Archive for January, 2017

Heading Down Under

January 28, 2017

So I thought I’d better get a blog post up before we leave next week for Australia. Wait, let me say that again, my approach was very causal and you might have missed it. Next week we leave for AUSTRALIA! No, not kidding. And very excited. Not about the flight, but we’ll talk about that in a minute. Its a work trip for The Husband, he has a bunch of athletes competing in a series of track meets in Melbourne, but its an adventure for me and the boys. I’ve been to Australia before, anyone remember the Sydney 2000 Olympics? Well I was there, competing. Almost 17 years later, here I am, going back again, a very different person to the girl I was then with a very different life.

But first we have to get there, me, The Husband, 2 little boys and 20 hours of flying. Yes, 20 HOURS. I have anxiety at the thought. I’ve had anxiety for the past 2 weeks, since we decided to go and I’ve been consumed with designing our survival plan. And that survival plan consists of tablets. No, I’m not planning to drug my kids (although I did wonder what the legal amount of Benedryl was to give a child), I’m talking tech tablets. I’ve done a lot of flying with the boys, but never used any kind of iPad or tablet as part of their inflight entertainment. Our entertainment was always very old school, books, coloring, drawing, play-doh, snacking, napping and walking laps. And this was good enough to survive 7-9 hours. But 20 hours?? Fu#k that, the kids are getting tablets. So I sourced us 2 Amazon Fire Kids Edition and have spent the past 2 nights loading them up with games, books, movies and cartoons. These tablets are the sh#t bar none. So inexpensive ($80) and built exclusively with kids in mind. But the best part is, the kids don’t even know they have them yet. My plan is to start the flight doing our usual inflight activities, see how long we can get out of that. Then, when they start losing their minds, which they will, BAM! out of the bag, like some kind of badass super hero momma, I produce the 2 new tablets, filled to data memory capacity with nothing but digital fun. I think its bloody genius and I’m pretty confident this will bring so much joy and excitement that the rest of the flight should be cake. So bring on the 20 hours, cos bitch, we got this. This trip does mean there’ll be no blog action for the next 2 weeks. But think of all the fun stuff I’ll have to share upon our return. I’ve no idea what we’ll get up to, but its sure to be fun.

And cos blog posts are always better with photos, here’s some pictures of how we spent our Saturday morning, at Keane’s swim class.

Cullen snacks while Keane swims. And yes, it was very foggy at the pool this morning. The pool is actually an outdoor pool, but gets tented during the winter. So when its cold outside, but warm inside, it creates that steam room effect, which is great for the pores.

A little back stroke action from Keane.

Cullen is beginning to cross over to the dinosaur world. He hasn’t let go of his truck obsession completely, but he’s close.

And cos he’s 2, sitting poolside watching your brother swim is only fun for the first 15 minutes. Then you want to do something else. So while big brother continued with his class, Cullen and I went scooting.


The faster the better for Cullen. INTO IT.

Scooter tricks.

Zoom!

Will Run For Chocolate

January 22, 2017

Don’t ask me how this happened. One minute over Christmas we’re online signing up for the Hot Chocolate 5k, the next minute feeling super cocky thanks to a few sips of a seasonal cocktail you’re unclicking 5k and instead clicking on the “fu#k it lets do the 15k” option. Next morning, the horror “15K-OMG-15K-WTF-15K???”. I swear, my friend Mike and I are such a bad influence on each other. I’m a 5k girl. Have been for years. Triple the distance and only 3 weeks to get ready? What were we thinking? But there was no time for thinking, there was only time to get the head down and start pounding out some milage. It was tough, not just the increased milage, but finding the opportunities to get the runs in around the busy daily schedules of a 2 and 4 year old. Even when the opportunities did arise, an exhausting day of parenting had me wanting to go limp and collapse in a heap at the idea of throwing on the running shoes and pounding out 6 or 7 miles. But rally I did, and off I’d go running. Granted often times the pace was pedestrian, but the point is I was out there, doing the work and feeling good about myself once it was done. Fast forward to yesterday morning, it was time to step up to the post rainstorm start line, in the darkness of pre-dawn, me smiling with nervous anticipation, my friend Mike not smiling, cos 9 + miles of running is no reason to smile. But we made it, with a solid performance, finishing better then we thought we would. And bonus, complimentary cup of hot chocolate treats from all the finishers.

Pre-race “fun” shots”

Post-race survivor shots. To bad we weren’t the ones that got to enjoy the chocolatey fruits of our 15k labor.

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.