Beginnings, Firsts, hylery, Milestone, Parenting, Show and Tell

Show and Tell .. oh wow!

My Family
My Family

It’s been 4 weeks today that our young man started at his new school and I will be the first to state that I’m so sold on the school and Continue reading “Show and Tell .. oh wow!”

Age 3, Beginnings, Education, Father and Son, Firsts, Growth Phase, Milestone, Parenting

Dear Son….

My World
My World

How quickly life seems to be passing us by. It feels like it was just yesterday we brought you home. It feels like it was just yesterday that your dad and I would take turns getting up in the middle of the night to make sure that you were fine, or Continue reading “Dear Son….”

Birthday, Celebrations, Experiences, Family, Father and Son, Life, Love, Milestone

hAPpY BirThdAY Son

J and I 2015
J and I 2015

Dear J,

I still pinch myself to make sure that I’m not dreaming. I’m eternally grateful that you chose us to be your parents, and honoured that God has allowed us to share and celebrate another year of life with you.

Continue reading “hAPpY BirThdAY Son”

Anniversary, Birthday, Celebrations, hylery, Milestone

Hylery… my blog turns 4!

My blog turns 4
My blog turns 4

WOW! I can’t believe that this week my blog hylery is 4, and today a public holiday in South Africa, is Heritage Day. It is a South African public holiday celebrated on 24 September. We’re all encouraged to celebrate our culture and our different beliefs and traditions. Continue reading “Hylery… my blog turns 4!”

Cycling, Dare2Tri, Experiences, Family, Fitness, Milestone, Running, Swim, Tri, Weekend

Our cold active weekend …

Son and Hubby making their way to the start
Son and Hubby making their way to the start

Early Saturday morning we packed our family car and made our way to Northern Farm. For the second year now, we opted to support the Winter Ride n Run hosted by the Redhill School and FedGroup. It was freaking cold, but our young man was super excited that we were for a change packing his bike into the car and making our way to the main road to ride it. I’ve not seen him this happy in ages. Smiling from ear to ear and kept confirming if indeed he was going to ride his bike. I was also very promptly told that I would have to wait for them while they went off on their bikes.

What are we waiting for...
What are we waiting for…

Hubby left first, I had to hold our young man back as he felt he needed to be riding off with dadD. It took some convincing that he too would be riding off soon.

When we eventually got tot he starting pen, he was like .. “What are we waiting for now..?”  We eventually left and the race was on! He road off and was loving every minute of the experience. 

I thought bottlenecks only happened in the big peoples races, apparently not! It wasn’t too long after we left that we hit our first bottleneck!

Bottleneck ... seriously
Bottleneck … seriously

If he had his way, he would have been pushing forward and bumping his front tyre onto the bike in from to get them to move out the way .. so typical of many adult MTB races! If I could read minds, I am sure his would have been screaming ..“Move it!” 

Roughing it
Roughing it

I really loved how they made the route “technical”, keeping it real in terms of what MTB is all about! The young man was loving all the ups and downs, even overtaking the slow bikes on his own. It really was too special to watch and just share this moment with him.

This was the first time we’d been back to Northern Farm since he joined the family. We loved that he was clearly having a fun time. I don’t think it will be too long before we make it a habit. I have no doubt, this young man is going to be MTB cyclist .. he loves calculated danger, this was very clear on Saturday!

Fellow Runners
Fellow Runners

So great to see both Lucy and Stevie supporting the Redhill School event as well. They both ran the 6km Trail run, while Lucy’s hubby rode the 45km MTB race.

Festive Time
Festive Time

The event itself was very well organised, number collection was quick and much better compared to last year. The public support was amazing. If the event was better communicated this year, then it is a recipe the school and FedGroup should continue to use, it definately works!

There was plenty of entertainment for the little ones, space for the riders to park their bikes post the race, loads of food  and fresh coffee to warm us up being sold to the public as well.

Next year .. try and give it a go .. 🙂

 

 

 

Later on Saturday afternoon it was time to support two charities via the Otter’s Annual 6.7km Fun Run Challenge .. we clearly enjoying these annual events .. well some of them anyway with great causes. The Otter’s run supports The Baby House in Lonehill and Lesedi Children’s Home. I would have loved to include a link to the Lesedi Children’s Home, but either I’ve lost my touch with searching for stuff online or they don’t have a page at the moment.

