Saturday, October 31, 2009


After a rainy and blustery day, it turned into the perfect, balmy trick-or-treating night, full moon and all. It was warm enough that we didn't even need to stuff winter coats under the costumes.

Here they are!

Reed said all month that he wanted to be a monster for Halloween, but when it came time to try on costumes, he wanted none of it. (He's one of those kids who refuses to wear hats, long sleeves, or any kind of jacket.) He wouldn't even touch the costume I bought for him, so we compromised on Jonathan Papelbon, his (my) favorite Red Sox player. He got really into it and even carried his baseball glove around for a while.

All month, Slyler had been telling me she wanted to be a bush. A bush? Yes, like a shrub. And I could not figure out how to pull that off, so I was psyched when she came up with the pink crayon idea. That, I can do!

We did our street and then another neighborhood loop, and we were DONE trick-or-treating by 6:15. Yes!
That's one tired crayon.

Looking forward to seeing pictures of everyone else's costumes! Happy Halloween!

I bet I'm not alone here

You know how when you take your kids to the grocery store and if you've taken time to see that they are wearing matching clothes and their hair is brushed, you don't run into anyone you know?

But when you go to the store in a hurry, and you run into someone who has never met your kids but has always wanted to, like a colleague or the parent of a student, and they say: "are these your kids?" and before you think of something clever like, "no, these are my neighbor's kids," you look down in the cart and your son is wearing dinosaur pajama pants and his sister's pink sweatshirt and your daughter is wearing some weird stained shirt because it is "so comfy" with mismatched pants and neither of them are wearing shoes or socks, and their hair is going in all directions, and your son's nose is running and your daughter has a dirty face, and you have to say: "Yes! these are my kids!"

And you know how just when you think that you are having a relaxing and easy evening, your daughter calls down from upstairs and says: "MOM! I think we have a poop situation up here, but I can't actually find the poop" referring to something your almost-but-not-quite potty trained son did?

And you know you get busy doing something for one second and your son runs out into the backyard in just his pants but no shirt and no shoes or socks, and it's actually like 40 degrees out, so you think, "that's probably not a good idea," and just as you are on your way to grab him, your neighbor pulls into their driveway and says: "Oh! It's a little cold for that, isn't it?"

And you know how you say things you probably know not to, like when your daughter is crying and clinging to your leg because she doesn't want to play soccer in her last soccer game, and she just keeps saying that she wants to go home, and so you say: "Do you see any other boys or girls crying on the sidelines with their moms?" and then another mother looks at you with that look, and you realize that isn't the most understanding thing to say?

And also, do you know how you get the dinner made, kitchen all clean, dishes put away, counters wiped down, and floor swept, and you go into the living room where, in the meantime, your kids have taken out every toy, dumped out every basket of puzzles, and taken the cushions off the couch to jump from the table to the cushion pile, and so while you start to clean up that mess, they head for the kitchen to find a snack?

You know how just when you are in the middle of a crowded line at Target with a totally full cart and you are getting that sweaty, stressed feeling because you have just barely avoided tantrums and supertotalfreakouts while you gathered everything on your list, and when there is only one cart in front of you, and then your almost-potty-trained son says: "I need to go POTTY! I need to go potty RIGHT NOW!"?

Oh yeah, and this one: You get all the laundry folded AND put away, the laundry that has piled up all week, and you have this totally satisfying feeling like: I have DONE the laundry, and it is all PUT AWAY, and then it takes you a few minutes to remember that the laundry is never, ever, ever DONE, and that even as you are standing there feeling satisfied, your kids are throwing off their dirty clothes and getting into the bath?

Okay, how about this: Do you know how you come home from a run, and you need a quick shower, so you sneak off to do that, and the next thing you know, you are in the bath with two kids and piles of bubbles and bath toys and you are helping your kid spell words with those foam letters and sticking them to the wall, and then everyone gets out and the floor is all wet and now the kids need new outfits?

And I know you know this one: You know when your kids are saying "MOM" over and over and over and over and over and over and over, and you are giving them one thing after another and wiping noses and butts and picking up toys, and slicing apples and packing lunches and they are still saying "MOM? MOM? MOM?" and you sort of freak out and you say : "WHAAAAAT?!" and then they say: "I love you, mommy."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Skyler's S'more Cake

Several people have asked me about that s'more cake for Skyler's birthday. It really was so so yummy, and I will be making it again soon. Here is the recipe. You won't be sad when you're eating it.

