Posted in Family, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Sometimes luck has everything to do with it.

This week has calmed down again, but at the moment I kind of feel that everything is just getting a little bit out of control.

Last week my dad had a stroke – very minor and we were VERY lucky.  It could have been so much worse.  Thankfully my brother had somebody working at my dad’s house that my dad was supposed to open up for.  When my dad did not open he called my brother.  My brother then phoned my dad who insisted he was fine and would open up in a few minutes.  He said this each time my brother phoned.  My brother phoned 5 times!  Thankfully his painter kept phoning him back and telling him that my dad had not opened.  Even when my brother when around there my dad said he would open and did not.  My brother eventually told him that he had 5 minutes to open the door or he was breaking in.  He broke in!

We hate to think what could have happened had we not had that painter there.  My dad was unable to get up out of his chair, but kept telling us over the phone that he was fine – and he sounded fine.  I have told him that next time he tells me he is fine over the phone I am rushing over there straight away.  Normally when you phone to find out how he is he moans about this or that or need this or help with that. The one time he does actually require help he says he is fine.

He spent a few nights in hospital but is back at home again.  He has refused to come and stay at my place, even for a few nights. We have him on a waiting list for an Old Age Home, but he has been on their emergency list for nearly 2 years now….. We are also going to arrange a carer a few hours a day from Algoa Bay Council for the aged, so hopefully that is sorted by next week.

It is a tough one, getting old sucks and seeing your parents get old sucks even more.

I am very fortunate though to have both my siblings in the same town and to have my brother who has taken on so much of this.  How he remains so patient with my dad is beyond me.

This photo was taken at my brother’s wedding in 2009 – yes, I was pregnant at the time.

IMG_0786

Posted in Baking, Cookies, Food, Ordinarylife

Daisy cookies

Now something that makes me happy – daisy cookies.  Made for a friend’s daughter’s Upsy Daisy themed birthday party.

One thing I can say is that heat and humidity are not kind to Royal Icing!

 

Upsy Daisy Cookies
Upsy Daisy Cookies

 

Biscuits by Pamela (me)
Biscuits by Pamela (me)

 

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Feeding, Food, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Its not easy

I generally love being a working woman.  I get satisfaction from bringing in my “own” money and from the interaction with my peers. Especially when asked for my opinion or for advice.  I feel equal in my relationship and that I don’t have to answer to Mr OL on how I spend “my” money.  (Not that I feel a SAHM/D should either – another debate) However at the moment I am really battling with the conflict of being a full time working woman and a mom.

Little OL loves her new pre-school but I am finding that having her in the after-care is making the day just too long for her.  Last year she was a day care till 5 as well, but it was geared towards the younger kids. They had strict nap times and (I believe) that they ensured they all ate – although I did have my doubts that she ate everything they said she did.  She’s never been the biggest eater.

Now, every day her lunch boxes are coming back untouched or pretty close to it.  I am trying all her favourites but no joy.  I would not stress too much about this, but she is also not napping at the school and so comes home exhausted and falls asleep in the car.  The first day I woke her but that was a total disaster, now I just put her to bed. She sleeps through – yip, over 13 hours straight.  The problem is that she is then also skipping dinner.  I need to get food in the child at some stage!

I have spoken to the school and we are trying different options.  Yesterday was better and she did actually nap at school and so was awake for dinner. Happiness, but generally this is making me question my reasons for working full day.  I know that this is something that gets worse not better.  As she gets older she is going to need me more and more in the afternoons – what with homework, after school activities etc.

Unfortunately even going half day is not really an option at the moment though so it is just something I (and all the other full time working parents) am going to have to deal with.  It sucks!

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Montessori, Ordinarylife

Pre-school – tiring work

Turns out there is a huge difference between pre-school (with aftercare) and day-care.

Little OL fell asleep in the car on the way home from work and only woke up again at 6:15 the following morning.  She did not even wake when I washed her face, undressed her or put on her pajama’s.

