few more weeks needed before the pool temps really creep up.

No need to ask Keane if the water’s cold.

No procrastinating here, Mike tosses James straight in.

The day of the race was perfect weather wise, but that wasn’t the story 12 hours prior. The evening before the race we drove to Mt. Washington to pick up our race numbers and it rained, hard.

To avoid getting wet we hung out under one of the big tents, yet somehow, the kids all ended up wet. I wonder how that happened?

No sign of it letting up, so a mad dash to the car with some very wet boys.

For the rest of the weekend it was all about the great outdoors. Paul thought Cullen how to fish.

James and Keane were on a never ending hunt for frogs.

And of course everybody eventually ended up at the river.

In case you hadn’t noticed, Paul and James are currently rocking a couple of bad ass mohawks.

Climb And Punishment

June 20, 2016

Ladies and gentleman, I’m back, I’m alive and I made it all the way to the top of Mt. Washington. We all made it.¬†Waaaahooooo! This race, there are just no words to describe the brutality of it. It was climb and punishment from start to finish. There was no let up in the gradient. Never any kind of leveling out for even a few meters to take the burn and lactic of the out of your legs and back. With each mile it got steeper and steeper. To say it was emotional would be an understatement. I must have run the gamut of every kind of emotion from upbeat positivity between miles 1 – 3: “nice steady pace, legs feel good, still breathing, keep it up Shinks“. Mile 3 – 4 there was some cracking, sh*t was starting to get real and positive self talk was doing nothing to block out the body’s actual pain. So for mile 3 – 4 I did a combination run/walk. Mile 4 – 5 was just straight up anger. We were now entering into the steepest part of the race. You could see the summit, it looked near, but yet you knew it was still 2.6 more miles of mystery away. At this point the self talk was getting very abusive, “this is a bunch of bullsh*t. Who’s f*#king idea was this any way?? What the f*#king f*#k?? Oh wow, look at that view, stunning.” Yes, mile 5 – 6 and onwards to the top the views were spectacular. You literally felt like you were en route to the top of the world. At this point of the race I had reconnected with my friend Mike and another member of our team, Ashley. This was a huge turning pointing, from mile 6 – 7.6 we just kept each other running. Sharing the burden of pace and keeping each other digging in and fighting all the way to the finish. The last 200m or so to the finish line was just the cruelest. It was basically vertical. Like running up 4 flights of stairs. You could literally put your hand straight out in front of you and be touching the ground, thats how steep it was. But I promised myself that I would finish this race running, and even though all of the blood in my body was now pure lactic, I threw everything I had left into that final climb. With every ounce of me I managed to keep the legs turning over and fighting all the way to the line. Once I stopped the surge of pain was unreal. But the relief and joy of finally making it to the top kept any kind of projectile vomiting at bay, for now. The elevation we were at meant the temperature dropped severally at the summit, but every finishing runner received a blanket, thank god, otherwise hyperthermia was a definite possibility.

The 24 hours post race were torturous to the point that you didn’t even know what to do to help yourself. Nothing it seemed, was going to help. I didn’t try eating til almost 7.30pm (after having nothing since 7am that morning) cos I didn’t trust myself to be able to keep it down. There was no relief to be had. Sitting, standing, lying down, none of it seemed to help. If you’d to ask me in the midst of all that suffering if I’d do it again, I would have slapped you square across the face. Now, with a few days removed from the experience and the body beginning to feel some kind of normal again, I’d be more inclined to say “maybe”.

Oh, and I guess I forgot to mention my overall placing. I completed the course in 1hr 50mins, my goal was to do it in 2hrs, hooray for 10 minutes faster. I was 415th out of 1300 runners. And placed 21st in my age group. Booyay! Not sure if I deserve to feel so proud, but I do.

Couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful morning.

Ok people, this is our start line, and that highest peak you see there towards the upper right of the photo, is where our finish line is. Now you’re afraid for us.

But here we are, ignorantly happy, playfully excited yet fearful all at the same time.

This is our team. Alive and happy.

Now we are well into the race, halfway to be exact.

Just had to grab a shot of this, a river of people digging and working their way to the summit.

My friend Mike found a wee surge to move ahead and grab me a forever memory of my run.

Then I had to find a similar surge to grab his forever memory.

One by one each member of our amazing team made it to the top. Absolute heroes, each and every one of them. It would also be wrong not to give a shout out to the team members that didn’t do the actual run, but who without their support we would not have been able to participate. First of all Dinara’s Dad and her co-worker Tim, aka Le Driver, who got up at 6.30am to make sure they drove to the top of the mountain before the road was closed off to all cars, and waited there in the cold and wind for all of us to finish, just so they could drive us back down. To Grandma and Grandpa Doyle and Baba, who took on the job of watching our children while we ran off on our crazy mountain adventure. Big “Thank You” to all.

The view behind some of the finishing runners.