I’ve included the link to The Baby House above, so you can read up on them as well. Briefly here is an extract from their website

The Baby House Lonehill

The Baby House was founded in response to the need for 5 million children who will be orphaned by 2015 in South Africa. The Baby House is officially a place of safety for abused and abandoned babies and toddlers… our style of care however is far beyond what you would expect in a typical children’s home. We value one on one attention, loving touch and good quality nutrition, medication and therapies to assist our little ones in healing from trauma and returning to a safe world of self-discovery. We opened our doors in 2011, to date the destiny of 21 children has been radically and beautifully changed. We are based in Johannesburg and house 6 children at a time. Our vision is to create more homes, with medical facilities to accommodate victims of infant rape as well as abused and abandoned babies. In order to do this we need to increase our sustainable income and to form partnerships with corporations devoted to the care and development of our current and future generation of children.”

They will be hosting a few events from September this year to raise funds for their charity, one of which includes riding for them in the forthcoming 94.7 Cycle Challenge taking place on the 16th November. I need to chat to hubby about raising funds for our kit and entry, so that we can proudly cycle through the streets of Jozi in the colours of The Baby House and at the same time not only raise awareness of this wonderful cause, but also help raise much needed funds so that they may continue to do their wonderful work. 

Otter's Fun Run Challenge
Otter’s Fun Run Challenge

Now back to the run… having run the route last year I was in familiar surroundings and what to expect. I am happy that I managed to run more of the route than I did last year, and the “killer hill” wasn’t so deadly this year. I didn’t run all of it perhaps next year, but I did run more of it than last year…hope that counts for something?

It was well organised and reasonably well attended. As it was held on Mandela Day, I’m not sure if all the other number of events taking place across the city this year overshadowed it, as it seemed a lot more low keyed in comparison to last year.

Still, it was beautiful to see the streets crowed by both local residents and visitors alike. Everyone running the streets of the Lonehill suburb as families, including their pets. After the run there were a few stalls selling food and drinks, while the children could run around the park enjoying the late afternoon sun around the park lawns.

Again, if you’re not doing anything else next year .. why not join us and the many families supporting this great initiative?

I dropped off my boys at home and after I was sure they were both washed and fed, I was back in my car and headed back to the local gym. Saturdays as part of my #DareToTri training is made up of a morning run and a swim session in the afternoon. I did the run, now I ached to complete the swim too. The gym closes at 8pm on Saturdays, so I managed to get there with just over an hour to spare. I’ve never been to the gym and found it so empty and quiet, a pleasant change. Changing from running gear to swim was the fastest I’ve done in a while, and before long I was in the pool. It wasn’t quite a brick swim, but I was motoring through the warmish waters. A goal of 2.5km was set and I was determined to accomplish it. Just under 50 minutes later I was done! Goal under the belt, I hit the showers and was out of the gym with 10 minutes to spare before they closed for the day.

Sunday morning came way too soon for my liking. Again, I had a goal to achieve. My legs have complained that I am not giving them enough road cycling time, so that was what would be happening Sunday morning. At 6am when the alarm went off, it was still way too cold for my liking. We waited for just after 8am when we felt the outdoors was slightly much warmer and made our way to the Cradle for my “lonely” ride. Lonely, only because I wasn’t riding with anyone else I knew but there were plenty of other riders on the road. I was supported by my hubby and son throughout the ride and that made it fun. At 9h30 I was cleated and hit the road. In no time I was out of the main Lanseria road and in the slightly more quieter road of the Cradle. Having successfully ridden on my own through the worst part of the Lanseria road for me … the section of the road is narrow and there is NO bike lane! Get the picture?!

Halfway Point - The Caves
Halfway Point – The Caves

I was on a roll. My initial goal was to cycle at least 60km, but would be happy with 50km at least, but nothing less than 50! First 30km was fun and I had a great pace. Met up with son and hubby at the caves for a bit of a breather and I was back on the saddle.

