Monday, January 26

Run, Miami, Run

(photo from Miami Herald)
marathon from the Herald
The only bad thing about going to Miami in January is coming home. Nothing like leaving 75 degrees for single digits.

While I did miss my family while I was gone, I discovered this amazing thing: sleep! Friday night I slept so soundly, with no elbows, knees, and feet in my sides. No requests for waters. No bad dreams. No snoring husbands. Just me and my bed. Sleep, sleep, sleep. Friday night went so well, on Saturday I treated myself to a nap. And then, while I had trouble falling asleep on Saturday night ("I need to be awake in six and a half hours! I need to be awake in six hours! I need to be awake..."), once I was out, I was completely out. This is the first marathon where I didn't wake up every fifteen minutes thinking, "Is the alarm about to go off? I don't want to wake everyone else up," because this was the first of five marathons when I didn't have three others in my bed. I could just sleep and not worry and let the alarm wake me up.

Don't get the wrong idea. I did do a few other things than sleep, but not much. A friend came down with me, and we went out for a nice breakfast at Front Porch with Teener Tuna and her man. I spent a while at the marathon expo, collecting shwag and buying an awesome running jacket. Dinner at cousin Ollie's, massive amounts of pasta, birthday cake for his 41st birthday, and a little hot tub action, hanging out outside in his new tub, which overlooks Biscayne Bay with amazing views of Downtown Miami. Lunch at Versailles on Sunday was incredible, despite the tiff my mother got into with the counter person when she refused to serve my very blond friend because she wasn't Cuban (she was served). And, of course, I ran 26.2 miles.

My cousin Ollie, his sister's husband (A), his brother (R), my friend (S), and I all ambled to downtown at 5 a.m. on Sunday. Found a parking spot easily enough and headed to the American Airlines Arena for the start. It was so clear who was a local and who wasn't: I had on my shorts and a tank top; Ollie peeled off his long pants, but kept on his long-sleeved black Under Armor shirt. But could you blame him? I mean, it was 61 degrees at the start! Brrr!

Ollie and I kept ourselves busy with the Portapotty line, and the next thing I know, the start went off right on time at 6:15 a.m. We were way in the back, so it took us about 11 minutes to cross the start line. But boy, did those miles just melt away. The race starts going across the MacArthur Causeway, and it is the most amazing start to any race I've ever run. As we headed up the causeway, the Blues Brother's "Going Back to Miami" blasted, which quickly segued in the theme from Love Boat as we passed the cruise ships all lit up, which moved into Madonna songs as we passed Millionaire's Row. The sky was still dark with twinges of pink in the distance; the new Miami Beach fire boat tooted at us from the Bay; the billionaires on Fisher Island were forced to wait for us to pass. A beautiful site indeed.

Running along the Beach is always amazing--up Ocean Drive where Stoney and Claudia gave us the first of many shout outs (thanks, guys!!); past my high school, Beach High, which bears absolutely no resemblance to the school I went to with it's beautiful new buildings and a law-abiding administration; past the old Publix of my youth as opposed to the new shippish Publix (that was for you, Ms. O and Teener!); down the Venetian Causeway, where my parents live and where I grew up (not the same places, by the way--and what's up with my good old Dilido Island--known in the day as Dildo Island--becoming Di Lido Island, as if it were suddenly better than us?; Those were the days when the S in San Marino Island was usually spray painted over with a D). We saw my parents and friends and I swear, the first ten miles were the shortest miles I've ever run. Oliver and I agreed that instead of running a marathon, we were going to just do a warm-up run of about, oh, 13.1 miles to the starting line for a half marathon.

The bands were great, the scenery was beautiful, and I had the same urge I had last time at mile 12.8: I wish I had a camera. Two arches awaited us, the one of the left read "Half-Marathon" and the one on the right, "Marathon." As I said to Oliver, "This is where we split the wheat from the chaff." Okay, that's not exactly what I said. Because I didn't know it was "chaff." So I said, "The wheat from the chafe." Which was kind of right, as by then, the Body Glide had sweat right off my body.

Moving on! The road suddenly got reaaaal quiet and I felt some serious superior feelings over those folks who were running only 13.1 miles. Because in the sold-out marathon of 15,000 people, only 3,000 folk chose to do the full marathon. But Oliver and I had our own cheerleading squad and A.'s wife and R.'s wife came out twice (with signs! I love signs), Oliver's family was out at least four times, Teener Tuna and Claudia and Stoney were out many times, and we cruised.