While you are in the kitchen, try baking these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies which are really good too.

I've been baking and eating a lot. I'm still calling everything I've eaten in the past 2 weeks my "post-marathon meal." And "post-marathon" is going to include Halloween, too, I decided.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lila and Joe's fall visit

Granddaddy Joe and Grandma Lila came for a visit and there was much cuddling and a loving and tickling.

And they timed it just right for some fall splendor.

This one is for you, Aunt Lisa. Your two favorite girls!

Joe and Reed got right to work on the leaves. First, Joe raked:

Then, Reed scooped:

And then (the best part), Reed stomped down the leaves!

Then, Joe continued to rake and Reed stayed here:

That's the longest he has been still in about 6 months.

oh yeah, the children!

(These were taken a few days before my trip to San Francisco)

If you live in Maine, and it's October, you take your kids to the pumpkin patch.

Friday, October 23, 2009

because this is all really about eating good food

the big weekend, part five (and now I am done!)

San Francisco: city of a zillion amazing restaurants. Each day we had so many fine choices of where to eat, knowing every choice would be a good one, a feeling I just don't have where I live now.

Here are some highlights:
Dinner at Overland near the beach.

Roasted beets with goat cheese and walnuts

Heirloom tomato salad

Scenes from the farmers market:

Vietnamese food at The Slanted Door

The POST MARATHON MEAL! Tapas and paella at Esperento in the Mission

steamed mussels, tortilla espanola, and (oh my watering mouth) these thinly sliced grilled artichokes drenched in lemon and garlic


This guy came and sang to our table just because he heard I had run a marathon that day (just kidding)

After dinner, I didn't feel like I was done. So, I made Chris bring me here, where I ordered one of each. Cheers!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Marathon eve

The big weekend, part four (I swear I'm almost done)

Saturday afternoon, I moved over to the hotel downtown so that I'd be right at the starting line in the morning. This is where many of the Team in Training runners were staying, so it was really festive, marathon energy everywhere.

Here is the view of the city from our room

And looking right down out our window, we could see the Expo village and the starting line.

Saturday night we (the whole Maine, NH and Mass team) walked over to the Moscone Event Center where Team in Training managed to feed a big pasta dinner to over 6,000 people.

When all the runners entered the place, it was lined with all the Team in Training coaches and volunteers screaming, cheering, and ringing cowbells. It was deafening. It was crazy. There were pictures being projected all over the wall of those whom we were all running in honor of. I had sent in a photo of my dad, but I'm glad I didn't see it projected in the slide show b/c I would have really lost it.

After dinner, we were treated to three incredible speakers:

First, Joan Benoit Samuelson. (first American woman to win an Olympic Gold for the marathon, AND she's from MAINE).

Then also, a 25 year old woman who was a lymphoma survivor, told the story of how before she was diagnosed with lymphoma, both of her parents were too (which is totally unheard of), and they all survived and are in remission. Her story was an incredible one, and her point was to remind us how the money we raised will help treat an individual person or family like hers.

Last, we were treated to John Bingham, a very funny writer and "back of the pack" marathoner who made me laugh so hard my stomach hurt, which was a much needed change from my psycho-nervous-edginess.

After dinner, I walked through the city back to the hotel and then went to bed. And you already know how well that went.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Look what my brother made

The funniest thing about watching this video (click here) is that when I crossed the finish line, I thought I was really flying! HA! But I was smiling! (the clocks in the video are off by about 17 minutes. Finish time: 5:37)

The big weekend, part three

Friday night dinner with Chris and my mom at this cool, simple, beachy, organic place.

Saturday morning: To the Ferry Building Farmer's Market, a favorite stop when I lived in the city.

Liesel took the subway straight from the airport and met us there where we all reunited.

And then lunch right on the water. (What you can't see: I'm about to die of an overdose of nervous energy and can't sit still or relax to save my life.)

Uncle Dickie and Aunt Ellen made the trip down from their home in Burney, CA for the weekend festivities.

And two of my favorite photos of the weekend:

Here I am with my sister looking really smart.

And here, my mom caught us reacting to these unbelievably delicious plums; the farmers had just handed us a slice to try, and we were like....

whoa they were good.