Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Painting with the Girls: Chocolate Babka



I miss Mrs. Pirate so much.  Did I ever tell y'all that she moved?  Not super far, but a little farther than she was before, which makes our get-togethers much less frequent. Plus she was the one who usually planned them.  Now she's planning get-togethers for a whole new group of friends.

But apparently, Mrs. Pirate misses me too.  We've been trying to do better about meeting up this year.  This past week alone we met up twice!  The first time was just the two of us, for drinks and some good catching up, which we never seem to be able to do with kids around.  The second time was when she invited me to join her new group of friends for a little Sip and Paint.  You know, where you drink wine and paint a picture?


It was a fairly large group, but unsurprisingly all the women were super nice, and very funny.  We were cracking each other up as we attempted to paint our beachy scene.




This is not my favorite piece I've done, I have no skill for cloudy skies.  But it was a fun night, and the boys were in awe that I painted this.  The finished product:


Despite the fact that the artist kept telling us not to compare, we all had our eyes on each other's work.  And in the end, we ended up with some fairly different pictures, even though the basic premise was the same.


I've only done these at restaurants before, but this place had its own dedicated space.  Which meant there was no food or drink to purchase and we had to bring our own.  Not a problem. We had wine, fruit, nuts, cheese, and lots of other snacks.  I was going to bring the chocolate babka I made this week out of my "A Blessing of Bread" book, but then on Friday night my family had a slice of the first loaf, and, well, we decided we didn't want to share.  Yeah.  It's that good.  

I'm not a huge babka fan to begin with, so I was really surprised by just how good this was.  It is simultaneously light and chewy, eggy and sweet - like a good challah.  And while the babka's I've had have been a little heavy on the cinnamon, this one found the perfect balance.  So for the painting crew?  Fruit would be fine.  But for you my friends, give this one a shot!

Chocolate Babka (From A Blessing of Bread)
18 Tbsp butter, softened (divided)
1 1/2 cups milk
2 Tbsp instant yeast
5 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups sugar, divided
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
1 egg
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup chocolate morsels
  1. Heat the milk in a saucepan until bubbles form around the edges.  Let cool until it's temperate.
  2. Once the milk is cool enough, whisk together the yeast and 1 1/2 cups of flour in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk in the warm milk until smooth.  Let sit for 10-20 minutes, until it starts to get puffy.
  4. Mix one cup of sugar with the cinnamon.  Reserve 1 Tbsp for the filling, then whisk the rest into the puffed batter.
  5. Whisk in the salt, vanilla, and egg yolks until smooth. 
  6. Stir in the remaining 4 cups of flour, along with 10 Tbsp of the butter, mixing until the dough holds together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead until it's a soft dough.  Place the dough in a warm, clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise for 2-2.5 hours. 
  7. While the dough is rising, butter or oil two 9-by-5 inch bread pans.
  8.  After the dough has risen, melt the remaining butter.
  9. Sift the remaining sugar with the reserved cinnamon sugar and cocoa in a medium bowl.
  10. Add the melted butter and whisk the filling until smooth.
  11. Turn the fully risen dough onto a floured work surface and divide into two equal pieces.  Roll one dough piece into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick.   Smear the dough up to 1 inch of its edges with half of the cocoa filling.  
  12. Scatter half of the chocolate morsels over the filling.  Roll up the dough from one side like a carpet.  Pinch the edges and ends into the roll to seal it.   Pace seam side down in one of the prepared pans.  Repeat with the second dough piece. Cover the pans with plastic wrap and let rise for 2.5 hours.
  13. Preheat the oven to 300 and whisk the egg with a pinch of salt.  Brush the breads with this egg glaze.  Bake the loaves for 50-60 minutes.  Let them cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then let them finish cooling on a rack.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Family Movie Time: Hashbrown casserole


You guys, I have so many tricks up my sleeve it's amazing that my shirts fit.