 

dirty work -this pre-school thing
dirty work -this pre-school thing

 

 

Posted in Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife

Pure madness! Want to join in?

Yesterday driving home from work I thought “Pamela, You are justifiably insane!”  It suddenly occurred to me that I had just spent 7:30 hours sitting on my butt at work and it had felt LONG, very long.  7:30 hours – the same amount of time it took me to do the half Ironman the day before.

How on earth is it possible to keep moving for that amount of time?  I mean, how is it physically possible – and to still enjoy it (well most of it).  And that is not the worst – my first Ironman took me 16:39 hours.  So, for 16:39 hours I was moving, very slow at times, but moving.  And I know there are people out there that do much longer events.  Are we all totally mad?  Actually don’t answer that!

And, just incase you would like to join the insanity entries are already open for next year – see you on the 26th January 2014….

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Cycling, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Running, Trail Running, Training, Training, Triathlon

So, Ironman South Africa???

The big question everybody asks me, even before I completed the 70.3 is whether or not I am going to be doing the full Ironman again this year.

I must admit that it is tempting….  Both my brother and sister are going to do it again – it will be my sister’s 6th full Ironman. WOW.  And it is on my birthday.  I can just imagine how emotional it will be standing on the start, on my birthday with both of them waiting for the canon to blast.

That is until I think of all that is involved and the commitment it takes with regards to the training.  I am not in the right space to do it.  It is not a priority in my life.  Mr and Little OL are.  I don’t want be on my bike for more than 3 hours on a Saturday morning.  I don’t want to then have to run the next day for more than an hour. I want to be at home.  I work full time and the weekends are the only time I get to spend with them.

That is also one of the reasons why I don’t like training in the evenings.  For the 70.3 I was able to train in the mornings before Little OL woke, if I wanted to do the full Ironman I would need to train in the evenings as well.  I am not prepared to do that.  I already go to art classes one night a week, so miss her that night.

And I would need to be asleep by 8:30 – 9:00pm.  I just don’t have the time at the moment to do that.  I am enjoying baking and crafting and the only time I get to do that is in the evenings after Little OL goes to sleep.  I would not be able to do these things.

Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely LOVED training for Ironman last time, but I was in a totally different space.  I was able to make it a priority and put my all into it.  Now I just don’t want to.  Maybe in a few years’ time when Little OL is older I might want to do it again.  That is not to say that this year I am not going to set myself challenges or give myself goals.  I am useless with training without a goal.

This year I would like to run a marathon.  I have never run a stand-alone marathon and would like to.  I would also like to do the Dry Land Traverse in November.  It is a 4 day stage trail run.  It looks awesome.  I think those are big enough goals for the year. Then of course there is Ironman 70.3 next year again……

Posted in Cycling, East London, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife, Swimming, Trail Running, Triathlon, Wetsuit

Ironman 70.3 South Africa 2013

 

I am not very good at writing race reports but here goes – I finished in 7:33:45 and I am very, very happy.   At least this year I actually got to the start line and finished.  A big step up from last year.

I have realised that I am very lucky when it comes to Ironman races.  I have yet to have a puncture or a serious technical malfunction, both of which could end my race.  I did however have a few minor issues, but none of them were race threatening, more of an annoyance.  My bike computer gave up on me at about the 10km mark – it kept telling me I was doing 14 km/hour, which was fine, except I was going down a hill and it fell more like 41km/hour.  When I got to the turn-around point I actually turned if off; it was more of an annoyance than a help.  I then tried to calculate my time to transition based on my watch time.  My Garmin also stopped reading distance after the swim, giving me only the time. Thankfully that was enough on the day.

