Thursday, December 1, 2016

Player of the day

Cricket - it's more his style. He seems really engaged (most of the time), he actually doesn't grizzle about having to go. After a season of football over winter I was really hoping summer cricket was going to be easier. So last Saturday when Kien came back with the player of the day bat, I had to ask Jef if that was "for real". With football when Kien came home with the player of the day trophy it was definitely not for real. In fact Jef said it was probably the worst effort Kien had put in, but that it was his turn to get it, so therefore he got it. I would of preferred they just didn't give it to him! But anyway, this time around he truly deserved it. Do you think I could get him to be normal for a photo though?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Trick or treat

The downpour when I was leaving work pretty much reflected how I was feeling about taking Kien trick or treating last Halloween night. I was trying to leave work at a reasonable hour, but when I got downstairs it was raining a ridiculous size of drops, and I did not have an umbrella or a coat. Time to call for help, and Jef said he would come and pick me up, but had to get Kien first. They didn't arrive until 40 minutes later because the traffic was atrocious. So I was beat, and didn't want to do anything at all. Luckily for Kien, Jef was enthusiastic to take him out and wander the streets. So off they went after dinner.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I went for a run

I decided to run the Auckland half marathon 3 days prior to the actual event. I hadn't realised the marathon was happening so soon until I was going for my lunchtime run on Wednesday and saw all the road closure signs. I started looking on TradeMe for a cheap entry ticket for the event, and on Thursday afternoon I had lost all the auctions. I bumped into an old colleague whom I did a huge project with when I used to travel back and forth to India pre-Kien (he just happened to have a meeting in the city that day). He would often decide at the last minute to do marathons and would buy his tickets off TradeMe for next to nothing. I told him I was doing exactly that this year and was on the hunt for an entry. That night he messaged me on Facebook as he knew someone who was giving away a ticket. By Friday morning I had scored myself a free entry, and by lunchtime I had walked to the Viaduct Event Centre with my running buddy (who wasn't doing the event) and collected my race pack.

From that point on I was nervous. I didn't know how how I was going to be/feel on the run. But I just decided to treat the event as training. Queenstown was what I had registered and trained for over winter, so this run was just a lead up.

On Sunday morning my alarm went off at 5am, I got my race bib on, did some blister management/prevention and grabbed my gels and bananas for later. Then it was time to get my groove on and walk to the ferry. The queue was massive, but moved pretty quickly, and before long I was heading off across the harbour to Devonport.

The run wasn't too bad actually. I made sure I was pacing well over the first 13.5km to the bridge and held myself back so I didn't bolt and burn out, and before I knew it we were on the motorway heading toward Smales Farm and beyond.

Its a special thing to run over the bridge, and I savoured every moment of it. I would have stopped for a selfie, but it just seemed like too much of an effort :-). There was also one last climb up Curran St before a straight 5km to the finish line, and I wanted to get down to Westhaven and run a familiar route. So after I consumed my last gel at the 16.5km mark I picked up my pace homeward bound. As I was running down Westhaven Drive I got a text from Jef saying they were close to Swashbucklers waiting for me.

Kien and Jef were waving and I was waving and it was awesome. It felt so good to see them.

Then it was down the straight and around the tank farm where I spotted the 2hr pacer on the other side. I knew he was a couple of minutes in front and I wanted to catch him, but I was tired and didn't want to blow myself out. As I was heading down Halsey St I checked my Strava and I had already hit 2 hours, so at that point I just wanted to get to the finish line as quickly as possible. Rounding the corner and running down the straight it felt pretty amazing. I could see the clock ticking, and I knew Jef and Kien were at the finish line waiting for me.

My personal best half marathon - 2 hours and 2 point something minutes. I hoped for sub 2 hours, but I knew realistically I was going to be between 2 and 2:05. So all things considered I was within my estimation, and I'm happy with that.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

School Halloween disco and cricket (not all at once)

First year for Kien to attend a school disco; last year we were in Europe.

There were lots of carnival type games for the kids to play, and since it was also a school fundraising event, us parents spent loads of money for our children to try and win a (really poor quality) 1 cent lollipop...which may end up in the bin (ssshh, don't tell Kien). We also paid for him to decorate a cookie, and that was a bunch of fun. He spent ages perfecting his hat shaped biscuit.

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We enrolled Kien into club cricket for the summer. He is in team Wildcats playing for Grafton United Cricket Club. Saturday morning was their first game (2 hours!) which Jef did the honours of taking him to. Sounds like (and looks like) Kien had fun.

Jef and I weren't sure what to expect after his first season of football in the winter. He was variable on any given day whether he wanted to participate or not. So I'm glad to see that right off the bat he's participating and having fun. Jef tells me Kien is a great bowler, and he can bat too. So with a bit of practice I'm hoping it will be a good season.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Mellow weekend

Last weekend felt like we were on holiday again. We were busy on Saturday morning. I was faffing around decorating cupcakes for the party at Oma Rapeti, Kien's old daycare. It has been 5 years since they established themselves, and Kien was one of the founding pupils. He loved that place and all the teachers there. Whenever we go back it feels so homely and inviting. So for their fifth birthday celebrations it was high tea, in the morning. I forgot to take any photos, especially of my cupcakes, that Jef said flew off the cake stand before any other plates were touched. Bright red roses with sprinkles work their magic on impressionable youngsters every time! Anyway, photo of the day goes to Jef (the only photo) is of Kien playing in the cool basket - I love that thing, and would totally have one if we had some room.

Saturday afternoon we took the ferry over to Waiheke Island. Stayed at Anna and Joe's place near Palm Beach. We were lucky that the weather turned out to be quite lovely on Saturday - not that we did much of anything. We just lazed around and cooked and ate and drank and it was a merry time indeed.

On Sunday we had reservations at Tantalus Estate. Joe is Head Chef there, and they got a really positive write-up in the gastronomy section of the Denizen. So of course, do we need an excuse to go and try it out?!?

We were seated overlooking the gardens and vineyard proper. There were also vats below us that *we think* are used for brewing specialty beers. At one point the sun was streaming through the windows and the maitre d' had to open up the sliding doors that connected to the courtyard. It was fabulous.

We'll definitely be back to sample more from the menu. I know its not like me (hahahaha) but I had stuffed myself all morning full of food so I wasn't as hungry as I could have been. I'm saving myself for next time!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

While still on school holidays...

So we are now in the second week of the school holidays, and after coming back from Samoa it has been a tad difficult to settle back in. However I can't really complain, considering I do have Tuesdays off. When its school holidays I get to spend the entire day with Kien, and yesterday he really wanted to go to the Auckland Domain. That's my boy, after my own heart!

Today I decided to take Kien to work with me. He'll go to school holiday programme for the rest of the week but I wanted him to have a different experience, and also I miss him and want to spend more time with him. He was great; so well behaved. I put him out the back in the casual breakout room, which also happens to have lots of toys (to inject more "fun" into the workplace). Perfect for kids!


Monday, September 26, 2016

Samoa

Sorry, for some reason those pics did not show up so I've just fixed them up now and reposting.

Trying to get this post up as fast as possible. A more detailed one will be going up later on when I have more time. We are currently in Apia - caught a shuttle in here from our resort, which is called Return to Paradise and is really far away from anywhere. Internet in scarce there too.

Anyway, here's some photos for the time being just to say hello and tell you all we are alive and well, in a place called Paradise.
















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