Family, Kids, Random, Travel, weekend

I did what the Lululemon bag said to.

one thing a day

It’s true. There are things that scare me. One of which consists in sleeping on the ground surrounded by a millimetre of nylon, with 3 children. I’m a creature of comfort, so forgive me if I prefer to parent my children in the comforts of my home, knowing that I get to collapse into my cozy bed at the end of the day.

When friends planned a camping/biking trip a few months back, I thought little of saying YES. In fact, I kind of forgot about it until the week before — when I realized I’d have to borrow a LOT of gear and then started checking the weather like some crazy person (or like a triathlete with a race coming up).

I had mentally decided to pull the plug on the whole adventure until the morning we left… the weather looked bad, we were all tired and at each others throats. So that was when I pulled on my big girl pants, packed the truck and… followed friends up the Forest Service Road to our destination because I was sure that  1) I was bound to get lost 2) I’d get a flat in the middle of nowhere and 3) I’d get eaten by bears which fixing the flat.

What do you know – none of those things happened and we had a fantastic weekend. I even – dare I say – enjoyed the sleeping on the ground wrapped in nylon.

The riding was spectacular and hard and fun and I’m pining to go back. The kids were happy, dirty, tired and ate meals with their helmets on their heads between bike laps. My friends bent over backwards to help me manage the team and give me the chance to ride.

And at the end of it all, I was brave enough to do the drive home down the service road all alone. We only got lost once.

Day-to-day life, Family, Racing, Triathlon

But Ironman is glamourous!

Said no one training for one, ever. The chafing. Oh my lord, the chafing.

But the eating! All of the eating is glorious! And a bit exhausting.

I suppose I’ve been pretty quiet around here for the simple fact that life has been rather monotonous in its form of kids/eat/train/eat/work/train/eat/work etc… How’s that for riveting reading? Told you… all glamour, all the time.

Sidebar: did I shower today?

I’m starting to get anxious for this start line. It’s been 8 years since my last Ironman and – not unlike childbirth – I’ve kind of blocked out how hard getting ready for this thing is. I’ve been unceremoniously reminded of that fact, however, in a few of my last key workouts. Not to mention, my deep, deep desire for sleep. Case in point: 

Last week, I was lying on the floor as the kids were watching a movie (apparently, it was too trying for me to heave myself onto the couch). I’m yawning and stretching, wondering aloud when the movie will end so we can call it a night.

Anja turns to me and in her 5 year old wisdom says: “Mama, it’s ok. You got to bed, we’ll tuck ourselves in.”

I suppose I needed that reminder to put on my big girl pants.

Words to live by.
Words to live by.

I’ve set a lofty goal for myself, one I fully intend to achieve, even if it means going way to the back of the hurt locker to get there: a Kona slot.

Doesn’t that just mean the post-race beer will taste that much better?

3 weeks to go…

Family, Kids, Race Report, weekend

April Fools Run

We took the opportunity last weekend to zip over to the Sunshine Coast for a change of scenery, some training and the April Fools half marathon.

In the days leading up, my motivation was waning, I was tired and the forecast looked dismal. So dismal that I packed the trainer, anticipating a Saturday morning cranking out indoor miles… albeit in a new setting.

Regardless, I loaded up the ‘burb and the boys got to skip an afternoon of school which, right there, made the trip for them. Picked up Lizzie and Henry, drove onto the ferry and we were off.

Because nothing says quality training weekend like 2 moms and 4 kids!

Lo and behold, the place we got on Airbnb was awesome (I’d give you the link but that’s like giving away a good babysitter’s number so, no.) and the weather ended up being sunshiny pretty for the entire weekend.

Saturday we left the littles behind to forage for crabs on the beach and rode our bikes for a while…


Not as flat as I expected.
Not as flat as I expected.
Post-ride recovery
Post-ride recovery
Lizzie flushing the legs
Lizzie flushing the legs. Photos courtesy Will.

