Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Weet-bix re-count

I'm not talking about recounting how many I put in my bowl this morning. Actually, I'm not even a fan of weet-bix! This is how our day at the Weet-bix Tryathlon went.

When we headed out the door just before 7am on Sunday morning it was dark, cold and wet but we were not deterred. There were a few texts exchanged with other weet-bix mums, they went something like this:

Mrs A: r u still doing tryathlon? Can't c sun yet!
Me: We're still in (with our fingers crossed). You?
Mrs A: Ok we will do it 2.
Me: Please don't curse me when we're standing in the rain all day!
Mrs A: Just left home. R there millions of people there.
Me: Just unloading. It's pouring. Rain doesn't seem to have put people off. Forgot umbrellas!

Mrs L: r u still going? Rain looks like it's really set in.
Me: Yes, we're still in.
Mrs L: Ok we'll head there too.

With everyone on board, some with a bit of nudging, we got the race packs, set up the bikes in in the transition area and gave the kids a run down on what to do and how to locate their bikes. Then we convened with the other parents and waited – in the rain. Eventually the sun broke through the clouds, the rain stopped and it ended up being a spectacular day.

Ruby and Eadie did the full try, Ava did the run leg as part of a team. It's hard enough keeping track of one kid in a tryathlon; three is a juggle. There were a lot of brief phone conversations between me and Steve stating the location of a child – what did we do before mobile phones!

Here are some highlights from the day.




Friday, March 16, 2012

A swim with benefits

Last Saturday "Team Stevens" competed in an(other) ocean swim event, this time at Mt Maunganui. It was a good weekend away with another family who were also swimming.

The girls entered the 200m Ocean Kids event. Ruby was actually just outside the age cut-off but I tweaked her birth date on the entry as I didn't think she was confident to swim in the 300m Give It A Go event without any practice runs. It wasn't so much the distance but the fact they actually have to swim out to deep water. As it turned out, the 200m kids event was quite a challenge. On the day, the surf was really dumping on the shore which meant the kids had to swim through them and out to deeper water anyway. This  was enough to put some kids (and parents off) and I must say I was a bit nervous too until Steve decided to swim it with them. I still half expected that they might pull out half way through the swim but they didn't.
The girls then had the rest of the morning to play on the beach and wait for Steve and I to do our swims. They managed to score a cap, towel and drink bottle from one of the sponsors and have their photo taken for the local newspaper which they were pretty chuffed about.

Next up it was Helen and I. We did the 1000km Step It Up event. The conditions were quite deceiving. I thought it would be quite a nice swim once we got through the breakers but I wasn't prepared for the swell. Half way through the swim I rolled over onto my back to have a bit of a break which made my head spin and my stomach churn. It was quite a hard slog and I questioned why I was doing it several times throughout the swim. But of course, when you've finished and recovered it is quite a good feeling and then you start thinking about maybe doing another one.

Everyone knows Steve is the veteran swimmer in our family. He always enters the I'm Going Long event without giving it a second thought. This time it was 2.6km. He finished well.

With everyone's events finished, we headed back to our unit for some lunch before the results presentation. Even though I knew I didn't get a place, I was feeling lucky and was keen to get to the presentation for my chance at a spot prize. And would you believe my name was called out! I won a 12 month subscription to North and South magazine. I was pretty happy with that, until... Eadie's name was called out. She won a wetsuit! The spot prize I'd been longing for. I tried trading my magazine subscription for the wetsuit but she didn't seem too enthusiastic. The wetsuit is worth about NZ$800 – quite a significant prize and not necessarily one that a kid is going to get the most value from. So... Steve and I discussed it and we came up with this win-win-win option:
  • Steve will get the new wetsuit as he is going to get the most use out of it
  • I will get his old wetsuit (I have worn it before and it fits well enough)
  • We will buy Eadie a new bike which she will get more use from than a wetsuit (and just in time for the Weet-bix Tryathlon next week).

All in all, I think it was a very worthwhile swim.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Banana cake with passionfruit icing

I just had a piece of this cake which I made this afternoon. It was really moist and deliciously yummy but better than that, it had so many good things in it, I almost felt virtuous eating it. I say almost because there was the God of all evil: sugar. But add to that quinoa flour, brown rice flour, almond meal, natural yoghurt (made with my Esiyo) and over-ripe bananas which I got from the fruit shop for next to nix and you have every reason to feel good. In fact, your halo is sure to get brighter with each bite, I can almost guarantee it. Top it all off with passionfruit icing made with the fruit from our neighbours vine that overhangs on our side of the fence, and you have one tasty little treat. It's so good, I'm not even sure it will make it's way to the lunchboxes tomorrow.

OK, so the ice-cream is not so virtuous.

This recipe and other delights can be found at my darling lemon thyme.

Chocmint cookies

Mmmm. These are wickedly rich. Naturally, they're gluten-free too. Find the recipe here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Quality time

Our children's idea of spending quality time together is being in the same room, each on a separate i-device. It means they don't have to talk to each other but they do like to communicate via iMessage. Go figure!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

24 hours in Melbourne

 Hosier Lane is famous for its cobbled showcase of street art.

After much organising which involved farming three children out to three different families, Steve and I managed a quick rendezvous in Melbourne last weekend. I had a few hours to myself on Friday morning to check out the shops then I met up with Steve for lunch. We went to MoVida at the end of Hosier Lane for some of the best tapas I've ever had. This chorizo burger was to die for.

This picture is the facade of the old Myer building taken from inside the new Myer building. Having lived in NZ for the past two and a bit years, I was completely awestruck by the glitzy Myer refurbishment. There is nothing like it anywhere in NZ. I definitely felt like a country bumpkin.

We were booked on a 6am flight back to Auckland but there was an "unauthorised sleep-in" which meant we missed it. Personally, I can think of worse places to be stranded. But stranded we weren't. We got on a later flight which meant that we got to enjoy breakfast at a cafe on the Yarra. This trip reminded me  how hip Melbourne is; I think I'll plan a longer trip some time soon.