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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
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    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.

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Ella and the potty

I’ve been sort of trying to potty train her, but seeing that Ella doesn’t like M&Ms and stickers just don’t seem tempting to her, I’ve had a hard time finding something that tempts her enough to get her to the potty.

I put on baby legs on her and no diapers. She got the rights with the bear on her bum and we went to the kitchen. Ella was hungry and started going through the snack drawer. I soon noticed that she had peed, took off her tights and told her next time she should do it in the potty and would get an ice cream.

10 min later she sat on the potty, which I had placed between the living room and kitchen and peed quite a bit. Celebration and hugs ensued and she got half a Trader Joe’s bon bons. After dinner she sat on the potty again and peed in the potty!

I think a couple more day and more bon bons will soon do the trick!





Rhys is 8 months old!

At 6.5 months we started crawling and holding his bottle up.

He is now quite a good crawler, is holding himself up everywhere, climbs up the steps to both bathrooms and very rarely is able to go down them, he chases Ella when she crawls, plays with her Legos, is eating puffs and can hold mum mums and eat them, has his two bottom teeth and is getting tow (BIG) ones at the top.





Playing together

Ella and Rhys are starting to play together really well. Ella turns on toys for him, makes sure the baby gate in the living room is closed and shows Rhys her toys (“Olha Rhys”).

I can’t wait to witness more of this!

Last week in Brazil with cousins and Greiners























Runaway tot aka independent girl

We were staying at uncle’s house one day, and I told Ella we would go to the park after Rhys’s nap.

I saw Ella put on her pants (which she can now do quite well by herself) and put on her Minnie Mouse flip flops, all the while repeating “parque” (=park). I reassured her we were gong after Rhys woke up.

So I put Rhys down and went to check really quick on some laundry I was doing. I heard the phone ring and Ravina yell: “security just called and they found Ella heading towards the park by herself.”

We both rushed to the front door to find Ella hand in hand with one of the security guards, a big smile on her face, pushing her stroller with her bunny in it and carrying her owl backpack. She kept repeating “parque, parque” and looked very happy.

And by the way, she was heading in the right direction when security found her.


Ella and her jewels

Every morning Ella asks me to put on her “joias” (jewels), mostly a bunch of necklaces and sometimes headbands, which she layers around her neck. Since she can’t wear them at school (choking hazard, as other kids may pull on them), I try to take them off while she is having breakfast at school and focused on eating.

Today I forgot to take off one of the headbands (you can see it on the second pic) and had to sign the incident report below…