The next morning, we had the best laid plans for the half. You know, healthy breakfast… good sleep… solid warm up.

Instead, we ate nutella, got some broken sleep and showed up with just enough time to win the bathroom locator race (again).

Helping auntie Lizzie
Helping auntie Lizzie

We took off on tired legs, a bit unsure on how it would all go. My goal was to have fun, say thanks to all the volunteers and try not to have a disaster of an outing. Plus, we were wearing matching shirts aka our license to go at whatever pace we feel like.

1:36 and change. Mission accomplished on all fronts!


They didn’t forage for crabs alone. I’m not *that* irresponsible.


Day-to-day life, Family, Kids

My dilemma.

I’m the first to admit that I loathe the homework that the kids bring home from school.  I grew up going to a small, rural school and never had homework until grade 7. When we got off the school bus, we spent our time playing outside when the weather was good, doing who-knows-what when it wasn’t.

At this age, I don’t see much value in the homework the boys get assigned (except for reading – we do that every night because, well, it’s a pretty basic skill and we like doing it together). It’s also a bit ridiculous to me that the 1st grader has WAY more work than the 3rd grader, but that’s not really the issue here.

It’s spring now and the weather has turned for the better; the days are longer and it’s as if all the kids on the street have discovered that they have neighbours their own age. On any given afternoon, there’s anywhere from 3 to a dozen or more kids running around, playing on trampolines, zipping through each other’s backyards and just generally being kids… outside.

No, as a matter of fact I cannot name all of these children.
No, as a matter of fact I cannot name all of these children.


Herein lies my dilemma.

Should I be *that mom* who does the “responsible adult thing”, and calls them in early so that they can sit down (again) and do homework for 30 minutes, or do I ignore the stack of workbooks and teacher’s notes and let them stay outside and burn off more of the endless energy they seem to possess?

Maybe it’s my own laziness coming though, but lately I’m far more inclined to let them skip it and play outside till it’s almost too dark to see… Maybe we can save the homework for rainy days.

After all, sometimes it’s nice to be the “Fun Mom”.

Nothing to see here... Except maybe those damn abs.
Nothing to see here… Except maybe those damn abs.
After school...
After school…
I caved tonight.
I caved tonight.
This one is just going to add more homework to the pile!
This one is just going to add more homework to the pile!
Family, Kids, QOTD

QOTD: Rory saves the day

me and rory

Earlier today, the kids and I were having lunch outside in the sun at Whole Foods in Vancouver.  We’d had a busy day and I was tired, but no more than usual.  I noticed an older woman watching us but thought nothing of it.

As we were getting ready to leave, the woman came up to me and asked, in heavily accented English, if I was the kids’ mother.

Me: “Yes?” (Obviously she’s going to tell me how delightful they are, right?)

Her: “Oh! But you are so old! I thought you were their grandmother.”

Me: “…” (Um, what the hell do you say to that?!”)

Her: “And why they are so close in age? One year each?  Why you are in such a hurry?(Jesus, lady.  You just said I was their granny and now I have kids too quickly? Make up your damn mind.)

Me: “They are 2 years apart.” (As if it’s any of your business and why am I compelled to continue this conversation?)

Her: “It is clear you don’t eat well and don’t drink enough water, you have so many wrinkles.”

She then patted me on the shoulder and mumbled “Sorry” as I stood there, completely dumbfounded.

Who says that?! 

The kids were looking at me intently and asked “why did that lady say those weird things, Mum?”

I replied that I didn’t know, that I didn’t think it was very nice and that she had hurt my feelings.

Rory looked at me and said “Mum, I think she needs to go to the eye doctor.”

And just like that, he saved the day.


Family, Kids, QOTD


Rory, from the backseat of the car today:

“Mum… when you get married, does that means that’s the only time you can share germs and you won’t get sick?”

Uh, sure. I got nothin’ for that one.

Anja, walking home from daycare:

“Mama, I’m pretty happy that I’m alive.”

