Archive for the ‘PE’ Category

Can’t sleep

January 7, 2012

I suffered from terrible insomnia in high school which got way better at University and pretty much disappeared once I had children. Tonight though I just can’t get to sleep so I’ll most likely ramble a lot.

I just can’t get over what incredible weather we are having. Usually Feb, March, April and even May and June are pretty good in PE, then we get a little bit of winter (with lots of nice days in between) and in September or October the wind starts. This year the wind started later (winter lingered) but boy did the wind howl. Then all of a sudden it was like someone flicked a switch on 15 December and it’s been pretty darn incredible since then. We’ve had 3 lots of out-of-town visitors and they have all been blown away (ha ha) by how gorgeous it’s been. Mid-twenties or a bit higher, so not too hot with a gentle breeze and often completely windless early morning and evening and the best of all has been the warm sea water. It’s so warm you don’t even catch your breath going in. Our pool is 34 degrees which is ridiculously warm and we should probably turn the heating off but it’s just so glorious, especially for night-time and early morning swims that we haven’t. So, that’s what we’re used to at home now and yet the sea is so warm it doesn’t feel cold. Zoe is absolutely loving swimming in the sea and she’s getting really good at it. She can boogie-board (with a little push to help her catch the wave) but then with the actual  swimming in the waves she has started to dive under the big ones and jump to get over the smaller ones and is happy to swim in the surf. She is only 4 years old. I am astonished. This evening Chris went for a proper swim in the sea in his brand new R2000(!!) Iron Man wetsuit and we went along.

I should quickly add, PE is Iron Man country and if you’re not doing it yourself, with each year that you live here you will know increasing numbers of people who are doing it and you will eventually do it, except me of course I’m adamant that I won’t be sucked in. Anyway, starting in about December every Friday afternoon from about 4pm everyone goes for a training swim in the sea. They are like ants all with their wetsuits on but it is rather festive particularly on a gorgeous day like today. They swim anything from 600m-2,4km or even further (the swim is 3,8km in Iron Man). Because this is PE, no one is working on a Friday afternoon anyway and although there are organised sea swimming races on Sundays this is just a very casual but extremely popular occurrence.

We have been doing lots of swimming in the sea this holiday. What we tend to do is go to the beach early, 8.30amish and stay for a few hours and then go again at about 4.30/5pm for more swimming. The amazing thing about Zoe is that I spent a month here when she was almost a year old and Chris was studying for his final exams. At first she refused to put her feet on the sand and the only way to get her to play in the sand was for her to be sitting on a towel. Eventually by the end of the month (and almost daily trips to the beach – it was Feb) she started to like the sand and the rock pools,etc a bit. I never would’ve believed you if you’d told me she’d be diving under the waves and lying in the sand making sand angels or burying herself a mere 4 years later.

We got back from the beach just before 6 this evening and I went for a run (because the Iron Manner is cycling tomorrow morning) and couldn’t get over the number of people still swimming in the sea when I was getting back about 7pm. There is also such a lovely atmosphere at the beach. We usually go swimming at the beach just down the road from us (Pollock Beach) and every evening you meet the same families/people down there when it’s not holiday time, although we’ve been most evenings this week and it’s been a case of all the usual suspects with lots of extras. We usually take the dogs with to Pollock and they have just as much fun. The sea swims happen at Hobie Beach which is usually much busier (no dogs) and Zoe prefers boogie boarding there – the waves are a little less dumpy- and so that’s where we went this evening (for Chris to swim). We knew a few of the wetsuit swimmers but the rest of the people on the beach were all just such a good mixture and everyone was having loads of fun. It had been a gorgeous day and the beach was packed all day and yet there wasn’t even much litter around.

I know I’m going on and on but I need to because of what our visitors had to say. It’s so easy to get caught up in one’s busy life and dwell on the negative. We need to remember every day how blessed and lucky we are and it would be criminal to waste these perfect days because all too soon Chris will be back at work and the girls will be at school and we won’t be able to walk down for a play in the morning. Hopefully we can still do lots of evening swimming this summer but Chris won’t always be able to join us and how blessed we are again to live in a place where I can walk down to the beach on my own with the girls and have a swim and build a few castles and know without a doubt that we’ll bump into friends and people we know all doing the same thing – walking, cycling, swimming and playing.