We had another weekend where baseball was cancelled for rain, which gave us a whole weekend with no plans.  I thought maybe it would be fun to go see a movie, since we did the museum last weekend.  But Thatboy has been waiting for weeks for nicer weather to try out some ice-dying tie-dye technique.  It ended up taking a lot more time than expected, and by the time that was done, naptime ran a little late, and there were no movies times we'd make before dinner.

Sunday morning we met up with Thatmom and Thatbrother for breakfast, and this is where my little tricks come in.  Instead of going to the movies back by our house, I used the opportunity to check out a special theater that was between the breakfast place and our house.  We rarely go to other theaters, since we have one in town, but I'd tucked this one away in my memory banks for when the occasion might arise.

What's so special about this theater?


It's especially geared for kids!

In fact, you can't buy a ticket for this theater unless you're accompanied by a child under 12.

Cinepolis Junior is a special theater, I think there are two in the country, which really caters to kids.  Even the seats are fun!  They have your regular movie theater chairs, but they also have lounge chairs, giant bean bags, and these chairs that are basically oversized pillows.

Each bean bag and oversize pillow seats two people.  So the boys cuddled up in one,


and we cuddled up in the one next to them.




The play structure on the side of the theater was available for the kids to burn off a little energy before the movie started.  The theater also instituted a 15 minute intermission, during which time little theater go-ers could use the bathroom, grab concessions, or hit up the play structure again.


It's really a brilliant idea for kids who can't quite sit through a long movie, either because they need to use the bathroom, or because 2 hours is too long to sit still.

Overall it was such a good experience that we may never make use of our local theater again.  Thatboy said it was his favorite movie theater experience of all times and he was really disappointed to learn he couldn't come back without the kids!

My other little trick is a two-for-one.  I was chatting with another mom at Thatkid's school and I mentioned I was starving and needed to go home and have breakfast.  She asked what kinds of things I usually have for breakfast, which is when I filled her in on my trick.  Sunday nights I make an egg casserole, and then I have breakfast all week.  It makes it so easy to just grab and heat up in the morning.  And the two-fold part?  I don't really have a recipe, I just use whatever leftover stuff we happen to have on hand.

But last week's casserole was so amazing, it has become my new favorite.  And that's why I'm sharing it with you.  Impossibly easy, it really consists of cooking sausage, then layering that with frozen hashbrowns and eggs.  No chopping, no dicing, no nothing!  I made this with sweet Italian sausage, which I had leftover from a dinner I had made that week, but any sausage will really work.  Quick, easy, and will feed you for days?  Who says tricks are for kids?

Hashbrown Casserole
1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
2 cups frozen hashbrowns
6 eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.  Heat a pan over medium high heat.  Cook sausage until browned.
  2. Sprinkle flour over sausage and cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Add milk and cook until milk has thickened, about 5 minutes.  
  4. Whisk the eggs and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Spread the frozen hashbrowns evenly over the baking dish.
  6. Top with the sausage mixture.
  7. Pour the eggs over.  Bake for 50 minutes, until cooked through.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Mommy Mondays: Kids and Death

2 weeks ago, one of my childhood friends lost her fight against cancer.  It was, as would be expected, very upsetting for me.  And I did my best to keep my sorrow from my children, as an unnecessary burden they need not shoulder.

But sometimes we don't have the luxury of keeping death from them.  When Thatkid was 19 months old, TFIL died.  He attended his first funeral before he reached the age of two.  Of course, at 19 months, there wasn't much to explain or discuss with him. 

But when he was 3, my grandmother died.  And a month later, my cousin died.  By then, he was old enough to understand.  To an extent.  Do any of us REALLY understand death?  He was, at least, old enough to ask questions and to try and formulate thoughts regarding funerals and the inability to see someone again.

Discussions of death aren't really something most of us prepare for.  When you have children, you know at some point you will need to sit them down and talk to them about the "birds and the bees" but we never really think about the fact we will also need to talk to them about death. 

My own experiences definitely color my own views of death.  When I was 3 years old, my babysitter was in a car accident and died.  That same year, a child in my preschool died.  And a year later, my grandfather died.  Before I was 6, I'd been to more funerals than many people had in their lifetime.  So for me, I felt like I understood the best way to talk to Thatkid, because I had been in his shoes before. 