Then the actual race:

The swim was ok, I am not good at going straight and try to avoid the crowds so swim wide – this meant that according to my Garmin I actually swam 2.3km. The final bouy also moved and ended up on the beach.  I was a little surprised when a wave crashed on my head as I rounded it and my first though was oh crap this is going to be a long 100m if I need to swim it with waves crashing on me all the time, and then I saw the girl next to me stand up. It was waist deep.  My thoughts then were off relief.  I did not have any further to swim.  My swim time – 44:36

I heard later that two men died on the swim.  It is very sad, imagine your son, father or husband (or wife, mother, daughter) goes off to race a triathlon and does not come back.  Chances are you are also going to be there watching.  It must be devastating and my thoughts are with those families.

The Bike – besides my bike computer not working I had fun.  It was not nearly as bad as I expected, and although I could have done without the headwind we faced heading back I enjoyed it.  I was so happy to reach the turn-around in a decent time that I burst into tears.  I knew that that bar any issues it was do able.  My only other problem in the bike was my sunscreen got into my eyes and they started to burn (probably because of the tears earlier).  I could not see a thing and it looked like I was bawling my eyes out.  Luckily it happened near the end and just before the horrid hill everyone was telling me about.  I think it distracted me as I did not notice the hill.  I guess not being able to see can do that to you.

Then the run… The whole time I had been thinking – as long as I can get to the run I’ll be fine. Well I got to the run and it SUCKED!  I just could not run.  My legs just did not want to run – they wanted to walk.  It was hot and I was tired.  I think I must have pretty much walked the whole 1st 10km.  Luckily as I passed the 11km mark everything seemed to click into place and I started to run again.  Besides Bunkers Hill (which is not nice) I pretty much ran the whole of the last 10km and I loved it.  I finished on such a high, and was smiling and happy, although if I look at the finish photos my sister-in-law took I don’t look that smiley.  I look like “where the hell is the line”, but at least my hair looked good (not).  And few seconds after I crossed the line the tears started again.

So as I a round up – I loved it.  I will do it again!  Can I say that I will train more, nope, probably not?  I am very happy with how this race went considering my serious lack of cycle and swim training, who knew that muscle memory is there.  I do think that the trail running has helped a lot though.

So to everyone that supported me and cheered – at the side-lines or from afar, thank you very much.  I really appreciate it!  It means a lot to me.

Ironman 70.3 South Africa
Ironman 70.3 South Africa
Posted in East London, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Triathlon, Women

Essential Ironman Preparation

There is a lot that goes into getting ready for an Ironman or ½ Ironman race.  Obviously there are the months and months of training and the mental preparation.  That we all know about, but once you have done that there is so much more to do.  I am talking about the more important stuff!  The stuff that really matters on race day – like ensuring your toenails are painted (preferably matching your bike), your legs and under arms are shaved or waxed and your hair is done.  In my case when I say done I mean coloured.  Horror of horrors, your finish photo has the grey showing!  So, to ensure that this disaster does not befall me I am off to an emergency appointment with my hair dresser this afternoon.

A few weeks ago I realised that my next appointment was only after the 20th I called him in a panic and asked if he could please, please, please squeeze me in beforehand.  He laughed and said yes, and I was the 2nd person that week to phone him for the exact same reason.

Very glad to see that we PE athletes have our priorities straight!

 

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Montessori, Ordinarylife, Parenting

And so it starts!

Little OL started at a Montessori school this morning, so I am now officially the mommy of a pre-schooler!  Although she does have 3 years before she starts actually starts Grade R.  Here are a few photos from yesterday when she went in for orientation.

Comparing the picture from fthe irst day of day care last year
Comparing the picture from fthe irst day of day care last year
Intrigued by the photo taken a year ago.
Intrigued by the photo taken a year ago.
What a difference 1 year makes
What a difference 1 year makes
Building a puzzle - happy
Building a puzzle – happy

When I picked her up she was full of smiles and when I asked what she did all I got out of her was that she built puzzles (her all-time favourite thing) and climbed a tree.  And she had some mud on her, which I always take as a good sign!

 

PS- Look at the size of her classroom, it is huge.  I am hoping that because of this she will be sick a whole lot less this year!