And now for something completely different…

I’ve been watching Fat Doctor on Channel 125 I think. It is shocking. Chris is rather sympathetic to these people. Some do seem to try while others don’t at all and I just want to slap them. These people are so fat that most don’t work and they need other people to do absolutely everything for them. There was this guy last night of 30 who had a 23-year-old wife and 3(!!) young children. I’m still not sure how he got her pregnant in the first place and he was so fat she had to wash him and wipe his bum (and bring him all his food of course). They showed her grocery shopping. He sometimes ate 24 small packets of chips A DAY and then tries to tell us he can’t help being so fat and he just keeps putting on more and more weight, well no s#$t sherlock. He cannot even stand up for longer than a minute. I could go on and on. Some of their BMI’s are 60/70. Mine was 23 when I was 9 months pregnant. I also look longingly at the buy 5 get 1 free doughnuts that tempt me in the aisle at Woolies but I don’t buy them (often). We ran 30km yesterday morning and my very clever watch tells me how far we ran exactly, how fast and how many calories I burned (1800 I think), so that probably entitles me to eat a packet of chips (which I did) but only 1 not 24.

Something is wrong in the UK if you can sit at home, because you are too fat to work, have 3 children and a wife at home but then somehow still afford to buy hundreds of packets of chips a week and drink coke all day long. I know our tax money gets wasted disgracefully and I try not to think about it, but that also seems wrong, surely rather give food coupons and make it healthy food. Yes, I know that healthy food is expensive but surely one can think of something. Okay, getting back to the program.

The people all then have gastric bypass surgery and lose loads of weight and feel great and start exercising and the 30-year-old with the 23-year-old wife even started bringing his wife tea in bed and could wash himself and wipe his bum, so really great except the one poor chap died and that was pretty heartbreaking. Chris and the doctor who does the surgery both argue that it’s a lot of factors at play in these people’s lives which results in them getting so obese that they get to the point that they will never be able to lose the weight as they are too big to exercise (and will die pretty soon) but I still DO NOT understand it at all. I do not have an addictive personality (although I do start to get a bit edgy if I don’t run for a few days) and have pretty strong willpower and motivation so I really can’t get my head around it all. It’s quite entertaining though and it does make me want to send some of them to Chile and put them in a mine shaft for a few weeks. The chap this evening was too embarrassed to eat in public so goes to the KFC drive-in and ordered a zinger meal, a rounder meal, a side order of onions and then tried to get an ice-cream but they didn’t have. He told the doctor quite proudly that he ate quite healthily as he had lots of fish and chips!! You all know how healthy English fish and chips are. We once got it and I got halfway through and was nauseous the rest of the day. I do have to admit that tonight for supper we had pork sausages and chips and I didn’t even have any of the sweetcorn Chris made to go with. Naughty, naughty. I felt so bad I just went and ate a bunch of grapes!

Better go to bed as the big cyclist is meeting a friend at 5.15am to go cycling. This friend has been training for the Half Iron Man for a good few months now and Chris was rather distraught when he heard this evening that he ran 15km this morning, swam 2,4km in the sea and will be cycling for 4 hours (so over 100km) tomorrow morning. He had a tummy bug last week and he’s Chris’s height (1,76m) and told Chris he weighs 66kg (after the bug and with all the training). That’s a BMI of  21 and he’s from the UK!!



That time of the year

November 14, 2010

Can’t quite believe the speed with which the weeks seem to be flying by. I forget every year just how busy life becomes as the festive season approaches and with the weather being so nice, all I want to do is take everyone down to the beach and have fun. It’s almost Zoe’s concert at school and I need to donate stuff for the raffle, buy her teacher and the helpers a present, send Christmas presents with my folks to the USA when they leave on 11 December, send a whole lot of presents down to Cape Town with Chris tomorrow and finish the rest of the Christmas shopping,etc.,etc. We’ve had dinner parties, birthday parties, baby showers, you name it lately. Chris wants to have some of his nurses and doctors over for supper some time, we’ve got a weekend away in East London, our home group family braai, my mom’s birthday, more kiddies birthday parties and it just carries on.

This weekend has been fabulous though. We had a dinner party on Friday night and the girls slept at my folks so we could go on a long run on Saturday morning. We got back, I fetched the kids while Chris quickly popped into work and then I went on a major shopping spree for MYSELF. Yes, once one has kids (especially girls perhaps) one tends to mostly buy stuff for them. Well, that’s what I’ve found anyway. One also doesn’t have as much time to shop so generally shopping for myself involves grabbing stuff at Woolies while I’m buying food. I don’t know about you but I’ve found that Woolies clothes have gone seriously downhill. I am yet to find anything for myself this season and even the kiddies stuff isn’t great. I’ve landed up buying a lot of stuff for the girls from Edgars (and Naartjie which I must stop with our VERY EXTENSIVE alterations looming, more on that later). I went to Ackermans and couldn’t find anything nice either (for them). I never really go into Truworths but goodness me was I pleasantly surprised, I think their clothes are great and I found tons of stuff that I liked. I spent rather a lot and could have spent a lot more but I’m desperate for a GHD so need to hold myself back a bit, never mind the gold-plated Richard Scott painting which I bought a while back. It should be arriving this week (I hope), so I’ll post a photo.