At mile 16, I was giving Oliver the standard pep spiel, which he was rapidly getting sick of, when a woman, Heather, nearby overheard me saying, "We're right on pace. You're doing great. Just stay on pace. We'll get in easily under five. Remember, one foot in front of the other. Slow and steady finish the race," and she asked if she could join us because she wanted to finish in under five hours and her running partner injured herself the week before, which was pretty much the death knell for Oliver. Because as much as I could tell Oliver just wanted me to shut up, she asked me to keep the talk going. Let's think about this: One person wants me quiet; one wants me to chatter on. Which do you think I did? Oliver actually started hanging back so he wouldn't have to hear me, but Heather was just a glutton for punishment. At one point her knee was bothering her, so I gave her the standard, "You know, you really have to pay attention to your body, and if you need to walk, then do it," but she gave me a look, so I asked, "Or did you want me to just tell you to suck it up?" She said, "I want to hear 'Suck it up!'" Which pretty much replaced "slow and steady" as our mantra for the rest of the race.

The only brutal part of the race was a couple of miles in the hot, hot (okay, about 74 degree) sun on the Rickenbacker Causeway. As we looped back to Brickell, we knew we were in the home stretch, and I have to say, I didn't think the race got hard till about mile 23. That's when my leg started spasming. But I ignored it, and we kept going. I warned everyone that the last mile is the longest, and it absolutely was. At mile 25, Oliver said to me, "Is this where we can pick it up?" and I thought, "Dear God, I've got nothing in my to pick up!" but I said, "Sure! This is absolutely the time," but I was greatly relieved when he started laughing and said, "This is my pick up!"

Coming down the home stretch was amazing. At 26 miles, Heather went for the last .2 on her own. Ollie and I had enough oomph to give it a good sprint. As we were coming down, in the next chute, were all a zillion (okay, 4,000) young kids in orange shirts who were running the last mile of their "Run for Something Better," in which they ran 26 miles over the course of several weeks. We crossed the finish line--beating our goal, with a clock time of 4:58:18 and a chip time of 4:47:24 (I was a second behind Oliver)--and while the bodies were bruised, we both (I think) felt strong. We collected our spinning palm tree medals, and then I nearly passed out. I stretched for a while on the grass and let S. (who qualified for Boston, beating her old PR by over ten minutes!) bring me bananas and cookies while I let the blood flow back to my head.

We found A. and R., who did amazingly for their first marathons, especially given that A. hobbled the last two miles with an aching knee. I will say, if anyone is considering a marathon, I think the Miami Marathon is a fabulous, fabulous race. It's flat. The scenery is the best. There are more Portapotties on this course than even New York (laugh if you like, but this is an important fact!). The support is amazing. Multiple gel stations. Multiple Fig Newton and banana stations. Pretzel station. Parrot Heads giving out orange leis. Sponges. School bands and cheerleaders. Rock bands. Music blasting. Did I mention the scenery? Go sign up now. You can run for half price in you register now.

And now I'm back. And the prediction for Wednesday is 3 to 6 inches of snow. And my quads ache. And I have to pick paint colors.

Better start training for the next marathon. Hawaii anyone?

Labels: ,

Sunday, January 25

Mile 8

It wasn't pretty (well, actually it was gorgeous, but I'm not talking about the scenery), but we made it over the finish line. I'm hoping Ollie forgets the pain soon enough to start planning the next marathon, but I'm not hopeful. However, he made it across in under 5 hours (4:47:23, to be exact), and he can check "marathon" off his life list. And I can be happy that I finally bullied someone into running a marathon! I'll post more about it when I'm not about to keel over.


Monday, January 19

Mamma Mia!

What's better than watching TV? Being on TV. The kids love to have "naked tushie time" to dance. "Rock n' Roll, Mommy!" Doodles orders, and on goes AC/DC's Back in Black. But the thing is, they cram in front of the (small, apartment-sized) television trying to see their own reflections. They try out different moves. Wiggle it up. Rock it out. But it always leads to fighting as they try to make room. So Adam rigged up the video camera so they no longer have to fight to see themselves. Let the dancing begin!dancing queens

Labels: ,

Sunday, January 18

Of Mice and Men

As I mentioned, I'm really enjoying a bunch of craft blogs. Universally, these women (always women) who create these blogs seem to have these lives that involve cups of warm tea, knitting while the kids make imaginary worlds out of scarves and cardboard boxes, and lots of nature walks. I've learned that when a child is home for the day, all you need is a pile of books, a few art projects, and the ingredients to make fresh bread or ginger molasses cookies.

