Unofficially Summer

April 30, 2018

First trip to the lake for the summer 2018 season. Yes, technically its not officially summer, but these warm weather vibes are making everything feel like it is. The water temperatures have yet to catch up to the land temps, still retaining that wintery edge, so we avoided full on swimming and stuck with kayaking and other surface related activities.

A few more photos to share but we’ll start with this.

Greenish Fingers

April 25, 2018

I’ve always liked the idea of growing things, fancying myself to be a bit of a gardener/farmer type, just never actually did anything about it. As it turns out, if you want to grow stuff, you have to plant stuff. Pretty vegitation doesn’t just suddenly grow all by itself (that would be weeds) cos you had a wonderful idea, work has to be done to make it happen.  On top of the humans, animals and reptiles I’m responsible for keeping alive each and every day, the realization that plants would be yet another thing I’d be expected to preserve the life of, became too exhausting and made me just want to lay down and take a nap. So my ideas remained shelved, to be dusted off and executed at a later date. Possibly with the departure of the kids to college. But damn it if these kids never give you a second to get complacent. Leave it to them to come home from school, tell us about all the work they’ve been doing at their class garden and announce that they now want to plant flowers and grow vegetables in their own garden, at home. Not wanting to be the parents that don’t support their goals and ambitions, we of course tell them that it sounds like an amazing idea.

Last week we started off small, with a visit to the nursery to pick out some mini roses the boys thought would make a nice addition to the front of house landscaping.

As soon as we got home Keane changed and got busy picking the perfect spot to plant his mini red rose.

Mastering the full size tools.

Ta-Dah! Perfect!

Cullen picked out a mini rose too, but he didn’t feel the same sense of urgency as Keane to get his planted. “I will plant mine tomorrow momma.” Cullen’s current philosophy on life is, “Why do today, what can be done tomorrow. Or not.”

Instead he chose to play in the fountain with his sea creatures.

But surprise surprise, tomorrow arrived and he did take his flower out for planting.

The responsible child that he is, while Cullen got to work planting, Keane made sure to keep his flower hydrated.

Keane advises Cullen to add a trench, otherwise when he waters the flower, water will spill out onto the path. His advice comes from experience with his own flower.

The watering struggle.

Delighted.

Keane inspects the effort.

So Cullen in turn inspects Keane’s.

Keane showing Cullen where he had to add his own trench.

And now some random play in the quarry. There’s little Tinsel, sitting in close proximity to the action, makes her feel like she’s contributing.

Positive & Creative

April 22, 2018

With the arrival, finally, of Spring sunshine and toasty temperatures, we are spending most of our not at school time, outside. The boys have also been expressing a big interest in growing things lately, so a couple of weekend gardening projects got started and some planning for a couple more are in the world. Nothing like a little sunshine to inject positive vibes and creative inspiration into the soul.

Lots more photos to share soon’ish.

Trail Blazing

April 19, 2018

I mentioned this a couple of months ago, but I think only on Facebook, that next month me and 11 new friends of mine, will be taking part in the Ragnar Cape Cod 200 mile run from Hull, a town on the edge of Boston Harbor, to Provincetown in Cape Cod. Cos you know me, always looking for a fresh new approach to a running challenge. And this year, this was the challenge. 200 miles between 12 of us, to be covered in 24 hours. And yes, that means running through the night. I’ll plan to chat a little more about it in another blog post, but I’m just touching on it here cos I’ve had a pretty miserable week running wise. My body is feeling seriously battered. Every step of even my short runs this week (around 4 miles) has been such a fu#king struggle. Its taken such a massive effort to make myself lace up and actually go. My typically week only allows for 2 definite days where I can get some decent running done. On a really good week I can squeeze in a 3rd day, but this rarely happens. I also do 2 gym sessions a week, this works out only cos I happen to have my own little gym at home, so I can lift once the boys go to bed in the evening. So given these small windows of training opportunities, means the days I can run, I have to. I usually look forward to the days I know I’ll get a workout or run done, but not this week. This week I just wanted to throw a toddler grade temper tantrum at the very idea of physical exercise. To sit on the side of the running trail, pouting in hostility. More than anything I didn’t want to do it. But also, more than anything I did. Or had to, as the case may be. Really, what are the choices? My share of these 200 miles won’t run themselves. And you can be sure I’m going to be feeling all levels of tiredness over the 24 hour period when I’ll be lacing up to run 3 times, covering a total of 22 miles for the team. So negative, whiney, pouty, tantrum throwing attitude and all, I forced myself out to run.