So, bought Chris some new jeans and a shirt, tried on and bought stuff for myself for over an hour, then did a food shop and just, yes, just as I’d finished at the till in Woolies my phone rings. It’s my mom, one of their friends is desperately ill in hospital and she phoned to ask if there’s anything they needed. The daughter (the kids are at Varsity and in high school) said that she’s cooking but she’s vegetarian and her dad and brothers are starting to complain about a veggie diet. Please could I go back and get a 1kg lasagne and a veggie meal for them asks my mom. Not sure what your Woolies food section looks like on a Saturday lunchtime but this one was chokker block full. If it wasn’t for quite such a good cause I might just have refused. Bear in mind we’d woken up at 5am to go and run 24km (and it was a hilly run with a rather strong wind blowing) and I’d just been shopping for close to 2 hours already – dressing and undressing a good 20 or more times and then stood in the queue at Woolies (twice).

In the afternoon we had a kiddies party which was an absolute ball. Chris bunked but most of the other dads (and moms of course) were there. There were some people there that I hadn’t seen for ages (since school) and it was very festive and the girls had a ball. Ava was like an animal on the jumping castle, not phased by anything or anyone, eating whatever she could lay her hands on. Zoe was obviously more reserved but because it was all her friends from school, she was quite happy playing with everyone and it was really hard to drag them home. We were in bed soon after 9 and if it wasn’t for Chris’s alarm going off at 5am (the fool hadn’t cancelled it from the day before) I could’ve slept more than 10 hours. I couldn’t get back to sleep after 5am. I’m sure the girls would’ve slept till after 8 if I’d let them. Ava was like a dead duck when Chris woke her just after 7, falling asleep after he gave her her milk twice. I eventually managed to wake Zoe at about 7.30am. The reason we wanted to wake them was that it was a beautiful morning and we wanted to go for a walk on the beach before church. Ava was in the back-pack and Zoe walked and we collected shells and the dogs did their usual running,swimming,digging,etc. It is the most perfect day today and I’m really glad we went. This afternoon my parents came for a braai and I “swam” in the jacuzzi with the girls while Chris and my folks watched the Grand Prix.

Hubert, the architect came around on Saturday and went through a whole lot of stuff with Chris (while I was shopping). It turns out he’s planning a proper pitched roof over the patio. This will mean that the ceiling of the patio will be at the same height as the house and we will have the option of closing off the patio with stacking doors on the 2 open sides which is fairly important when you live in PE. I’m getting a bit nervous as to what the costs might be for all of this – a full 2,1 metre boundary wall in front, some raising of other boundary walls, doubling the size of the garage, a new garage door, a new pedestrian gate, a new sliding gate for the parking area, the patio, a pool with solar heating and demolishing the 2 bed flatlet and significantly decreasing the size of the parking area and then re-doing the garden where necessary. This project started out as replacing the pallisade/brick front wall with a solid wall!!!! Now look where we are already and this is only phase 1.

The party girls

Very hard to get them both smiling and looking at the camera, then my camera's battery died just as they started getting it right!!

What’s for supper?

November 10, 2010

Not sure if you’re all fish lovers but we certainly are – all 4 of us. In PE one can buy fresh fish at the harbour. It’s not like buying from Kalk Bay harbour, it’s an actual shop but it sells the most divine fresh fish. This afternoon I bought Kingklip fillets for R60/kg. Can you believe that? I usually get East Coast soles or even their Hake is nice because it’s always so fresh. They don’t always have Kingklip but they always have a good variety. I baked it in the oven with lemon butter and sprinkled some crumbs and garlic and herb seasoning over it. Such a quick and easy meal and the girls just can’t get enough of it. I served it with sweet potato chips (which they also love) and veggies as neither Chris nor they are too keen on salad unfortunately. Anyway, just one of the many perks of living in PE. Serving one’s family fresh kingklip for R30 is pretty remarkable in this day and age.

