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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.

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Ella and Mommy outings

She sure enjoys being the only child…

New scooter after seeing Aiva’s   

Waiting for the bus to go to the music class that never happened

Puppet show



Natural History Museum  


Rhys’s First Day of School

After a whole week of settling in, Rhys was finally ready for his day of school on August 10th!

For her part, every time we dropped him off during that week, Ella would say “bye Rhysy!,” grab my hand and say “let’s go mommy!”

At any rate, Rhys was crying the first day and tried to escape, only to be grabbed by Ella.


Ella’s Birthday

Celebrated it in a pretty laid back way and she picked Micky D’s and then a plastic princess with a horse.



Growing up so fast! 


The Day of the Shut Up

Motivated by the amazing time the kids had in music class two weeks ago, I decided to try to go to three music classes last week. Much to my and the kids’ dismay, none took place due to the summer.

The worst day was when I took the kids to Teddington (which I heard was a very nice one from a mom I talked to at the Twickenham class). Took us 30 min to get there and since we were 15 min late, me being my cheap self, decided to wait until the next class at 11. To our utter disappointment, the 10am was just letting out, but we then found out that the 11am session was not taking place!
On the way back, Rhys was being very fussy in the bus. After the cheese puffs were all gone, Rhys lost it and was crying. Someone on the bus kept yelling “shut up, shut up!” Ack!



We’ve managed to done a few excursions outside of the city.

Our first week he her, both Tim and I ineptly took turns in driving to Richmond Park to see the deer and then drive to little Portugal for a meal.

We also managed to go to Mud Chute farms, an urban farm close to Tico’s house, where Rhys, in particular, had a grand time feeding the animals. Ella, in turn, was very proud of herself for feeding the animals as well.


Last weekend we decided to go to Brighton Beach, we turned out to be a blown up version of Coney Island, but with more attractive people, if you can believe it. The kids missed the sand, and settled for putting big rocks in their buckets. Fish and chips were obviously consumed and ice cream sealed the deal.


Super Ella

Just as I predicted the other day I got locked out while taking some trash out. I didn’t know how to feel about the fact that Ella was my only hope to get back into the house.

So I stuck my finger in the mailbox slot and started calling out for her. Ella was watching some of the Brazilian videos (a Barata, etc), so I wasn’t surprised that it took her a while to hear me. But there she came, looking around her, trying to find me. She was about to rush up the stairs when I said: “ella, mom is here!”

She looked back and then focused on the mailbox slot, first in disbelief, then in amusement and asked: “mommy?”

I instructed her to fetch a chair from the kitchen, and she quickly obliged. I asked her to push it really close against the door, so she did. I asked her to turn the knob down, but was discouraged by the fact that I had a feeling that neither did she know what a door knob was, nor did she know how to open these English knobs. Took her a few minutes to figure it out, but she did it!

As she would say herself: super Ella to the rescue!