I don't think there's a right or wrong way to have this discussion, so take my "dos" and "don't" with a grain of salt.  They're not gospel, just things I found helpful.

DO tailor the discussion to the child's age/ability.  Like I mentioned above, we didn't feel the need to have any discussion with Thatkid before he was two.  And the way we spoke about it with him at 3 would not be the way we would have discussed it with him when he was older.

DON'T blame death on old age entirely.  This is a really common thing.  And it is easy to fall back on, because death is a big thing children fear.  Especially involving their parents.  And it's comforting to reassure them that you're not going to die for a long long long long time.  I stumbled upon this advice inadvertently.  My grandmother died from suspected lung cancer, so when she died, we told Thatkid it was because she got really sick, instead of blaming her age.  And when my 30 year old cousin died the following month, I realized I was glad I hadn't told him that grandma died because she was old. 

DO let them lead the conversation.  No need to bring up issues they haven't even thought of yet.  For Thatkid, the three big concerns, all of which are really related to each other, were "What makes people die?" " "What happens after you die?" and the fear that Thatboy and I were going to die.    There's no right or wrong answer to these, and your own personal beliefs and experiences will color your answers, but this is how we handled it:

- What makes people die?  We told Thatkid that you die when the body stops working.  There are three main reasons the body stops working - it gets too broken, too sick, or too old.  This led to a whole host of discussions about how the body works, how blood works, how blood gets outside the body and a lot of other biology questions, but as I stated above, we let him lead those conversations and answered as honestly and age appropriately as we could.

- What happens after you die?  We told Thatkid that nobody knows for sure what happens after you die, because once you die, you don't come back and tell people.  So lots of people have ideas about what happens, and those ideas make those people feel better.  We talked about heaven, about reincarnation, about ghosts and the afterlife, and that some people just believe that nothing happens after you die.  And we told him that whatever makes him feel good, that's what he should believe. 

- Fear of death.  I really think this is the crux of death conversations with kids.  And maybe not just kids.  As I stated above, we told him that you die when the body stops working, but we also told him the body is really really really good at fixing itself.  That's why he has been sick, or hurt himself, and was still perfectly healthy today.  We told him that we all try to take really good care of ourselves, to help stay healthy - making good food choices, not running across the street, driving carefully, taking medicine when we get sick - all the kinds of things that help keep us alive for a long long long long time.   

I won't lie, Thatkid was preoccupied with death for a good long time after those back to back funerals, and all the questions.  But I think that's probably true for a lot of subjects with young children.  And in the intervening years when death has hit close to home, he seems to have less concerns and questions.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

February Fun: Bacon Nutella Poptarts


In San Diego, February is museum month!  All the San Diego libraries have museum pass booklets that give you 50% off at most San Diego museums.  It couldn't come at a better time.  February is so cold and rainy here, that museum days are the perfect ways to fill the weekend.

Last Saturday Thatkid's baseball game was cancelled because of the rain.  Which happens every year. with most of his early games and practices.  We took advantage of the lack of plans to head over to the Natural History Museum, or as we call it here, "The Nat."


The Nat is one of the boys' favorite museums.   They absolutely love the dinosaurs.


But one of the reasons I wanted to bring them back to The Nat, was the new "hidden gems" exhibit.  Because my kids LOVE gems and minerals.  They'll spend forever going through their own rock collections, opening geodes, and hanging out in the gem and mineral exhibit at the fair.






The kids also love the 3-D movies.  This trip we saw one about the Wonders of the Arctic. 


We made a quick stop in the gift shop, with the intention of picking up another rock or two to add to their collections, when I saw this.:


It's a pterodactyl that you can actually wear!  I thought it was so neat, that I completely caved on my "no stuffed animals" rule and let Thatkid get it.  Of course that meant that I had to let Thatbaby pick out a new stuffed animal too.