Happy tired

November 7, 2010

We’ve had a physically busy weekend. It started off with a bump… Zoe fell off her horse at horse riding. She was riding bareback and not concentrating all that well. The horse had stopped and Kiara (her riding instructor) had to give the horse quite  a bit of encouragement to get going again and obviously Zoe wasn’t holding on very well. I saw it happening but wasn’t quick enough to catch her. She would have been absolutely fine except that she fell with her back onto the one and only pole lying on the ground in the arena. She always rides with a riding hat but still hit her back with quite a thump. She cried but did get back on and rode for a bit longer and was absoultely fine by the time we got home – jumping on the trampoline, climbing on the jungle gym and didn’t complain at all.

I ran a 10km race on Saturday but went to enter the race on Friday evening. It was a stunning day on Friday and in the summer there are swimming races in the sea every 2nd Friday evening and surfski timetrials (also in the sea) every Friday evening. I had to go and enter the race at Kings Beach so we drove passed all the swimmers doing there thing and I had the girls with me so after entering we quickly went onto the ebach to watch the start of the surfski race. I felt very glad to be living in such an active city but felt a bit guilty that we were driving in our car. No need to feel guilty this evening though.

I managed to improve a bit on my 10km time in the race – did it in 44min 11 seconds and came 9th overall in the ladies section. That meant that I earned quite a lot of points for my club which is good as we are currently 3rd in the ladies section amongst all the clubs in the league. Last night Zoe and Ava slept over at my parents as Chris and I wanted to do a long run. We ran 32km and I felt remarkably good. The soles of my feet started to burn a little bit in the last km or so but other than that I felt 100%. Hopefully that means we are ready for the marathon which is about a month away. Not actually sure if one is ever 100% ready to run a marathon but I’m really hoping that I can run it in about 3 hours 45 minutes. Originally the plan was for us both to run the 10km race and for me to do the long run on my own but I just decided that 32km was really way too far to run alone and so Chris and another friend of ours Frank came along. It really helped having them both with me as the distance (and time) seemed to go very quickly. Frank also ran the 10km race yesterday but he ran to the race and back home again, so probably ran about 20km yesterday. He started to get quite tired (no surprise there) towards the end of our run and wanted to walk a bit so we left him (sounds awful) as we’d tried to slow the pace but that hadn’t helped much. Even with the bit of walking and slowing down we did the run in 2 hours 45 minutes. So, I’ve run a marathon this weekend, just not all in one day. Chris picked up the girls from my folks and took them and the dogs down to the beach while I did a quick Woolies food shop and then joined them all. We all managed a midday nap – blissful and then had our first “swim” of the season in the jacuzzi. The jacuzzi’s days are numbered as it will go to make way for the pool. We will have solar heating for our pool but it definitely won’t get as warm as the jacuzzi. Zoe is swimming so well though that the jacuzzi really isn’t up to scratch as she just wants to swim up and down, all her different strokes, float and dive down – not really possible in a jacuzzi. Ava spent the entire time throwing plastic fish for the dogs to retrieve, although she did “swim” underwater a few times.



Sorry, it’s been a while

October 31, 2010

So, another week has flown by. Summer seems to have at last arrived in our little corner of Africa and the wind has (fingers crossed) also gone into hiding. As you’ve probably realised, I’m a very loyal PE girl but we did just seem to have a few too many weeks of very hectic wind. One day of wind is actually too many in my opinion, so day after day it gets a bit much.

I’ve been meaning to show you a plan of our house as we’re pretty much done with the changes and it’s now all systems go to have the plans approved and start with the building as soon as the builders all get back from their holiday over Christmas. The red bits is all the stuff that must be added or changed. On the plans it doesn’t look like that much as the actual footprint of the house isn’t changing very much but it is a lot of internal stuff. The first phase will be redoing the patio (it is now very closed in), putting in a pool, extending the garage (yes, the garage is going to be enormous) and bashing down the 2 bedroom flat that’s in the garden (people think we’re mad but so what) and making the wall in the front of our house a solid wall (it is a combination of wall and pallisade fencing at the moment). Chris has dreams of restoring an old Porsche or Mini one day, hence the 4 car garage. He’s the one paying so I’ll just keep my mouth shut.

Plans for Brighton Drive

Every year they hold a “Christmas in the home” market in PE which is mainly for people that work from home and make stuff to supply the monthly markets that are held all over PE or some shops or whatever. I didn’t go last year but I made sure I went this year. It was held at the same venue as the Home Expo but it was brilliant and the venue worked well this time as it was set out so well and everything was clearly marked. The quality of the stuff was incredible, the prices very reasonable and I got such awesome stuff and could have got so much more, if only I’d taken more money. I did take business cards of the people I still want to buy from.

