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    Born to Run by Christopher McDougall - (K) Humorous and thorough history and science behind ultrarunners and long-distance running
    Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela - (K) An autobiography covering his childhood, years as a freedom fighter and incarceration. Inspiring and informative
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - (K&T) A mystery set in Barcelona involving an old book, a failed writer and murder
    Lush Life by Richard Price - A Lower East Side tale of cops, drugs and drinking
    The Chinese by Jesper Becker - (K&T) Modern history of my peeps, from the cultural revolution to the many failed economic and social attempts to move the country forward
    Setting the Table by Danny Meyer - A "how-to" on hospitality and business acumen by the restaurateur behind such NY institutions as the Shake Shack and Union Square Grill
    The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama - Obama lays out what is wrong with the current government and how, vaguely, to change it.


This year Ella really gor Halloween. I couldn’t believe it when I was able to convince her to be a bunny instead of Minnie Mouse for Halloween, but sometimes I amaze myself.

Nancy, Tim and I got beers and took the kids trick or treating by the White Horse pub.

Much to my surprise, Rhys for it as well, going from door to door, grabbing candy and even sitting on the curb to eat some candy.

Madonna in the House

Since Ella is so picky about her clothes now, we let her pick out her outfit the night before, because the process takes so long.

The good news is that she now comes down all dressed. Some days, though, she adds some extra accessories.


The other day I came back from a run and asked Ella to give me a kiss. She was sitting at her little table watching the iPad. She looked at me dismissively and said:mommy’ you are dirty.


We’ve been trying to teach Rhys how to watch TV for a while. Belgium showed us he was note ready, but we persevere, and hallelujah! He is now ready for a long flights so it’s very fortuitous that we have a trip to NY coming up.

Not only does he watch the iPad, he is obsessed with it.


I got ella these really cute overalls with pink and white stripes. It’s the second one I got her, as she had one she wore when we was younger, but now it’s hard to get her into anything that’s not a tutu or princess dress.

So the other day I said to her: “ella, can you please wear these cute overalls mommy got you? See, they’re pink and so pretty!”

Ella looked at me with her huge brown eyes, partly exasperated, partly annoyed and sighed: “ok mommy, but just ONCE” holding one finger up. 

I was so happy. Needless to say the next day she decided a tutu was a much better choice.

The Great River Race

Was looking through the events at forsanityssake and immediately recognize it because connected the couple from Ham told me about it. The Great River Rade is a marathon boat race that starts in London and ends in Richmond. Nancy came along.

We visited the tiny Richmond farmers market, where we got treats, sat outside listening to a live band while the kids danced and watched the boats go by. The highlights however, was a little petting zoo they set up in the corner. Ella spent at least half an hour holding “her bunny.” Every time one of the keepers came, there she was, sitting still and holding and cuddling with her bunny. The keeper looked at me and said “every time I come to see if she’s ok, she’s just ok holding her bunny.”


First Day of School

I’ve been both anxious and excited for Ella to start school. So ok, the excited part is mostly for me. 

I actually took her to see her school last Friday after dropping Rhys off. I was surprised when she told somebody at Sunday roast that she was going to go to Rainbow. That was a good sign!

On Monday we dropped Rhys off (by the way, he’s doing better, sleeping two hours while there and according to his key worker Sharan, giving the teachers lots of cuddle), we walked over to her school, even though she insisted that she was not going to school. We waited with the other parents outside and I met Barbara, who of course was an American mom! When the doors opened, Ella went right in with the other kids and started playing some Lego-type blocks. Her key worker, Debbie, came by and we chatted a bit about Ella. After five min or so, Debbie whispered: “she seems ok, I think you can go.” Ella told me she wanted to paint, and when as we stood by the easel, I kissed her good bye and told her I’d come back for her and we would have a special lunch to celebrate. Without even looking up, she said “goodbye, mommy” and I left.

When I came to pick her up, she was absolutely glowing, so happy like I haven’t seen her in a while. She skipped all the way to the restaurant, where we had a special lunch of fish and chips and ice cream sundae!



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