And since we’re all about the running chat tonight, last week our friend, who also happens to be Jamaican world class 100m sprinter, Asafa Powell came to visit. But for this visit the focus was all about his 2nd major talent, that of being a kick ass mechanic. While he was here he fixed up The Husbands truck, serviced the lawnmower and got the recreational 4-wheeler back in working order. Which means 4-wheeling is now the only thing the boys want to do. Case and point, Keane ready to blaze a trail through the forest.

In the face of endless threats of physical harm if he didn’t watch his speed and keep my eldest baby safe, Asafa just gave me a confident, yet non-reassuring smile.

Keane scaring me shitless with his fearless “look momma, no hands“.

As he waited patiently for his turn, Cullen worked on his art.

I’m told its a drawing of the ocean, with sharks.

Time for the youngest to have a go.

Another rant on speed control from me, and Asafa is all “Are you seriously still talking? Cos I’ve seriously stopped listening.”

And off they go.

Pause for a discussion on new twists and turns in the 4-wheeler trail.

Screaming for the Hills

April 17, 2018

During our trip we squeezed in a few days of whatever the weather fun at The Great Wolf Lodge. This hotel is totally geared towards families and kids. Its a grown ups nightmare. There, I said it. Before kids the idea of staying at a place like this would send me running, screaming for the hills. All of the over stimulation, the loud, bright, chaotic ambiance of hundreds of families all staying under the same hotel roof, is my idea of purgatory. But post kids, this is exactly the type of place you go, cos this exactly the type of place they LOVE. And my 2 loved it. The indoor water park? LOVED. The extensive range of activities like rock climbing, mini golfing, gem panning, bowling and the ceiling ropes course? LOVED, LOVED and LOVED. In the evenings they had bingo, bubble dance parties and story time. This place truly catered to every element of kid enjoyment. And as long as the boys are having a good time, then I’m having a good time, even if it is at a place that 5 plus years go, would have sent me running, screaming for the hills.

3 days and no less then 6 hours each day spent at the hotel’s water park. They never tired of it.

Keane really enjoying the spray poles.

Cullen however was completely offended by them.

When we weren’t at the water park, we made our rounds through most of the other activities.

Panning for gems.

The boys were awful mini golfers. Keane barely patient waiting to tee off as Cullen almost climbs his way through the frog tunnel in his efforts to get his ball through.

Finally, with the little bother out of the way, Keane was clear to tee off.

A questionable technique for sure.

But the end result was a ball in the hole. Happy Cullen.

A slightly better putting technique from Keane.

After golf we hit the low level ropes course to practice rope crossing with a harness.

Low level ropes course complete, now its time to go up, to the high level ceiling ropes course.

Thats me and boys up there in the rafters. The Husband was the photographer for these. He likes to believe he’s just as good at photo capturing as me. However, I have some criticisms, but my standards maybe a tad bit high.

Courageous Keane on his maiden crossing.

Cullen surprised me with his very casual, showing no fear approach to each rope crossing.

The boys.

Bowling!

During our trip we had planned to take the boys skiing and snowboarding for the first time. But early Spring and the snow on the slopes has started to thin out, fast. So no skiing or snowboarding was going to happen this time around. But we still went to check the slopes out anyway.

No skis, no problem. Running shoes work just as well.