She’s good with the obvious, that one.


2 years gone

I can’t quite fathom that it’s already been 2 years since Mum passed away. In some ways, time does make the loss easier and a little bit less sharp.  But in other ways, I miss her more than ever.

My favourite photo of us, with Will.
My favourite photo of us, with Will.

I still reach for the phone when I feel like I need her – forgetting sometimes that she won’t be on the other end to listen.  I still jot down quotes or anecdotes about the kids with the intention of emailing them to her.  Every day, there is something I want to share with her but can’t.  I keep waiting for that feeling or instinct to fade, but it hasn’t.  Nor do I think it’s going to anytime soon.

I both dread and welcome this anniversary. Dread, well, that’s obvious, isn’t it?  But I welcome it because it gives me carte blanche to think about her, to grieve – still – a little more openly.  I give myself permission to turn inwards, to be sad.  To look through old pictures, to watch the memorial video, to not clear my head when thoughts of her and her illness fill me. To cry.

I suppose it’s odd to say I turn inwards as I write a very public expression of how I’m feeling; but this helps a lot, too.

Dear Mum,

We’re ok.  We all are.  I think you’d be proud of me, of us.  We’re all moving forward, together.  I think we all miss you in our different ways.  Every day, I am reminded of what you told me a few days before you died: “Go do something.” You know, I do something for you everyday – sometimes it’s something big, sometimes it’s something small.  Some things you’d smile at, others you’d shake your head and roll your eyes at, even some still you’d avert your eyes (sorry Mum, in some ways, I’m never going to grow up).

The older the kids get, the more I find myself doing things the way I think you would have done. I suppose my biggest regret is that you aren’t here to see them grow and change and challenge me.  They are three such distinct little people, it’s a wonder they are related. I can bet there are times that they are driving me batty that you are smiling from wherever you are.  You aren’t saying I told you so, but I’m more than certain that you are enjoying watching my buttons being pushed in a way that I likely pushed yours. How am I going to survive the teenage years without you to share a glass of commiserating wine?

Life continues to throw curveballs, to take unexpected twists and there’s no doubt that had I taken the time when I was younger to map out where I’d be in 2014, it would look nothing like the reality that exists.  And that’s ok.  Because I think that no matter what, you’d be there to support me and to listen, gently.  Just like I know you are, now.

I miss you, every day.

Family, Kids, Race Report, Racing, Triathlon

Body: 1, Ego: 0.

I haven’t DNF’d a race since I was racing mountain bikes in 1999-ish.  I broke that streak on Sunday when I pulled the pin on the run portion of the Victoria 70.3.  I wasn’t at all happy with having to make that decision, but when I got off my bike and hobbled through transition to rack my bike, looking for all the world like a human leaning Tower of Pisa, I knew that it was the decision to make.  That was me, being mature and all that.

I may or may not have shed a tear of frustration, disappointment and yes, even a little embarrassment.  I guess deep down, my heart just wasn’t into hurting myself for the sake of running around the lake twice.

Still, it sucks.

On the bright side, I had my fastest ever 1/2 iron swim (not fast by fast standards, but who cares.  Fast for me. And if you tell me the swim was short, I’ll pretend I didn’t hear you.)

For a girl who can't wait to get out of the water, you'd think I'd look a little happier.
For a girl who can’t wait to get out of the water, you’d think I’d look a little happier.

My bike was very average and the indicator that I wouldn’t be running started to become apparent to me when my leg went numb and my back flared up again.  I told myself I’d pull out of the bike after the first loop but as I rode right past the turnoff, but I guess my stubbornness kept me going.  My internal dialogue at that time went something like this:

“Ow.  Stop.”

“Hey, aren’t you turning?”

“Nah, might as well go ’round again.”

“Ok.  But still.  Ow.”

“Oh shut up.”

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 3.45.37 PM
You don’t expect me to buy pics from a race I DNF, do you?