Zoe would like a dolls’ house for Christmas. There is one at a toy shop here in PE, but it’s not exactly what I want as it’s big enough to fit a Barbie and I’d prefer not to get her a Barbie dolls’ house. Woolies now stock a whole lot of the Early Learning Centre toys from the UK and I’ve seen little dolls’ house people and furniture but I’m not sure if they stock the actual dolls’ house (Maybe anyone from Cape Town or Joburg can help me out). I tried phoning the Woolies at Canal Walk but managed to get hold of a very helpful lady that didn’t have a clue what a dolls’ house was. Chris is of course keen to make one but Christmas is coming and it will probably only be ready in time for her birthday. My aunt lives in the UK and is coming out in February and she always flies business class, so I could always ask her to get it for me (and Zoe could then get it for her birthday). I phoned the Early Learning Centre (ELC) in the UK and they said the box weighs 9,5kg and is 64 X 46 X 20. I must still phone my aunt and ask her though, eek!!! It is also pretty reasonable only 72 pounds as the “Barbie” one I’ve seen here is R1500. Decisions, decisions. At the Christmas expo I saw the most divine wooden train sets – with little houses to go next to the tracks and gorgeous little trains, bridges, etc. so I’m keen to get that for Ava. My poor girls have such a lot of “boy” stuff but they love it – masses of Duplo and Lego, an ELC car garage, loads of cars and now a train set but I just loved lego and train sets as a child and they seem to as well. I also got some Barbie clothes for Zoe at the Christmas expo. My mom has made and knitted her lots of stuff for her other dolls but I think Barbie stuff is a bit too fiddly and they were selling gorgeous outfits with accessories and underwear for between R20 and R40, which really is for nothing if one thinks of the work that must go into it.

It’s been a bittersweet week as well. Good friends of ours heard yesterday that their very final attempt to have their own biological child failed. They do have 2 adopted children but earlier in the year they did a GIFT cycle and they froze the remaining embryos. Everything was looking great as the embryos were already hatching when they put them back but her bloodtest was negative. They’ve done IVF many times but this time things were really looking good and they were fairly optimistic about their chances. I am heartbroken for them. It’s quite ironic as another good friend had her Mirena removed at the end of August and is 8 weeks pregnant. I am unbelievably happy and excited for them as she’s 34 and the last thing I want is for them to struggle but these other friends also started trying when the wife was 34 and 6 years (and who knows how many thousands of rands) later, she still isn’t pregnant.

I’ve probably said this before but the thing that troubles me the most about life is why some people that desperately want children (and are able to care and provide and love them) can’t have them and yet others  either abort or abuse or neglect theirs.

In terms of running news, Chris and I ran a 27km race yesterday and it went well. We kind of ran it together – I always start off faster, then he caught and passed me on the hills and then we finished together in a time of 2 hours and 15 minutes. I came 10th again (in the ladies) but I was rather tired and I am getting more and more anxious about Two Oceans. Two Oceans has a lot of hills, mostly towards the end of the race and mentally I’m not very tough. I am also getting more and more nervous for the marathon which is now in about a month. We have such a busy month ahead with parties, parties and more parties, a trip to East London and we must start getting our Schengen visas sorted and there’s lots of work admin stuff that I need to help Chris with.

It’s that time of the year I suppose.

Plodding along

October 3, 2010

Seems like nothing very exciting is happening at the moment I’m afraid. I’m almost too scared to write but it’s been more than a week now and Ava has been sleeping brilliantly again. 7pm till 7 am without any waking up. Murphy’s law because I ordered Sleep Sense and also borrowed a friend’s sleep book (Solve your child’s sleep problems). What a waste of money, but rather I’d rather waste my money than have a child that isn’t sleeping anyday. I briefly looked at the book I borrowed and the one thing I found quite interesting is the amount of sleep children require. He says that at Ava’s age she should be having just under 12 hours sleep per day, total. She has a 2 hour nap at lunch-time (9 out of 10 days I wake her after 2 hours as she would happily go on sleeping). Both my kids have always woken up very happily (whether I wake them or they wake themselves) and because I like them to go to bed at 7pm, I prefer to limit their naps in the day, so that they’re ready to go to bed at 7pm.

Getting back to amount of sleep, though. Ava has 2 hours in the day and then is in her cot just after 7pm at night. I don’t wait till she’s fallen asleep and while Zoe is lights out almost immediatly (if she hasn’t slept in the day), Ava does sometimes chat to herself for a little while but never more than 10/15 minutes. She generally wakes  between 6.45 and 7am, so that means she has almost 12 hours at night, plus the other 2 hours which gives a total of 14 hours/day. For Zoe, it says she should be having 11 hours a day and she has 12, so not so much of a difference. I presume I must just be very grateful that they both sleep more than what is required as opposed to less.

