Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, hiking, Hiking Trails, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Starting young

I took a couple of days leave last week to spend the last few days of holidays with Little OL and boy was it FUN!  Time flew.  I am not sure I could ever be a “stay at home” mom, but days when I don’t have to go into work are pure joy.  (who am I kidding I could totally be a stay at home mom)

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While off I wanted to do some active stuff with Little OL – she is becoming a bit of a couch potato and I don’t like it.  Unfortunately during the holidays the nanny has been putting her in front of the TV and that is pretty much where she stays – given the option though she would rather be doing something else, so I made sure we did “something else”.

I roped my mom in and we went out.

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My mom is always up for a trip somewhere and on Thursday she suggested we go and climb Lady’s Slipper.  It is a hill just outside PE that my mom climbs regularly but I have never done before.  I was definitely keen!  It was awesome, we did not go all the way up, as I did not want to have to worry about Little OL and her safety, so as soon as it started getting a bit rocky and steep we stopped.  Saying that we still got more than ½ way up.  I loved it and Little OL is still bragging to anyone that will listen that she climbed a mountain.

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It was pretty cool having all 3 generations walking up the hill together and hopefully it was the first of many hikes that we will all do together.  My mom and I used to hike quite a bit together before Little OL was born, and now that she is getting older hopefully I will be able to get back into it.  I think I have mentioned before that for my mom’s 60th Birthday my mom, sister and I climbed Kilimanjaro…… Let’s see what Little OL and I will do to celebrate my 60th…. (thank fully still quite a few years away.

Kilimanjaro Summit 2005
Kilimanjaro Summit 2005

It felt really good to get my hiking boots on again!

Posted in Art, Baby OL, Family, Sketches, South Africa

All by myself……. I don’t wanna be all by myself

Well okay I do but just for the weekend…..

I seem to have gotten over my guilt about going away for the weekend – ALONE! And am now just extremely excited.  Did I mention I am going ALONE?  All by myself?  Well, my mom, brother, sister, their respective partners, sister-in-law and a whole bunch of other friends are also going but we are not going together.

It is the Knysna Oyster Festival and although I am not running I know quite a few people who are – and they are welcome to it.  I have totally gotten over my disappointment at not being able to run and have decided to hit the art galleries, the quaint shops, the markets, the coffee shops and the oysters!  All by myself!  Did I mention I am going ALONE!  To do all the stuff that I love to do, without any time constraints.  Or quite possibly to do none of it.  It is actually really sad how excited I am that I can spend time on my own.  Just me, myself and I cruising around at my own pace, possibly taking a few photos, possibly sitting down and sketching, possibly spending an entire day in a coffee shop.  Possibly not even leaving the guest house.  Who knows…..

I think I have previously mentioned that I traveled around the world, sometimes with company but most of the time on my own.  I have no problem being on my own but it has been a while.  So to that end, no I am not sharing a lift.  I want my own car, to do things at my own pace.  But at least I know that if I get bored (or horrified) at my own company I will have loads of friends and family very close.  I just hope that they don’t get offended if I decide that I don’t want to see too much of them.

I have also organised 3G for my tablet so will be able to Skype Little OL.

Posted in Art, Baby OL, Family, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Running, Sketches, Tenants, Trail Running, Training, Training, Women

A quick catch up

My poor blog – so neglected…..

I start a post in my mind and then stop.  Too much information, too boring, said already or whatever the reason the thought gets ditched.

So, I am writing this one, one not thought out ahead of time.  I have nothing much to say but so what…. Here is a basic update of what is happening in my Ordinary Life.

  • I am still doing the Art Techniques course through Coursera.org and loving it.  I don’t feel that I always have enough time to do the art project but you only are required to do 2 to pass and I have already done two, so am not too concerned if I miss a week here or there.  I am just completing all the theory quizzes and that will be enough.  Here is a picture I drew (the London taxi) for one of the assignments, the topic was “Mail Art”