Last week, Pie was home sick. Did I say sick? The girl psyched me out. On Thursday night, she had a 101.2 fever. The next morning, she woke up with 100.5. Within two minutes of my calling her sick into preschool, her fever dropped, and she spent the day hovering in the 99.1 range. You know. The not-sick range. So she was bouncing off of walls. On the coldest day of the year. When the high was 14 degrees. And the low subzero.

I had a lovely day for myself planned. On Monday, I had spent the morning in Pie's preschool, making snowman pancakes with the class, because Pie had been jealous that I go in weekly to Doodles's classroom (of course, a half hour before I was to go in, she said, "I changed my mind! I don't want you there." but she got over it). On Wednesday I was in the kindergarten (and I've told Doodles's teacher that I can no longer work at his table, because it makes me crazy. I want to yell, "Stop being a Chatty Cathy and focus on your work!" But he's not doing anything different from any of the other kids and I just need to work at another station). Tuesday is ballet; Thursday is ice skating. But as I promised all you people a completed draft of my novel, and I've actually been thinking about it and I have a ton of ideas and I have started working on it (and I've been reading Manuscript Makeover: Revision Techniques No Fiction Writer Can Afford to Ignore and it's given me some good starting points; revision has always been a weakness of mine); I was anxious to dive into my novel. Especially because Monday is MLK Day so no school for the wee ones.

But the best laid plans, yadda, yadda, yadda. Pie was kinda sorta sick. The novel could wait. Alone time is overrated. I needed to take care of my baby. So Pie and I had a morning together, alone at home. And I've read my blogs. I know what to do. I set us up in the living room. I put her on the couch. I pulled a blanket over her. I made myself a cup of tea. And I turned on Noggin and stopped reading those blogs. I'm feeling much better now. Maybe I'll even make some ginger molasses cookies. Or I'll buy some from Wilson Farms and pretend I made them. See. I can be crafty, too.

Labels: ,

Marie of Romania

Bryant GoldI need a color for my office that will meld nicely with another color for the bedroom, because the spaces really lead into one another. My architect doesn't like Bryant Gold. My husband doesn't like Bryant Gold. My mother doesn't like Bryant Gold. Adam likes kind of a dark gray-blue. My mom is a fan of greens. The architect suggested some yellows. Bryant Gold doesn't go much with any other colors we like. So, of course, I'm using Bryant Gold. Because I like Bryant Gold. I'm a rebel that way.

There's also a lighting fixture I love. Nice. Old-fashioned. Very classic. Can't you see it hanging over Robert Benchley's desk? I've been told it's too big for the space I have. Guess who's going to have a too-big lighting fixture in her office?

I have this vision in my head--I want my office to be Dorothy Parker (without the suicidal tendencies floating around). My first thought to achieve that was more of a russet color, but it was simply too much for the space. To me, Bryant Gold evoked much of the same feeling. So Bryant Gold it shall be! Of course, we're blowing our whole budget on the renovation, so I don't have a desk for my Dorothy Parker office, but we'll find something soon. Adam really wants to get rid of a lot of our current furniture--and I admit, much of it has seen better days--but we've agreed to hold onto everything for the time being. As we can afford nice pieces, we'll replace what we have, but in the meantime, I'm reading books like Use What You Have Decorating and 750 Great Ideas for Decorating on a Budget: Transform Your Home Inside & Out. And my computer will sit on the floor or a card table for a bit. It's what you do for Bryant Gold.

I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.
--Dorothy Parker


Tuesday, January 13

Master Manipulator

I can only hope she'll use her powers for good and not evil. I don't think it likely, but I can hope.

Today, after ballet, I took Pie to the bookstore in my quest for some design books. Now that I know that a designer is out of the budget, I've taken it upon myself to educate myself at least minimally on design. Which meant standing for about 45 minutes in the Design/Interior Decorating section of Barnes and Noble, trying to figure out how The Big Book of Window Treatments is different from Design Ideas for Window Treatments, which is different from Window Treatments Idea Book how? I couldn't figure it out, so standing there in the aisles of the store, I not-so-discreetly put all the books on reserve at my local library. The one book that really did look interesting, though, was a $45 book (only $30 at Amazon), which is on hold by many other people, but I'm on the waiting list, too, because I'm trying to save all available cash reserves for, oh, you know, furniture.