Posted in Children, Cycling, Family, Ordinarylife, Running, South Africa

This is about more than cyclists!

The death of Burry Stander has highlighted the need for more awareness and better safety for cyclists.  There are calls for a 1.5m campaign, changes to road design and various other actions to improve the safety for cyclists and pedestrians on our roads.  I am normally a very positive person and as a cyclist, motorist and runner I am very aware of how dangerous our roads are.  I totally agree that campaigns are important and that they might and hopefully do bring awareness to the plight of cyclists and pedestrians but I am afraid to say I don’t think they will help.

The problem in South Africa (and possibly in other places around the world) is bigger than a lack of awareness regarding cyclists or pedestrians or even motorcyclists.  I am afraid that South African’s have absolutely no respect or regard for human life, our own or each other’s.  Can you honestly tell me that in a country where parents don’t even have enough regard for their own children’s lives they actually care about a random stranger on a bicycle?  Look around you next time you are in traffic – is the child in the car next to you strapped in?  Probably not!  Is your child?  Are you?

Look around you.  Look at that bus or taxi driver.  He has one job – to get his passengers to their destination safely.  Is that top of his mind?  Nope, probably not, getting the next fare is.  Look at him speeding, weaving in between cars, overloading, look at that un-roadworthy vehicle.  If he or his boss actually cared about the lives of the passengers would he be doing any of that?  Nope.  He has a lot of lives to take care off and has no regard for any of them, not even his own. Why would he care about the life of one little cyclist.

Look at your own speedometer?  Think about every time you answer the phone, text somebody, adjust your GPS or take a photo of that idiot in the car next to you, put on your make-up, shave, read a newspaper (yes, I have seen that) all while driving. Do you care about your own life?  Do you care enough about your kids in the backseat?  Or is that call or getting to your destination on time more important to you?  Think about it.

Look at yourself, look at your friends you were out with.  Think about those glasses of wine/beer whisky you had before getting into your car. What?  You were fine to drive… Really?  What was more important, the R100, R200 or even R300 or so Rand you saved on a taxi or the lives you could have taken.  Think about the following morning?  Were you still over the limit when you drove to work?  I was at a braai this weekend and everyone was laughing and joking that one of the guys had slept in his car the night before.  Not too drunk to drive home… oh no, he made it to his driveway.  He was just too drunk to walk the 10m from his car to his house.  Every time something like this is laughed at or condoned it we are saying we approve.  We are saying we have no respect for human life!  South Africa, it is NOT a joke.

Cyclists, look at yourselves!  Did you stop at that red light?  Why not?  Oh wait, it was so you did not need to unclip… right, because that is really difficult to do, takes forever to clip back in, it will interrupt your cycle and slow down your average speed.  Get over it! Have respect for the rules of the road and each other.

Motorcyclists, look at yourselves!. Weaving in and out of traffic – pick a lane!  Or is getting there quickly much more important that your own life?

Look at our crime rate, especially the violent crimes.  People get killed for a cell phone or less… Can you tell me that those criminals value human life enough to actually worry about passing a cyclist with a distance of 1.5m?

Look at the rape stats in this country!!!  Can you tell me that those rapists care enough about human life to consider the consequences of their actions in traffic?  They don’t care about human life in general.

Look at the HIV infection rate!  If people valued their own lives more this would not be so high.

Look at the death toll on our roads over the festive season!  1465 lives lost.  That is 38 people PER DAY.  Shocking South Africa, shocking!  (STATS HERE)  What are you personally doing about it?  I read a very good article how we were each responsible for the death of Burry Stander (read it HERE) and we are!

In a country where life is so undervalued, where babies are disposable, where our own children and their futures and education are just tossed aside,where people are raped and killed every day why would the life of the cyclist be of any more value?  We as a country need a drastic attitude change and soon!  This is about more than just our cyclists, our pedestrians, our fellow road users.  This is about our lives!