For a change I was also riding past some other cyclists 🙂 and not me being left behind as per norm. At the 40km point I began to feel my quadricep femoris muscles hinting that they were tired, they let me ride past it and when I got to the top of the road I was climbing .. I stopped! Cleated off and put my foot on the ground … OUCH! I was on a major road with quite a bit of traffic and hubby with the car was a whole 5km away from me. I could have called him and asked to be collected, but I was too proud .. yes typical male. After a brief rest and water .. leg seemed ready, I cleated back onto the bike and rode past the car all the way to the 50km point! That’s when I decided it was enough….

Hubby secured the bike back onto the bike rack. I changed my cycling shoes for running and hit the road. This time for my brick run. Yeah, my friends think I’m nuts too! What’s a brick run you may be asking …well it …

…refers to training on two disciplines during the same workout.

Bricks are a very important part of triathlon (and duathlon) training, one after the other with minimal or no interruption in between, just as you would do in a race (I am sure you knew this).

Let’s just say that after that run .. my legs were begging for forgiveness!

Next week we attempt again and the weekend after until it is all very normal for my legs. Now if only I could find a way of ridding my legs of cramps …!?

HKL

Experiences, Father and Son, Firsts, Life, Love, Milestone, Parenting

Play date

Playtime
Playtime

 

This afternoon our friend Taryn messaged us to join her and Jordan(her son) who is two months younger than JJ at the local Papachinos. We got there and JJ didn’t want anything to do with anyone and wouldn’t let my leg go. For no reason at all! It’s not like this was our first time out in public, but somehow, our little man just wasn’t feeling comfy about the environment .. or so it seemed!

We relaxed and had awesome conversation and caught up on how our sons had progressed, developed and had grown since we last saw each other at Jordan’s birthday earlier this year. All this time though, little Jordi was out in the play area clearly having a ball of a time with the caretakers and the various forms of jungle gyms.

Jordi eventually tired and came back to the table for a bit of a munch with JJ. Was really interesting to watch these two young men. They at the age that they don’t play together but in the same environment. Both passed a glance at each other, I’m sure I saw a nod too, and both returned to their plate of chips. Yes, I dare say that is how they interact now with each other, not passing a word but rather a glance or two that clearly says more. It wasn’t too long and our boys wanted to go to the play area. Young JJ insisted on being placed on the floor and announced “dah…dah..” and moved a few steps in the direction of the play area. Off we trodded into the play area, where JJ immediately went off to his favourite apparatus .. the slide. Just listening to him giggle away as he slid down was awesome!

Having fun sliding down ..
Having fun sliding down ..

I find it so amazing that in the last two months our man just keeps transforming. More and more he is growing in confidence in his own abilities. What may have been or seemed like a challenge to him two weeks back .. isn’t anymore. For example usually he is content with just walking around the area and sliding up and down the slides. Today, I tested him by placing him in one of the higher slides requiring him to venture out on his own .. climb a step or two before reaching the last slide. He surprised me by actually following all these steps like he had done it before. No guidance from me either!

Today has really been a day full of surprises from our JJ. His nanny baked him some biscuits on Wednesday and he watched where I had stored them. You need to appreciate how much he loves these butter biscuits, you can find the recipe under Yummi Easy Biscuits. I was in the lounge this morning watching a TV when he again goes dah…dah and starts walking towards the kitchen, at the same time he is sure to watch if I’m following him. I stand up and walk towards the kitchen where he is standing and pointing up at the biscuit tin and uttering dah …dah. You will note that the dah..dah currently has various meanings, from give, to take, to lift me .. you get the drift right. Too precious a moment for me. It was the first time our young man had communicated or rather explicitly expressed his wishes to me. He is really growing up … isn’t he.

Right now he is asleep, I think the afternoon activities were “hectic” for him. We got home, bathed and I gave him some milk with Milo. He polished it and I took him to his room and placed him onto his bed. I wasn’t even down the passage when he was out for the count.

Tomorrow is nog another dag!

HKL

Celebrations, Cycling, Experiences, Family, Milestone, Standing, Weekend

He stands alone ….

Bath time we love
Bath time we love

This weekend started like all the others .. with the exception that we had hubby carbo-loading in preparation for his second Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge today. The evening was wet and miserable so even if we wanted to go out … there was no chance in that mini storm!

