Archive for June, 2016

Mountain Challenge

June 17, 2016

If your wondering what I’m up this weekend, well, I’m running up a mountain. And I wish I was joking. 7.6 miles up Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. This was the brain child of my sister-in-law. A few months back she entered us into a lottery to see if we could win a spot in this very popular mountain race. In theory it was a great idea, but I never really believed our names would be pulled from the thousands of entries for 1 of the 1300 coveted spots. Well as it turns out, when I least expect it, or desire it, I’m actually a very lucky person, cos here I am about to run my unprepared arse 7.6 miles up a damn mountain. But I’m not alone, I’m one member of a team that includes my sister-in-law and my friend Mike. How nice that I wont have to die on this mountain alone. Anyway, New Hampshire is where the boys and I will be this weekend. Momma races Saturday and hopefully back alive on Sunday night. Watch this space to see if I make it back.

Keane Is 4!

June 15, 2016

Its been 4 years, 4 years since my world as I knew it turned completely on his head. Since I became someone I never in a million years saw myself becoming. At the time I didn’t know I wanted it. In fact, The Husband and I were adamant that this was not a road either of us wanted to travel. We never thought it would happen to us, but happen it and 4 years later and we couldn’t imagine life any other way. Kids have certainly changed everything, and this kid right here, Keane, was the pioneer of all that change.

Always a laid back, happy and curious baby, over the years he has maintained these core traits, but added many many more. He is spirited and adventurous, there is nothing he won’t take a stab at without thinking twice. He always has a smile, a wave and a “Hi!” for everyone he meets. To respond to his “Hi!” is to invite a conversation based largely on his life at that moment. You will hear about where he’s going, who he’s going with, why he’s going there, what he may be taking with him and why. He has a kindness and thoughtfulness that amazes me. He asks lots and lots of questions, has many, many opinions and plenty of theories as to why things are they way they are, especially regarding dinosaur. Writing his name is one of his favorite things to do and when we read stories he gets excited when he see the letters in his name pop up in other words. As a baby he was obsessed with shoes and boots and now as a 4 year, nothing has changed. He Loves his “fast shoes” and getting a new pair of anything for his feet, sandals, slippers, wellies gives him major joy for an extended period of time. Running it would appear is in his blood. Friends are constantly being asked to play tag and everyone, be you elderly or a barely on your feet baby, will be challenged to a race.

Speaking of challenges, lets talk about how he challenges everything I am as a person, daily. How I now have to be more conscious of the words I say, and how I communicate. How I’m pushed to find better ways to explain, but more importantly, better ways to listen. How he challenges my creativity, as I look for new and better ways to approach tasks and projects. And of course, he test my patience. 4 would appear to be the age where they start to believe they know everything. Where they resist being told what to do, question all that is asked of them and insist they can do everything by themselves. I spend so much of my day trying to breath deeply through the wild rides of 4 year old emotions.  But we wouldn’t have it any other way. Yes kids are hard work, exhausting, frustrating and downright difficult, but there are so many times, especially in the week of his birthday, that I look at Keane and I’m amazed and awed at the person he is growing up to be. Its also in those moments that my biggest concern as a mother is that I don’t go f*#king things up. On that note let me wish my eldest boy the “Happiest of Birthdays”.

So each year I like to take photos of the boys on that exact day of their birth. However, as is typical of a life with kids, its doesn’t matter what you had planned, in the blink of an eye the whole plan can go to sh*t, and it did. The evening of Keane’s birthday nobody was in the mood for photos. And momma didn’t have it in her to work that hard for smiles. So I abandoned the plan but tried again the next evening and luckily it all worked out.

Letting the world know who’s 4.

Trying to pose the boys is an absolute waste of time. The only way to capture them happy, is to take them somewhere they enjoy and let them off. I just have to work that bit harder to make sure I’m getting those real moments as they’re happening. This year we headed down to Marietta Square, a favorite place of both the boys.

Climbing, climbing, climbing, always climbing.

Such a cutie.

Yes, this post is all about Keane, but we can’t ignore his best friend and little brother.

I probably should have found out what this bell was all about, but my head was in capture mode as I tried to position myself to get the best shots of what was unfolding.

Just chillin under a giant bell.

And Cullen was sweet enough to bring Keane some of the dirt he was collecting.

It was only a matter of time before Cullen wanted up too.

And of course they discovered a great echo inside the bell.

Love this one. Little legs.

More of the legs to finish.

Wet n’ Slide Birthday

June 13, 2016

Kids parties, they will wear you the heck out, like 3 nights back to back clubbing use to in my 20’s. I’d go so far as to call myself hungover, but I didn’t even drink….. that much. The whole week Keane spent in countdown mode, “how many more days to my birthday party now momma?” The build up was intense as was his ongoing excitement. Then two days before his party sh*t got real with the arrival of a water slide. Yep, for birthday number 4, we went for the wet look. The perks of being a summer baby. Within minutes of its arrival it was inflated and ready for action. Keane and Cullen were losing their minds with excitement. They were on it so much in the days leading up to the party, that come party day I was worried they’d be over it. Stupid me, this kind of fun was endless, add a bunch of 4, 3 & 2 year olds to the mix and now we’re talking extreme levels of water slide fun.

The day the slide arrived and Keane takes it for a test drive.