But the Pie was a patient girl, and while she made many requests for a book of her own, I was able to dissuade her and keep her nearby. I took my time, browsing the 50% off table and looking through the writing books. To appease her, I told her she could pick out a magazine for herself to read while we got a treat. Ladybug or Nat Geo Little Kids maybe or even Highlights High Five, if I was feeling particularly generous. She was pleased with this idea and I figured it would buy me time to look at the design magazines.

So off to the magazines we go. And then she began. "Brides! I see brides! Weddings! Look, Mommy, a wedding magazine! Can I have a wedding magazine? How about just a small one. Please? PUH-LEASE? Mommy, I really need a wedding magazine. I need it for me and Jasmine. Mommy, I want a wedding magazine. See, Mommy, this one is a little one? Can't I have just a little wedding magazine? Just a little one? It's okay, Mommy, just a little one. Mommy, I really, really want a wedding magazine! Please? Please? Please? Please?"

I insisted not, that there was just something morally repugnant about buying a three-year-old a wedding magazine (although I didn't state it in those words), and that no, absolutely not, she could not have a wedding magazine, the kid magazine are just over there and she can have whatever kid magazine she wants.

"But Mommy I want a wedding magazine! With a bride! I need a bride. Oh, please, Mommy, oh please! Oh all right. Where are the kid magazines? Look! Look! Look, Mommy, look! Cinderella is on this magazine! Can I have this magazine? Oh, please! Can I have the Cinderella magazine," to which I quickly replied, "Sure!"

It wasn't until I had paid for the magazine, purchased a vanilla milk, and was reading some inane cartoon about Snow White that I realized the girl had completely hoodwinked me. I mean, on what planet was I going to buy her a princess magazine? But that master manipulating mind of hers realized if she posited it against the wedding magazines, it was a no brainer! Of course she could have the princess magazine! (Did I use the word posit correctly there? Hmmm...)

That girl is smart! And it scares me. I need to increase brain power. Maybe start doing crossword puzzles or something? Someday she's going to be a powerful CEO. Or world leader. Or grifter. Hard to tell at this point.

Note: This post brought to you by copious amounts of Noggin and homemade chocolate chip cookies. I'm going for the coolest mom award today.


Monday, January 12

Apropos of Nothing

My son, tonight, when he had the opportunity to choose any show to watch tonight, requested "a wedding show."

And right now I'm selecting lighting fixtures and color and it turns out that Adam and I totally agree on the former and not at all on the latter. This should be fun, except that I'm just not a stylish person and I find the process painful and stressful. I want to hire a designer to help us, only the first one we priced gave us a quote that was higher than our entire furniture budget. So we may be on our own here except for the kindness of friends with good taste.

But I'm still giving my Martha side a go. The kids and I tonight made homemade tortillas for dinner. Do you have any idea how easy it is to make homemade tortillas? It's so ridiculously simple I can't believe how much I wasted on these mondo packs of tortillas only to toss them out when the family ate 2 1/2 out of 12. We made six--and they're all gone.

Apropos of nothing, I love Carol Kane. We don't see enough Carol Kane. And if you know why I said that, then you're watching what I'm watching, so you can't judge me.

And continuing this randomness, I hate winter marathon training. I have dreams of the Goofy Challenge, but it's another January marathon and I'm so sick of running on ice and snow. I can't wait for this marathon to be over so I can be a lazy ass again.

Did I mention that I hate color? I do. I think our new house will be all black and white. Just so I don't have to pick any colors.

Doodles turned down a concert at the library because he's just not into music. And he's grown out of our yearly SteveSongs concert, which is too bad--he's going anyway. He hates babysitters even more than he hates music.

Bed. I need bed. I'm scared of bed, though. Because I dream in color. But all the wrong colors.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, January 11

Stressy Me

I'm contributing to the delinquency of a diva. The snow is piling up outside. Adam isn't feeling well, so he's napping. We've read books, shoveled in the snow (just for fun and we discovered the greatest snow fun there is--I pull sheets of ice off the picnic bench in the backyard and the kids jump on it to shatter it), had hot chocolate, wrote some thank you notes, kids played with Legos and painted and I cleaned, and we started packing. And it's only 3 p.m. I don't have the energy for an afternoon of Mickey Mouse Playhouse and Imagination Movers, so I've turned on Wedding Central and the kids are riveted. Pie's already chosen her cake: "It's going to be the biggest one in the world. It's going to have chocolate sticks with trees and a piggy. And it's going to be Pie and Jasmine." For what it's worth, I did try to show them both Land Before Time and Charlotte's Web but Pie freaked out at both of them, and Doodles finally said, "Can we just keep watching the wedding channel." Et tu, Doodles?