The museum passes are good for the rest of the month, so I'm excited to hit some more up.  But Museum Month isn't all February has to offer. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day!  We're just about ready for it here, and despite the fact Thatbaby keeps asking me to buy him a chocolate heart, none of my Valentine plans include chocolate.

Before you feel too sorry for my poor, chocolate-less kids, know that they get plenty of chocolate other times.  Like last weekend when I made homemade poptarts - filled with nutella!  And while my kids may not be getting them for breakfast tomorrow, there's no reason you can't surprise your Valentine with these sweet treats!

Bacon Nutella Poptarts
4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp salt
3 sticks butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup nutella
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp lemon juice
4 strips cooked bacon
  1. Combine flour, white and brown sugar, 2 tsp salt, butter, coconut oil, and 2 eggs in an electric mixer.  Mix on medium until combined.
  2. Add 1/2 cup water to batter and mix on low speed for 1 minute until dough begins to stick together.  Increase speed and mix until dough is smooth.
  3. Divide dough in half and flatten each half into a disk.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 375. Flour a large work surface and roll out one of the disks into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle.  Cut the larger rectangle into 8 smaller rectangles and place the smaller rectangles on a baking sheet lined with a silpat.
  5. Make an egg wash with the remaining egg and a pinch of salt.  Use this to brush the rectangles.
  6. Spread 1 Tbsp of nutella in the center of each rectangle.
  7. Reflour your work surface and roll out  and cut the remaining disk the way you did with the first.
  8. Place each of these rectangles on top of the rectangles on the baking sheet.  Seal edges by crimping with a fork.
  9. Brush with the egg wash.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  Cool completely.
  10. While the poptarts are cooling, mix the confectioners' sugar with 1 Tbsp of the milk and the lemon juice until it forms a paste.
  11. Add the remaining Tbsp of milk and stir until smooth. 
  12. Once the poptart is cool, spread the frosting on top.
  13. Crumble bacon on top of the frosting.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Mommy Mondays: In the Night

Mommy Mondays have been a little quiet around here - which goes along with the fact that having a second child means you've already dealt with anything they can throw at you, but also because Thatkid is getting to the age where I'm trying to respect his privacy by not sharing "stories that aren't mine."  He doesn't need his issues memorialized on the internet where everything lasts forever.

However, lately in my own corners of the internet I've seen certain issues that keep popping up, and certain advice that keeps circulating which is not of the true or helpful variety.  So without going into too much detail about why I have become an expert on the topic in the past year, I thought I would share some stuff I've learned in the hopes that maybe it'll help another mother out - which was always the goal of these Mommy Mondays to begin with.

So let's talk about wetting the bed or enuresis.  We've had a very unusual path in this department, that no one I know has gone through, so if you think your child is doing something weird - I'm here for you and happy to share more details privately.  This has happened to me once and I know that mom was so thankful that someone got where she was coming from. 



There are 2 types of enuresis: primary and secondary.

Almost everyone you know (and probably even you!) has experienced primary enuresis.   That's your typical "I'm not quite potty trained" bedwetting.  When they're great during the day when they're aware they have to go, but not so great when they're asleep.  Secondary enuresis is when your child, who hasn't had an accident in years, starts suddenly wetting the bed.  There's always a medical cause for that, so if that's going on, contact your pediatrician.  Today, we're just going to focus on primary enuresis - which affects more children.  (Although, as before, if you're dealing with secondary enuresis and want to chat - I'm here for you.)

 Lately I've been hearing so many moms complaining about this, and asking for how to "night train" or how to get their child to stop doing this.  And then comes all the really really really bad advice. 

So let me break this down for you.

There is no such thing as "night training."  Primary enuresis is completely not within anyone's control.   Not yours, not your child's.   It's controlled by hormones.  That's right.  Pesky little hormones.

Anti-Diuretic Hormone (ADH) is the hormone that regulates urination.  At night, the brain increases this hormone which slows down urine production, for most of us to a complete stop.  Which is why most of us are able to sleep through the night without getting up to pee.  But, like most hormones, this one doesn't kick in right away.  And it doesn't kick in for everyone at the same time.  So for some children, this hormone starts regulating urine production at 3, and for others maybe not until 13. 