Let me tell you, I’ve see suns set faster than the time it took me to ride that 2nd loop.  Sheesh.

So now, time to heal this crooked body of mine and really try to figure out what’s wrong.  Being injured just plain sucks.

My partner-in-crime and I decided on a 2 week “don’t-sign-up-for-anything” period to prevent the whole “that was awesome, let’s do it again/that sucked, I need redemption” thing.  This does not stop me from googling races and planning out adventures.  A girl needs something to look forward to, ya know?

Big, huge thanks to my brother for coming with us and holding down the fort as I rolled out of bed at 4:30am for this silly hobby… Big, huge thanks to Liz for always being up for anything… Big, huge thanks to Steph and Chrissy for the pep talks… Big, huge thanks to the kids for being exhausting humans who make me laugh/want to tear my hair out.

Anybody got any bright ideas on what to do next?


Day-to-day life, Family, Kids, Racing, Random


It’s been hot these past few days and it’s awesome.  Feels like someone turned on summer, suddenly.  The kids don’t adapt that quickly — they love it but it seems to sap their energy at the same time.  I spend an inordinate amount of grocery money on popsicles.

Why can’t I find these anymore?


Remember smacking them on the counter and splitting them with a friend?  Or shafting your sibling by eating 3/4 of it and giving them the piece that fell off into the package in the smacking process?  Ah, the good old days.

photo 4

Summer means lots of time biking here.  BMX started last night.  By no means are my kids competitive at this sport, but they do love going to the track.  They ask me for tips and all I can provide by way of insight is:

“um, yeah.  Don’t stop pedaling.”

“But what if I’m in the air?”

“Then don’t pedal.”

“But you said –”

“Never mind what I said.  Just go have fun.”

photo 1 photo 2 photo 2-1 Unknown Unknown-1 photo 6 photo 7

I’ll be on the start line at Victoria 70.3 next week, no matter what.  Which of course means I did this yesterday.  Someone needs to save me from myself.

photo 5


This guys has provided entertainment, companionship and lots of headaches these last few weeks.  He’s adept at escaping from the backyard but I can’t figure out how, despite spying on him (yeah, I spy on my dog.  So what?)  If you see this friendly face on the trail, take him for a ride/run.  He’ll love you for it.

photo 3-2

Any bets on how long this Teacher’s Strike will go on for?  Kids are enjoying the 4 day weeks.  Parents… less so.  Summer vacation starts early, I think…

Family, Kids

I’m an enabler.

“Mom! I’m thirsty.  I want some water.” (said standing next to a water bottle).

“I want to go outside, where’s my hoodie?” (said standing next to his jacket hook).

“Have you seen my (insert item here)?” (said usually standing next to said item).

I can’t remember the last dinner we had that didn’t feel like a squat workout.  I wipe more bums than I care to admit.  I’m pretty sure my fitness is due in large part to the fact that we have so many stairs in our house because I am up and down like a yo-yo, retrieving items for kids, or just plain retrieving kids.

But something snapped in me yesterday on the long drive home, as I leaned into the back seat to fix something or give someone something.  I barked “That’s IT!  No more!”

I now have a new goal: no more enabling. How can 3 sometimes fiercely independent little people be so helpless?

Actually, helpless is the wrong word.  So is needy.  I think the actual word is lazy.  And the fact is that I don’t think that they mean to be lazy.  I have just enabled them to be so.  Sometimes, it’s easier on me to do everything for them – it’s faster, things get done my way, my patience gets less of a workout.  So you see?  I’ve taught my kids that if they ask me to do something for them, I’ll usually do it, thanks in large part to my control-freak tendencies and need to get things done quickly.  Voila!  I have created kids who expect me to do everything for them.

So now, I want to teach my kids to take care of themselves, teach them when to ask for help when they really need it and teach them to better help each other.

I think that’s a loftier goal than trying to qualify for the 70.3 world championships.  Training starts today.