It's been a languorous weekend. Despite sounding like I got a lot done this morning, I've had this lazy haze about me. I'm feeling unusually stressed these days as there's a lot coming up. Two things are on the forefront of my mind:

The first is the house remodel. We've given our notice on the apartment--we're to be out by February 28--and things are supposedly in the fast-moving stage of the house. I'm not completely sure I believe it. We were stuck at a point where I couldn't see the changes--electrical work, plumbing work, waiting for inspections. But now we're moving. Insulation is in. The walls started going up on Friday. Plastering will be done this week. According to the contractor, we're about two weeks away from the hardwood floors going in (one of the final steps). According to the architect, we're supposed to be picking out paint colors. So we have about six weeks till we're out of here and in the house. Only, we're going to be gone for ten of those days, which means we get back from our trip, and will have just five days to get out of the apartment...

Which brings me to my second stress. Our trip. We're going to Israel. Yes, Israel. And I'm waffling big time on the trip. Everyone I know who's ever been to Israel tells me I'm being silly and it'll be fine. For starters, we're going nowhere near the Gaza. For second, we're going with a tour group (with our synagogue), so we'll be on a tour bus with security on the bus. They'll be constantly checking the security situation and revising our itinerary as needed. We won't be on any public transportation at all. The biggest issue is that we won't be allowed to do many of the things I really have enjoyed doing in the past (like shopping in the shuk. I'd been fantasizing about everything I was going to buy for our new home, but that's totally out at this point). We leave in about four weeks. And four weeks in Middle East terms can really be a lifetime. For the first time ever, we bought travel insurance, which means up to 24 hours in advance of the trip, we can cancel and still get 75% of our money back. But I really don't want to cancel. Adam's never been and I'm anxious for him to see it. Israel is such an amazing country (I've been three times already, including a six-month stay on a kibbutz). But--and this is not an invitation for anyone get to political with me; I don't do politics here--I'm feeling vaguely terrified. How do I decide whether or not to go? (And yes, it's "me." Adam really isn't worried at all, he's said, and he's looking forward to the trip, as is the rest of our group.) I'm literally waking up in the middle of the night worried about taking my kids into a war zone. Yet every time a trip to Israel has been postponed (my sister missed out a trip in the '80s), it's been for naught. I am absolutely certain if I cancel the trip, I'll seriously regret it. I am confident that once we get to Israel, it will all be fine. But I can't stop my stomach from churning now.

So I'm trying to focus on other things. Like the marathon I have coming up in two weeks. And the craft projects I want to do as soon as we get into the house and I have easy access to my sewing machine. I'm officially addicted to craft blogs. And I'm thinking about organizing (starting with photos and ending with the kids' toys in the new house). And packing boxes (I'm storing them in Beetle's basement so there isn't a mad rush when we get back from Israel). And Pie's wedding. And the multitude of other minutiae that crop up.

And come March 1, I'll be a sane person again. Relatively speaking, of course.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 6

New Year, Old Me

I'd like to start tonight with a scene from Stop N Shop this afternoon. My three-year-old daughter is sitting in the cart. We're shopping.

Pie: Mommy! Can I get more yogurt?
Me: Sure. Would you like grown-up yogurt or kid yogurt?
Pie: Um, grown-up yogurt.
Me: Okay, would you like strawberry or blueberry or peach?
Pie: I want the brown yogurt.
Me [I pick up the chocolate yogurt and check out the 37 grams of sugar]: No, sweetie, not the brown yogurt.
Me [trying to distract]: How about a kid yogurt? I see Dora and Diego over there.
Pie's eyes widen.
Pie: Hannah Montana! I want Hannah Montana yogurt! Please, Mommy, can I have Hannah Montana yogurt?

So, yes, my daughter is the proud owner of six (wait, she ate one already so make that five) Hannah Montana yogurts. I still don't know how she knows Hannah Montana.

All of that, by the way, is completely irrelevant to this evening's post. I had intended to write more about the Miami trip, but as the skies are clouding up and the air has that unmistakable smell of snow storm (what is that smell anyway? How is it you really can smell a storm coming in?), Miami seems years and years ago and I can only vaguely conjure up the peace of daily ice creams, on-call babysitters, sunshine on the boat, and the camaraderie of old friends.