Hard to tell, but I think he liked it.

Cullen spent the first 15 minutes or so watching his big brother tirelessly climb up and slide down, then suddenly he announced “Cullen go do it momma“, so off he went.

There he goes, I was so impressed.

Cullen’s verdict on the experience? Pure joy.

Ok, now its party day and now we have plenty of friends to slide with.

Cullen took on the hose duties.

Some blatant abuse of hose power happening here.

Our friend Bryson on the slide.

Gavin’s turn on the hose.

These hose holders are ruthless.

Gavin, Cannon & Keane, group slide.

Little Sawyer opted for a ride on Thomas, a safe and smart choice I’d say.

A stampede to the water balloons.

Kept my camera way from the barrage of water balloons flying, least it get struck by a stray ballon.

And we’re back to the slide.

A break in the slippery action for some birthday cake and cupcakes.

All about the dinosaurs.

Cullen can’t wait for cake.

Harvey won’t wait for a cupcake.

Thanks to my friend Gianne for taking charge of my camera so I could be part of the “Happy Birthday” moment.

No need to cut the cake, just give him a spoon.

Kids refueling on sugar.

Back outside, Cullen and Grayson get set up in the paddle pool, while Daddy attacks the children with the hose in the background.

Things are starting to wind down. Cullen and his friend Amia enjoy a little snack for 2 on the porch.

The final shot has to be of the birthday boy himself. “Happy Birthday Keane Bean”

Slim Pickins

June 9, 2016

This week my eldest baby turns 4. Yes, Keane is now 4 years old. Its been a full Olympic cycle since his world debut, and of course I’m feeling all the usual soppy mom feelings of joy, sadness and disbelief, but will spare you the spew of emotions, at least in this post. Oh yes, there will be more posts regarding this milestone of 4. I’ve yet to share his cutesy little 4 year old photos captured the other night, on top of his birthday party, which hasn’t actually happened yet, but will this weekend. Today though its all about the strawberry picking, or attempted strawberry picking. We left it a little late in the game, strawberry season is actually drawing to a close so there were very few decent berries left. We did manage to find a bunch, but then we ate them. Farming is hungry work y’all.

Our country adventure started with a tractor ride.

As soon as the cows saw our tractor they hauled ass. These cows are smart. They know whats up. They know we had a bag of something tasty to share.

The boys watching the cows eating their something tasty.

Gavin gives a blow by blow account of whats going on to the entire tractor ride.

Gavin’s little brother Sawyer.

Time to go find us some strawberries.

Sawyer, like a boss.

Wyatt proud to show his pickins.

A little sitting on the job.

Somebody told the little ones that it was ok to eat the strawberries, now see them race off in search.

Juicy jackpot.

Oh we are all lovin it now.

A solid effort by Keane, there really wasn’t a lot left to pick, but we got something.

And then we ate them all.

Next we hit up the tractor tyre playground.

Cos there is no end to the entertainment stones and rocks provide.

Tractor takeover.

The bothers.

I tried to get Cullen into the trailer for a little group shot, but he was having none of it. He was driver and that was the end of it.

The rest of the crew.

So many great athletes, so many amazing performances at The Husband’s American Track League this past weekend. A meet that not only allows but encourages fans to get close to all of the track action and permits access to their favorite athletes, post race of course. Music to keep you on your feet, cheerleaders to give you rhythm, everyone, especially my 2 lads, had an absolute blast.

We arrived early so the boys could get onto the track and feel like they were part of all the action.

Daddy in full on work mode.

But found a spare second to say “Hi” to the boys.

Keane ensures he has the best view of the pole vault competition.

Our friend Jordan gives Cullen a boast for easier viewing.

2015 World pole vault champion Shawn Barber (in blue) waits his turn.

Keane is into it.

Shawn is up.

And safely over.

2 happy little fans.

While we waited for the women’s 100m to start we moved to the infield, where we wrestled to pass the time.

The ladies are ready.

The boys stop what their doing to get in position to watch.

Go!

Cullen volunteered to man the cones for the duration of the meet.

Jeshua Anderson winner of the mens 400m hurdles.

Cullen went to wish our friend Asafa Powell luck before his race, but got suddenly shy.

Keane is not shy and was straight in with the good luck hi-five.

The boys trackside cheering their friend Molly Beckwith on in the 800m.

Molly is right in the middle of the pack (wearing red & black). She finished 3rd place running a season’s best.

Lolo Jones warming up for the womens 100m hurdles.

Asafa looking relaxed and happy as he starts his warm up.

Daddy never hooked Keane up with a ticket, but he still found a way in.

Post race interviews for Molly.

Winner of the mens 100m, Asafa Powell.

End of the meet and everyone is tired.

An excellent meet and relief all around for The Husband and Adam Nelson (2004 Olympic gold medalist in the shot put and now co-organizer of the meet).

Time to meet and greet the fans.

Everybody’s in a party mood now.

Cullen and his favorite person, Jordan.

Keane shyly pom-pom shakes with the cheerleaders.

And the boys have found their second wind.

Its almost 9pm but I can’t get them to leave.

Top US steeple chaser Leah O’Conner with her biggest fan.

I promised them one more race before we left.

Thanks Atlanta and American Track League for a great meet. See you next year.