Saturday started off rather chilled, hubby was taking it easy so as not to put any unnecessary pressure before his big race. We started the day off slow, with a lay in before we could not put off starting the day anymore as a swimming lesson awaited us.

At 11h00 off we went as a family to the pool, for some reason as much as JJ loves swimming the last two lessons have not been the best experience .. for him or me! He will do the standard laps, jump up and down in the water, splash and kick .. but when it comes to learning to pull himself out the water and humpty dumpty back in … he wont stop crying! Why? We do the very same steps at home and he is laughing and smiling the whole time we are in the water …

Straight after swimming dadD had to show face at the local Cycling Expo at the Dome, pram, lunch and change of clothing for JJ off we went into the Dome. Earlier this year we were at the Argus Expo in Cape Town and prior to that we were at this very same expo in 2012 … with both these memories relatively still fresh in my mind, this year’s expo was rather low key in comparison.

Cycle Challenge 94.7
Cycle Challenge 94.7

On the plus side I managed to bump into a few friends from my previous life who were riding the 94.7 this year! My old mate Rodney eventually met up with dadD and JJ along with his little boy Eli, we spent a few minutes together catching up before JJ made it very clear that he had had a long enough afternoon and needed to have a bit of a snooze… We got home and it wasn’t long before JJ and I hit the sack and were out for the count … dadD stayed up catching up with rugby.

Sunday we were up bright and early as hubby had to be in his batch by 7h00, his start time was 7h30. Having prepped the night before, early morning on Sunday was set aside to shower, dress, fill his bottles and make sure his bike was ready one more time. Just after 6h00, dadD was on the road cycling his way to the starting line. At home JJ and I went back to bed and snoozed for another our, me … while JJ managed to snooze for 3 hours before he decided he’d had enough and wanted chill out with dadE. He had a quick bath before we had some lunch. To while away our time we danced around to HeartFM 104.9 all the way from Cape Town, when JJ decided he would surprise me and stand on his own! Yes! Oh I was the proudest dad for that brief moment he stood there. I am very sure, from his reaction to the achievement, that he had surprised himself too! He managed to repeat it a few more times for me before he temporarily got bored with it all and resorted to playing with his toys.

While all this was taking place, dadD rode himself right around our beautiful city all the way back home. He managed to do it all in 3h44 according to his GARMIN. JJ and I are so proud of him for his achievement! We were both part of his short training programme for this race, so we honestly do believe if he put more effort to training for it next year .. he has the potential of doing a sub3 in 2014!

DadD goes cycling
DadD goes cycling

Next we’re focusing on two major races in the first quarter of 2014, first one will be the 21.1km DISCHEM Race in January, followed by the ARGUS. Hubby has planned to start prepping for the first of the two already, and doing a few rides in between I am sure.

This also means that my year off has come to an end. During the holidays I have to re-start my cycling again. I have challenged a friend to the MTN MTB 20km race in Dullstroom early next year. Nthabi has accepted and completed all the challenges I placed before her this year .. so it’s only fair I do the same next year. Truth be told I will only be helping myself  .. aren’t I !?

… and that as they say was our weekend in a nutshell!

HKL

Cycling, Experiences, Family, Father and Son, Love, Milestone, Weekend

The weekend about to pounce …

In just under 2 hours the weekend will begin for most … This weekend has the potential of becoming quite a busy one with so many possibilities in terms of activities. Tomorrow for example JJ has swimming, and if you’re in the Cycling world you will be aware of the Cycling Expo 2013 taking place currently at the CoCa Cola Dome out in the Westrand since yesterday. After swimming is done guess where we will be? Hubby’s company has a stand at the Expo and I have my own reasons for wanting to go there …

A close friend of mine Rodney is in town with his family, we saw them in July this year which is not normal. We go back … way back to our tertiary education days in Braamfontein… since we “grew up” we will normally only see each other around this time of the year … why .. well because it’s the one of the few times he travels to Jozi, because he participates in the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge … religiously annually .. even if injured! You see, Rodney had a really bad fall back in June this year, broken hip, and almost had to endure a hip replacement op! Fortunately, he is from a family of a few qualified medical professionals who advised him on securing a second and third opinion before he actually went under the knife! Anyway, I digress, not even six months later he will be riding the 94.7 this year … Insane right!? This means we will be seeing each other and our respective families this weekend too .. I hope!