We met with the architect again and hopefully we’ll have the final plans soon so that my dad can measure them and do the estimate and we can start getting quotes. It’s exciting but scary as well. Chris and I are both quite design-conscious in a way, him probably more than me, and to try and agree on everything is not easy. At the moment the pool is the big issue. Our plot slopes slightly so the patio is about 6 steps up from the garden. Should the pool be on the same level as the patio, at the same level as the garden or halfway between the two? I’m actually going to get some pool people in this week, as they should be able to help us a bit. The architect and I prefer it at the same level as the patio but Chris thinks it should be at the level of the garden so the kids can get out of the pool on all sides and run from the garden into the pool. I told him he should bear in mind that he has 2 girls and not 2 boys.

We were hoping to get lots of ideas from the Homemakers Expo but I was very disappointed. Last year there seemed to be so many more stalls that were applicable to us, but this year we hardly found anything. We did get a compost bin and a few business cards but there weren’t even any pool people there, no bathroom people, hardly any kitchen design places, minimal flooring ideas. It seemed to have about 20 different solar geyser/electricity companies. It was in a new venue this year (the bottom level of a shopping centre parking garage!!!) and was so badly laid out. No stalls were numbered and it was difficult to know where you’d been and where you still had to go. I really enjoyed the expo last year and we weren’t even about to start renovating so I’m quite cross about this year’s poor show. They kept advertising it as “bigger and better”, definitely not in my opinion.

Running training is going well, although I did feel a bit tired on my long run yesterday. I’m plannig on doing a marathon on 4 December and I saw a marathon training program where you do a 2 hour run, then 2 and a half hours, then 3 hours, then back to 2 hours, 2 and a half hours and 3 hours again over a 6 week period. This week was my 2 and a half hour run but the route I chose took only 2 hours 2o minutes and was about 26km. Not sure how I’ll find a 3 hour run for next week but there’s a website Mapmyrun that’s pretty good as it uses google earth street maps and you can plot your run quite easily. This week Chris and I didn’t run together (I ran yesterday and he went this morning) and it’s amazing how much nicer it is running with someone else. I felt much more tired on yesterday’s run and I’m sure it’s because there was no one to encourage me or talk to (not that I’m a big talker while I run). I’ve always prefered to run alone, so to reach this conclusion is quite strange actually. Chris and I run well together as although he is a bit faster than me in races, we train at about the same pace. He bought new shoes on Friday as his knees were a bit sore and fortunately they were 100% today. His shoes are only 6 months old but he is running more now than he has for a long time. As far as hobbies go, running is still very cheap, so if he has to get a new pair of shoes every 6 months, so what.

Active city

September 6, 2010

It suddenly struck me yesterday. Another reason why I love living in PE. Everyone is so active. I don’t know anyone that isn’t working towards some goal or training for an event or something. All our friends are either runners or cyclists or surfers or they paddle or surfski or something. Even my mom does Aqua 3 times a week and walks the dog everyday. It’s infectious. After I had Zoe I didn’t feel any great push to get back into my running and so pretty much just walked everyday. After Ava and now that we’re living in PE it is a whole different story. My gynae’s doing the Iron Man, our minister’s running the Baviaans Run with Chris, Zoe’s teacher does Two Oceans, the list is endless. If I sit here I can’t actually think of anyone that isn’t doing something, even the slightly overweight person that you think does nothing, I often meet her walking/jogging along the beach. We’re forever bumping into friends on the beach that have been surfing, surfskiing, cycling, running or whatever. You feel yourself getting sucked in. I say now that I have no desire to do the full Iron Man but I just know that because of living in PE as long as the Iron Man is held here, I’m pretty sure that sooner or later I will do it.

I think that’s what’s so great because rather than meeting for coffee or whatever (which we do as well), loads of people land up training together and socialising through their sport/hobby. It’s so good for getting balance into one’s life, for stress relief, for staying in shape but also such a good example for children to grow up with. In PE no one works themself to a standstill because most of them are waking up early to run/ cycle/swim/paddle/surf or they’re doing it after work so no, we’ll never be the wealthiest people in South Africa but thank goodness we’re out there enjoying life. Zoe and Ava both love playing outside and I’m being 100% honest but a week will easily go by without them watching any TV. Zoe can already ride her bike about 3km without any problems. She does stop for frequent water breaks (her water bottle is kept in the basket in front) but I think that’s pretty good for a skinny 3 year old. She can easily walk with me (at a normal pace) down to the beach, all along Pollock Beach and back home again without complaining. We often walk to the shops with me pushing Ava and her pushing Baba in the pram (the shops are about a 5 minute walk).  As I’ve said before, it’s not beautiful like Cape Town, but PE definitely has it’s attractions.