Instead I am faced with a new year, but the same old me. Every year I make resolutions, and last year, I failed miserably on most, but made progress on a few. Not that I'd tell you all the resolutions, but I can name a few...
  • More kid time: This one is going fairly well. I try to make time each day with each kid to spend one-on-one with. It's harder with the school schedule--I definitely get more one-on-one time with Pie, but I've been working on it with Doodles, trying to read more with him, have him read to me, work on his writing. But I definitely get more time reading Eloise, playing Candyland Castle, or baking hallah with Pie. I need to make more of an effort on this.
  • Get to and stay at 133 lbs: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! 'Nuff said.
  • Go greener: This was my most successful resolution. I kept bags in my car and cut our bag usage down by probably about 75%. I was disappointed that our remodel wouldn't allow for solar panels (we had the house evaluated and were told we don't get enough sun for solar), but I did convert both our house and the apartment to wind energy. Slowly converting our light bulbs over. Buying energy efficient appliances for the "new" house. Trying to teach the kids about conserving ("No, Pie, you don't need a new sheet of paper--just use the back of this!" Which works about as well as you'd think it would). I freecycled an incredibly amount of stuff when we cleaned out the house--I was shocked at some of the stuff people wanted: half used tubes of joint compound, the paint samples we had from when we painted our house years ago, Adam's old economic textbooks, car window tinting, a bag filled with odds and ends of paper. The only thing I couldn't get rid of was a box of Barney VHS tapes.
  • Close e-mail and the Web more: Um, this was the year of Facebook and Twitter. So obviously, a big fat X here.
  • Run a four-hour marathon: Hey, I'm happy enough with 4:13:36.

This year, I'm keeping the same resolutions here and adding a few more. Again, many aren't for public consumption, but a few additions this year are:
  • Read 26 books this year: I know 52 is the logical number here, but hey, that is so not going to happen.
  • Take advantage of the teachable moments: Too many times I let the great opportunities with the kids pass by, because we're in the car, I'm cooking dinner, or because I've just been bombarded with questions for the previous twelve hours.
  • Set a writing schedule: Because I did promise all of you I'd complete the first draft of my novel.

Is that all my resolutions? No. Not even all my public ones. But once again, I can hear the Pie from the other room, so I'm going to tend to my daughter. I'm still adding to the resolutions list, so any that anyone wants to pass on, feel free!

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, January 3

You Can't Go Home (to Boston) Again

Here we are, sitting at Miami International Airport, waiting for our 9:45 p.m. flight that has so far been delayed to 10:15. The kids are exhausted. In an attempt to keep them awake, I made the smart and rational decision to pump them full of sugar in hopes of keeping them awake until we board the plane, because Pie already fell asleep once on the way to the airport and then again when sitting on Adam's lap at the gate. I went in search of cash, but the ATM was out of money, I tried to buy a trashy magazine, but there were no People magazines in English, and I'm really not excited about going from mid 70s weather to sub-freezing temps. Call me crazy like that. Of course, once we get to Logan, we still need to get a shuttle to our off-site parking, drive home, and somehow transfer the kids upstairs to bed.

Our trips to Miami have a certain rhythm to them, a checklist of activities to be ticked off. Trip to Jungle Island and/or the Seaquarium? Check. Ice cream at the Frieze? Check, check, check. Stone crabs? Check. Spa day at the Standard? Check. New Year's eve at my cousins'? Check. New Year's day ride on my cousin's boat? Check. Runs on the beach? Check. Pool time, alone time (as the kids stay with the Nana), lunch at Van Dyke, breakfast at Front Porch, cafe con leche, cafe con leche, and just to be safe, another cafe con leche. Check.

This trip was no exception. T Rex and Pad were in town (from California) as usual and they picked up with Doodles and Pie as if it had been last week that they'd seen each other, and not last year. There were a few tussles between Doodles and T Rex--Doodles has this annoying HBS habit of stating--with ABSOLUTE certainty--"facts" that are completely wrong, which upset T Rex to no end. But it all worked out well, and this year, Teener Tuna's daughter, Billie (remind me why I call her that?), was old enough to peak Pie's interest. Billie, however, had no interest in my daughter, but that didn't stop Pie from chasing her, saying, "Billie! Do you want to play baby? Do you want to run? Do you want to dance?" Billie barely had the time to answer the girl.

I guess I'll have to finish this post later, as my daughter is moaning that she wants to go to sleep (so much good the M&Ms did) and she wants to sleep on me. So I'm off in that other parental role--mattress--and I'll be writing you again from Boston... I hope.

Labels: , ,