Mail Art

  • I am driving Mr OL batty with thoughts of trying to start (another) business.  I constantly have ideas in my head but generally they don’t get much further than the planning stages
  • I bought another property – think I already mentioned this – and have since found out that the tenants that I was led to believe were “good” have not paid rent in 5 months.  I am hoping that the current owner gets rid of them before I take over.  I am sure that it is a breach of contract or something if he said that they were paying when I signed for it but they were not???  Any ideas?
  • My foot is …. I am actually not sure.  All I do know is that I still can’t run.  I am going to take 6 weeks off and then hope for the best.  We do know that there is no muscle damage, no tendonitis, no ligament damage and nothing else that can be seen in x-rays or an ultra-sound.  These however do not rule out a stress fracture.  In the meantime I am going to go for Gait Analysis because something I am doing has caused this.  I am also going for massages (yay) and to the chiropractor who is doing dry needling as my muscles in my legs are in knots.  I am hoping that this all makes me stronger. I am also trying to stretch in.  I really need to get in the pool and on my bicycle…..
  • I am having a serious case of “mommy guilt” at the moment.  Next weekend I was due to go to the Knysna Oyster Festival to run the HoutKapper Trail… Mr and Little OL were going to stay behind in PE.  Now obviously the running is out – however I have already sorted out my accommodation….. So…….  A weekend away sans husband and kiddy????  I am going to go but why do I feel so guilty about going away by myself for the weekend?  My mom, brother, sister and a multitude of my friends are all going, Mr OL does not want to go….urgh!  Would you feel guilty?

Wow, for a post that I did not think about I sure had a lot to write.

Oh, yes – MR OL surprised me with an Asus Transformer – well, he actually surprised me by asking if I would like an iPad Mini – I said no.  After he got over the initial shock I explained why.  So he helped me get the Transformer instead.  I LOVE IT!

Posted in Family, Ironman, Ordinarylife

Courage, grit and determination

On Sunday the 9th  annual Ironman South Africa was held in Port Elizabet, it was also my birthday and I could not think of a better way to celebrate than to be there supporting all the amazing athletes, which is why I am struggling with the fact that somebody would target an event like the Boston Marathon.

I think that this has shocked me because it is “so close to home”.  Not obviously in a geographical way, but the fact that it is something so similar to an event that I would attend and that it is something that I would take Little OL to.  I knew people there.

My blog post about Ironman South Africa was going to be very different had I written it yesterday….

Sport is something I love, sporting events are something I love.  I see them as places of hope, and mutual support and camaraderie.  It is a lifestyle that I want Little OL to grow up knowing and want to actively encourage.  I want it to be a way of life for her as she grows up, so on Sunday I took her with to watch Ironman SA.  We were there from before the start, watching the sun come up, watching the athletes all line up on the beach. We were there for the cannon and the helicopters and the vibe.  We stayed there all day.  We watched them swim, and then cycle and then run.  We were there when the lead guys (and girls) finished and we were there as the sun was setting (and then we had to head home).  We cheered, we screamed and we encouraged.

Some of us even slept………

Future Triathlete
Future Triathlete

I love this event. There are people that take part that you think would not even be able to walk up a flight of stairs, never mind swim 3.8km, cycle 180km and then run a marathon – 42.2km.  They are not sporty. This is a challenge, a goal and a life changing event.  There are people of all sizes, and colours and shape and ethnicity.  All doing it together and being encouraged equally.  They struggle, they have moments where they swear they are not going to make it, but most do. They show the courage, grit and determination necessary.

Ironman and many other sporting events bring out the best in people.  And in the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon I hope that this is remembered.  My heart go out to those who lost loved ones, to the father who, while running a marathon lost his 8 year old son that was waiting for him at the finish line and to the injured.

On my next run I will be thinking of all these people.

 

Edited:  Latest newspaper reports say that the father of the 8 year old, Martin Richard was not running, but that the whole family was spectating.  His mom is in serious condition with a brain injury and his sister has lost a limb.  What ever the story my heart goes out to this entire family and the other families affected by this act of cowardice.

Posted in Cycling, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Port Elizabeth, Training, Triathlon

This weekend

I think I am living in denial about this weekend.  I have not even thought much about it and am not stressed (yet).

It is Ironman weekend!  I love Ironman weekend!  I love the build-up, the excitement, the expo, the registration and seeing all the athletes.

What I have not been thinking about is the fact that I have entered the Corporate Challenge Triathlon (10% of the IM distance).  What I have not been thinking about is that I have not been on my bike since January, nor have I swum.  Yikes.  Thankfully I am not a stranger to doing an event with minimal training…

This weekend it will also be my amazing sisters 6th Ironman. We did our first one together in 2007 and she has just kept going, only missing one when she was living in London.  I am so amazed by her.  Did I mention that she swam the Bell Buoy Challenge on Easter Weekend???  I am in total awe of her.