Dune riding

September 5, 2010

Zoe is sick and I’m praying REALLY hard that for the first time ever, Ava doesn’t get it as well. Why? Well, it’s never fun having a sick child but also because Ava is finally snot-free after I don’t know how long and I can’t bear to think of it all starting again. She has also just cut her 1st molar, so now has 9 teeth, and this one was more eventful than any of the 28 cut by either of our girls so far. Zoe never had any problems getting teeth, we didn’t have to give her anything and other than drooling (which she did a lot of anyway) there was no indication that a tooth was due to arrive. Ava was also okay for the first 8, bit of a runny tummy, snotty and probably a little more whingey in the day but still nothing that needed medication. Last Tuesday night was the worst night we’ve ever had. She woke up about every hour, stood up in her cot and cried until we came to lie her down again. You couldn’t go straight out of the room, one had to stand there like an idiot (you didn’t even have to necessarily touch her) for at least about 5 minutes before trying to sneak out. What a nightmare, I was in utter disbelief, what had happened to our angel that slept so well? She even woke up crying during her nap in the day and that never happens. I mentioned it to a friend the next day and she was astonished that we hadn’t given her any pain medication. Isn’t she teething she asked? The thought hadn’t enetered our heads, I was just thinking she’d had a personality change and we’d been left with a monster. I don’t do sleep training, I hate it, hate it, hate it. I can feel my heart shattering into a million pieces when I hear them cry. Chris was all for sending me to sleep at my mom’s while he sorted the sleep issues out. I was all for giving her the strongest possible medication to knock her out. How cruel and stupid we are, we didn’t even think to try Calpol because she was cutting a tooth. The poor nunu. After chatting to my friend I went home and inspected her mouth and what do I feel but a molar trying to come out. I felt terrible. Out came the vidol powders and the Ponstel and one or two minor wake-ups the next night or so but we didn’t hear a peep last night and the tooth is now well and truly out so I think that’s that (fingers, toes and everything else crossed). Chris did also get some Aterax (think that’s what it’s called) which is quite a strong sedative but it tasted so bad that she threw up (EVERYTHING) each time we tried to give it to her so we won’t try that again.

She is also much more chatty and seems (you do need a pretty vivid imagination) to be saying duck, quack, woof, dada but up hasn’t been heard again since the others started! These facts may seem utterly boring to you but I am useless at filling in their baby books, so at least if I write the stuff down here, I have it recorded somewhere at least.

What did we get up to this weekend? I went for a 2 hour run on Saturday with lots of hills and although I missed running with Chris (he’s on an antibiotic and looks a bit better) and my legs were a bit tired towards the end, the run was great. We then had good friends of ours’s daughter’s third birthday party and the weather was perfect and the food was great. Today was pretty perfect weather for most of the day and this morning we bunked church to go and watch 8 rehabilitated penguins being released on Hobie Beach. There were quite a lot of other people watching and (being PE and in Summerstrand) we knew a good proportion of them so a good time was had by all and 2 very sandy, semi-naked children came home. Chris and Zoe then planted seeds in seedling trays and finished making their “sledge” as Zoe calls it. Chris even had to boil the wood in a pot on the stove (I am not joking) to get it to bend for the front part. I promise I’ll take a photo. This afternoon I took our house plans round to my dad so that he could give us a rough estimate while Chris finished the sand board/sled. The kids, dogs, Chris, my mom and I then all went off and did a bit of dune riding. Yes, even my mom had a turn and the board/sled/sledge worked very well. I did take my camera but it was a bit windy by then and Ava was all for rolling herself down the dunes, so in between going for rides someone had to hold on to her (she did also have a few go’s) and there wasn’t really a chance to take photos. Zoe even had a few rides all on her own (it has a rope to hold on with and a little ledge for your feet). It was built by a plastic surgeon after all.