On 94.7, hubby will be participating in this race for the second year now so we’re all very excited for him and are routing that he has a fantastic cycling experience and makes it back to the finish line in a fantastic time. Yes, he best do his best to achieve it! We’ve endured countless early morning cycling sessions etc and he does seem to be a lot fitter than he was a year ago!

Fathers are examples to their children!
Fathers are examples to their children!

So yes, plenty to do this weekend … behave, have fun and remember that you’re setting an example for your children!

HLK

Birthday, Celebrations, Crawling, Cycling, Eating Cake Mix, Family, Firsts, Love, Milestone, Standing, Walking, Weekend

JJ’s Birthday Weekend

Last week JJ celebrated his first birthday, and since then he just seems to be evolving at 180km/h….

First grandma Lou arrived last week Sunday to spend some time with our little man as early Feb was the last time she had physically seen him. Although back in February, mom was his rock, this time round he was very distant towards her. It took the whole week for him to finally reach a point of comfort with her.

JJ sings for grandma
JJ sings for grandma

The weekend saw the arrival of my sister and son Nate from Swaziland. An awesome surprise and one that saw our boys get to know each other some, and motivate JJ to be walking. Instead, we say Nate, who’s already walking start crawling around the house like his cousin! It was funny at the time, and not too! The whole weekend seemed like Nate followed whatever JJ did, upon reflection I’m guessing that he felt as it’s JJ’s playground, he would wait for him to lead the way.

Smurfcupcakes
Smurfcupcakes

Saturday was the day we had sent out invite to our friends with little ones to join us in celebrating JJ’s Smurfday. Day started off with hubby going off for a little spinning session followed by a short drive to our friend Nadia’s home to collect the beautiful Smurf themed cupcakes she generously made for JJ, THANK YOU Nadia and Sean! While hubby was away, mom and I prepared the picnic platters for the picnic and my sister babysat the “twins”. At around 11am, JJ and I left for his swimming lesson. Due to dadD cycling and pure laziness really, we haven’t been for swimming lessons in two weeks. Everything was fine while we watched the earlier group go through their routine, but, when it was time for us to start a whole new JJ appeared! Initially he was enjoying the swimming as it was all familiar, as soon as a new routine was introduced JJ started his OSCAR performance! He cried and cried and cried and just would not let it stop! We finally finished the lesson and headed home, where we didn’t have too long before we had to head on to our local venue.

The Cake
The Cake

From that moment on all our little man wanted was to be in my arms, if he was put down to play with one of the uncles and aunts, it was for a short while before he demanded my attention. The picnic started off on time and JJ was surrounded by all his invited guests. Everyone seemed to have had a good time. Plenty of food all round thanks to my mom, my sister and Nate got a bit of break from their normal routine and JJ was spoilt. DadD, thank you for all the running around and support with JJ and the party. We worked as a team and pulled off a great first birthday picnic for our son JJ. THANK YOU!

To all our friends and their families, THANK YOU for taking some time out and spending it Saturday afternoon with JJ and our family!

Sunday morning bordered on being a tad depro, my mom, sister and nephew were leaving for Swaziland. As usual, JJ was up at the crack of dawn and wanted to play. Hubby is doing the 94.7 Cycle Challenge next weekend, so needs to put in as much time on the bike as possible, yes you guessed it! He was at the gym first thing. He came home with some freshly baked croissants and fruit salad, add some fresh from the oven bacon and grated cheese and you have an amazing Sunday family breakfast!

Soon after it was all goodbyes and back to normality for us all. My family travelled safely back to Swaziland and life returned to normal for us … well .. not quite! For JJ has now assumed a new personality! He is more confident… for one, he is now attempting to stand without holding onto anything, and last week Saturday he actually waved at our helper as she left. This morning as I left for work I looked at him and mentioned that I was off and needed him to behave and be good to our nanny so could he give me a kiss goodbye? Doesn’t he shake his head in a “no” action! It took everything for me not to laugh!

Yes, JJ is definately one now .. and showing us that he isn’t a baby!

HKL

JJ growing up and all his blessings - THANK YOU ALL
JJ growing up and all his blessings – THANK YOU ALL