The other thing that I am in denial about this weekend is the fact that it is my birthday!  Oh dear…  I still have not celebrated my last birthday and here is another one.  At least I am planning on doing something I absolutely love this weekend – cheering on at an Ironman. Believe me the temptation to do it as it was on my Birthday was extremely, but sanity prevailed.

So, if you are down near Hobie Beach on Sunday, come and say hi.  I will be the one eating handing out cupcakes in between screaming for my sister.

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Dogs, Family, Ordinarylife, Pets

A girl’s best friend

“Daisy is my friend”. This was proclaimed by Little OL over the weekend, but I am not so sure how Daisy feels about this.

Daisy is our Border Collie.  She has always been a loving and very gently little dog but when Little OL was born she went into a total sulk.  She moved to the top of the garden, only coming down for food. After 2 weeks she ventured closer but would still not “talk” or come to me.  For months after that if I was holding Little OL she would avoid me.  For the first 2 years of Little OL’s life she would make sure they were not in the same room, and if they accidently were she would run away with this look of absolute terror on her face as soon as she realised.  That was until she discovered that toddlers usually have something edible in their hands.  Since that discovery they have been “bonding”. It has taken a while, but over the past year they have been getting closer and closer.  Lately they have even been “hugging”.  I think it is a bit one sided but at least Daisy is not running away in terror any longer. In fact I caught her sheepishly looking like she might even be enjoying some of the attention.  Then this weekend Little OL proclaimed that they are “friends”.  It is quite an honour – the German Shepard Duke has not earned it yet. He is not her friend. But Daisy is….

I hope Daisy knows what she has let herself in for…..

Daisy and Duke
Daisy and Duke
Posted in Baby OL, Family, Gardening, Ordinarylife, Parenting

How much do you outsource?

I am not talking at work.   I am talking about stuff around the house, personal stuff and for your kids.  Stuff that the mom traditionally used to do.  Would you outsource more if you weren’t restricted by finances or a weird sense of mommy guilt or do you enjoy doing the all stuff you do?

This conversation has come up in our family lately.  Especially with Little OL’s birthday party.  I did it all myself, designed and made the invitations and printables, made the cakes, biscuits and everything else, including the party boxes.  I even blew up all the balloons.  I however LOVE doing all that stuff (well maybe not the balloons part).  I love creating stuff, making stuff and being busy.  Mr OL on the other hands says he would gladly pay somebody to do it all.  He would prefer just arrive on the day.  I have told him that when all she wants to do is go to the Spur or something similar then he and his wallet are on duty.

It got me thinking about other aspects of my life.  How much do I outsource and if I outsourced more would it simplify my life and let me get on with doing more stuff I enjoyed or do I really enjoy what it is that I do anyway?  I do have a lady that cleans my house; she comes 4 days a week.  She does all the cleaning, laundry, ironing etc.  But, I have been wondering if I could utilise her time better for example by getting her to prepare the veggies for the evening meal?  We also have a garden service that mows our lawn and have had a gardener every other weekend.  (He went and got a full time job and we have not found another).

Then there is Little OL’s After Care, I work full time so am in an essence outsourcing the care of my child, prior to her going to day care / school we had a full time nanny/domestic.

There are so many services out there, au pairs, night nurses, transport to after school activities, pre-packed lunches, party planners, pool cleaners – the list is endless.  How many of these kinds of services do you use or plan to use as your child gets older or do you feel it your responsibility where feasible to do as much of it as possible?

 

PS:  Sorry about the overuse of the word “outsource”.  It’s a hot topic at work too.

Posted in Baby OL, Baking, Children, Cookies, Family, Food, Ordinarylife

3rd Birthday Party – Rainbow theme

Here are a couple (ok, a few more than a couple) of photo’s from Little OL’s 3rd Birthday party.

I have known what theme i wanted for her 3rd birthday for over a year.  In fact ever since I saw THIS and post by Sweetapolita.  Oh wow! I wanted to make that cake.  This from a girl who at time had NEVER made a cake from scratch.  As I knew what theme I wanted I have been preparing for a while, gathering ideas and odds and ends.  I bought the candles about 8 months ago, I knew if I left them I would never find them when I really wanted them.

Rainblow Balloon Banner
Rainblow Balloon Banner

Yes, I blew up all the balloons – phew there were a few light headed moments…..

The Colouring in station
The Colouring in station

I figured that not all the kids would want to play in the splash pool or slip ‘n slide so gave them something else to do – I also was worried that if it rained they would be very bored.  I sprayed masonite clip boards with a glitter varnish and put each kids name on them. The kids then got to take the boards home with them.  I also designed and printed off a whole lot of rainbow themed colouring in pages.