June 24, 2010

Well, what an unbelievable experience the match was. Could not believe how many English supporters there were, think the paper said over 20 000 but it felt like almost the entire stadium of just under 40 000. The weather held and as we walked towards the stadium there was the most incredible carnival atmosphere with everyone singing and blowing vuvuzela’s,etc. We had pretty good seats and the game really lived up to my expectations. It felt so surreal to be actually watching a team like England and although I won’t try and pretend I know all of their players, I do know a fair number and to see them in real life playing in a stadium that my dad was involved with building was very special. The stadium was awesome and we were sitting on the lake side, so got a great view of the lake as we walked to our seats. There were no queues for the loo and everything ran like clockwork, getting in and then getting home. It really doesn’t feel like one is actually in Africa and the public transport is working so well. We drove there but quite a few of our friends went with the bus and they got home at the same time we did.

The girls were fine (of course) except that Ava is a bit sick and was very tired as she had only had just over an hour’s nap during the day, so Joyce bathed them and Ava was asleep by the time I got home at 6.30pm. In one way I was relieved as it meant I didn’t still have to deal with bathing and getting both of them to bed when I got home. Zoe and I had a lovely time together until she went to bed at 7pm. Zoe kept going on about the deep bath they’d had and was very excited about it. Now bear in mind that we have very strict water restrictions and are only allowed to use 500 litres of water per day, no using your hose, etc. Joyce hadn’t let the bath out after getting the girls out and I nearly fell over when I went to the bathroom once Zoe went to bed. The water must have been up to about Ava’s neck, I am not exagerating. No wonder Zoe was so excited, she hasn’t seen so much water in a bath in her life. Forgot to ask Joyce why it was so deep.

As I mentioned Ava is sick and she decided to wake up at 11pm, just as I’d finished reading the thriller I had been busy with, don’t you just love it when that happens. I tried to get her back to sleep but at about 12 she was awake again and she was so blocked up and then kept yelling as soon as I tried to put her down in her cot. She couldn’t really suck her thumb as then she couldn’t breathe, poor little thing and obviously she prefered to be cuddled up to me as opposed to alone in her cot. She absoultely hates Iliadin but I did eventually give her some and after initially screaming (while I was giving it to her) she did then go back to sleep. Pity I’d waited so long to do that as by then it was after 1am. I’m really not used to lack of sleep anymore so today was a very long day. A friend and her 2 children came over for a playdate this morning and then this afternoon we had a walk and lovely play on the beach. It was the most beautiful day here today, not a breath of wind and unseasonably warm (mid-twenties). Zoe and Ava (and the dogs of course) had a ball playing in the water. Maybe not so clever to let my 2 snotty kids play in the water but according to their doctor dad – getting cold doesn’t make you sick and they really didn’t get cold as it was still very warm when we got home and Ava had a dry, fleece top on for the 5 minute walk home in the pram. There are still loads of English soccer fans out and about today and they just couldn’t get over how great PE is!!! Perhaps their judgement was a bit clouded by the fact that England did actually win the game. My folks live close to the Boardwalk (where the Casino and lots of restaurants are near the beachfront) and my mom told me how she was woken at about 3am this morning with all the English celebrations.

Have I mentioned how long this week is feeling. I really shouldn’t complain but today is the first evening my folks have come and had supper with us and then helped with bath-time,etc. and it made such a difference. I know Joyce did it last night, but I am still counting the sleeps till Chris gets back. My mom has been sleeping here at night but she obviously wants to see my dad as well, so usually only comes down later once the kids are asleep. Joyce stayed last night, but she sleeps in the flat outside, murphy’s law on the one night that Ava misbehaves. We are off on holiday with good friends of ours from Cape Town next Saturday and I’m not really looking forward to all the planning and preparation that I must do next week. Chris isn’t very helpful when it comes to that sort of thing but I hope he plans to make up for his little holiday this week and lack of organisational skills (yes, I do realise that someone has to work and pay for the holiday) by doing lots of entertaining on holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait for the holiday and to spend time with our friends but staying self-catering and the fact that we have children does mean that one has to put quite a bit of thought and effort into going away.

Walking to the stadium

This wasn't when it happened but England's goal was scored at our end which was brilliant.

The last

May 5, 2010

I promise you I won’t talk anymore about running but I just have to share this. I go for my run just after 6 and it takes about 40 (without dogs) to 45 minutes (with dogs). I run a little bit on the beach with the dogs so they can have a swim and some fun and it’s not too hard on their paws, so it takes a little longer. Anyway, on our way back this morning, while running on the beach, the sun is just starting to come up so the sky is all pink, the sea is that gorgeous blue and just behind the waves there was a school of dolphins swimming passed. How cool is that? I will admit I wasn’t too keen to get out of bed when my alarm went off, but it certainly was worth it and what an awesome way to start the day. Sorry no photo as I don’t run with my phone or camera.