Party Boxes
Party Boxes

I made these boxes using my Silhoutte Cameo.  They were the first things I have made with it and it was much easier than I was expecting. The machine has been intimidating me….

Rainbow Jelly
Rainbow Jelly
Rainbow Cake Push Pops
Rainbow Cake Push Pops

I made these the same why that I did the cake.  Easy but pretty time consuming.

THE CAKE
THE CAKE
THE CAKE - a rainbow suprise
THE CAKE – a rainbow suprise
It was very popular.....
It was very popular…..
The Birthday Girl enjoy the splash pool
The Birthday Girl enjoy the splash pool
Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Ordinarylife

February so far

February has been an odd month. It seems as if the highs have been pretty high but the lows very, very low.

The beginning of the month had me questioning my friendship skills.  A lady that used to live next door to us committed suicide.  She moved last year and had asked me a couple of times to come to her new place for a drink and a chat – I said I would be never “got round to it”. Something always seemed to come up.  I know that my going round for a drink would probably not have changed the end result, but it still made me question a few things and she had two young sons that she left behind.  I think you will always question “how could she” in those kinds of circumstances.  I guess when you are at that stage you are not thinking logically.  Then the death of a somebody else had me realise just how quickly life can change, how quickly it can end.  You can seem healthy but you just never know.

Obviously the whole Oscar / Reeva episode has also affected the whole country in various ways.  Once again, it made me think about how quickly life can change.  How an action, by intent or by accident can affect and even devastate the lives of so many.

Those where the bad

The good – well, they kind of pale into insignificance when compared to the above, but they have made me feel better and in my life one of them at least is pretty huge – that is that Little OL turns 3 today.  Most of the time I can’t believe that I have a daughter, never mind one that is 3.

Opening presents - 3rd Birthday
Opening presents – 3rd Birthday

Other positive news is that my blog was featured on an on-line newsletter for ex-pat’s in the UK.  Click HERE to see it.  I was very chuffed to get asked if they could feature it.  Wow – it’s the first time anything like that has happened and it felt good.  It was the start of what felt like a very positive and lucky week for me.  First I received that email, and then I received 3 more emails on the same day saying I had won different things on various blogs or Facebook pages!  Followed by another email 2 days later saying I had won a CD.  I could not stop smiling and after the start to the month I felt like I needed it.

Then, to make my February even more special two other bloggers have been exceptionally kind and thoughtful.  I just want to say thank you – it really has meant a lot to me.  It reinforced why I blog – you meet such wonderful people and make friends,  even if only on-line, with people that you would never have the opportunity to meet in any other way due to circumstance or distance.  And, if you actually get to meet those people IRL it is fantastic.

How has your February been?  Good, bad or a combination?

 

I won items on the following blogs or FB pages – please go check them out.

Nicoletta – Cake decorating stuff.

The Mom City – a kiddies bath toy from Yookidoo

The Book Club Blog – a book, Shades by Marguerite Poland

And then a CD from a private blog of a special lady. 🙂  Thank you.

Posted in Family, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Running, Sunshine Coast Triathlon, Training, Training, Triathlon

The race that started it all

8 years ago Saturday morning I ran my first 10km ever, the Metlife Plaza Valentine’s Day run.  My mom convinced me to run it with her.  I had just started running again that January so 10km was quite a big deal.  I Googled my times and I completed it in 59.32 – quite good if I do say so myself.  The only reason I got under 1 hour was because my mom was with me the whole way yelling at encouraging me to keep running.  With about 1 km to go I told her to go ahead I could not do it any more and she did, but then my competitive streak kicked in and I followed desperately trying to keep up, she finished bout 20seconds ahead of me.  (It took me over 7 years to actually beat her in a race.)

I decided to do that race again this year and my goal this time was to do my fastest 10km.  It is a flat course and there was minimal wind, so I felt it was possible. The fact that I had not actually run in 2 weeks did cross my mind but as one of my friends said at the start it just meant my legs were fresh…..  it seemed to work – my official time for the 10km on Saturday was 56:04.  (On my watch it was 56:01:32 – which made me wish I had actually looked at me watch in the last 500m).  I am happy with that – they only other time I have gone quicker was in the Sunshine Coast Triathlon.

Just for the record, a year after that first 10km I ran my first half marathon.  It was the 2 Oceans and a year after that I did my first Ironman.  I still have not run a stand-alone marathon; it is a goal for this year.