What does all this mean? That means that until this hormone kicks in, nothing you do is going to stop your child from urinating at night.  No praise, no reward, no punishment.  They physically cannot stop themselves from urinating.



And let's talk about the most famous advice out there - "Just limit their liquid intake in the evenings."  I'm including this part because I've been lucky enough to get to visit with a pediatric urologist who told me this is the bane of his existence.  He hates this advice, because not only is there no relation between limiting fluid and bedwetting, but because it can be really dangerous for kids.  If your body is going to make urine at night, it's going to be using whatever fluid is in your body from the day, which you need!  Kids especially need water because they're doing all that growing and learning.  The doctor said that parents who do this often find it doesn't work, and then keep restricting liquid earlier and earlier, and kids are only awake for so many hours a day - again, needing water for their growing bodies during those waking hours.



The other advice that is oft given out that he hates?  "Wake them to use the toilet before you go to bed."  This actually trains your child to go at that specific time.  Now remember how we talked about the fact the hormone doesn't kick in for some kids until they're teenagers?  Well, in less you want to wake up your children for potentially years, you're pretty much guaranteeing a bedwetting at that exact time.  Good times!

So what do you do?  Wait it out.  It will happen.  Nighttime diapers, pullups, and all sorts of specialty underwear exist.  Reassure your child that this is normal and will not last forever.  And reassure yourself that this is normal and will not last forever!


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sunday Runday: The Year Ahead

The past 2 years I've been working on my 10k time, until I finally was able to get it down under an hour.

So this year the plan is to start working on my half marathon time.  I'd love to get it down under 2 hours.

Which is a lot more daunting.

So I'm taking baby steps.

Before Thatbaby was born, this was a much less daunting task.  The last half I ran before getting pregnant was 2:17.  Dropping 17 minutes isn't easy, but it's a lot easier than where I am now.

I never really got my speed back after Thatbaby was born.  Which is a funny thing to say given that my 10k speed improved!  So maybe it's my endurance than never came back?   In any case, my half marathon time has gotten REALLY REALLY slow.

So my first goal?  Get back to under 2:30. 

From there, it's to try to get back to 2:17.

And after that?  Well, then we can talk about under 2 hours.

And the best way to run a faster half marathon is to run more half marathons.  So I'm forgoing some of my favorite 10ks that I've found in favor of running more longer races.  I've got 5 half marathons on the books for this year, which is more than I've ever run in a single year!

Next week is the first one - but it's really just a chance to warm up my legs to the distance, because you guys?  It's a TRAIL HALF MARATHON.  And we all know I don't run trails for speeds.  So it's going to take me a million hours to complete, but 13 miles is 13 miles and these legs need to get used to 13 miles again, and again, and again.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Disney on Ice: Jalapeno Bacon Popcorn


Winter sport season has begun! Thatkid is doing baseball again (I know it's a spring sport everyone else, but here in San Diego we start it in January - and then don't play for weeks because YES IT RAINS HERE PEOPLE.)  We thought Thatbaby would want to follow in his brother's footsteps now that he's old enough to play, but he chose a very different path.


Ice skating!  He has really taken to ice skating in a way I never would have imagined.  Thatkid was very timid on the ice at first, but Thatbaby has no fear and jumps (literally) right on. 

In an attempt to try and embrace his newfound love, I got us all tickets to see Disney on Ice - Dare to Dream.  It's the newest Disney on Ice performance, featuring Moana, which both my kids love.

In an attempt to stave off overpriced souvenirs, I ordered some cheaper versions from Amazon that I gave them the morning before the show so they were still shiny and interesting.


The best part of these kind of shows are the light up souvenirs, so I those were the kind I ordered.  These light up Maui hooks cost me $20 from Amazon and they were being sold for $40 at the show.


My second save-some-money move was to get our tickets from Goldstar.   I use Goldstar a lot for tickets because they're usually at least half off.  These seats, right at the front of the section, which gave us an unobstructed view, were $22 a piece, but after I contacted them about the fact that it didn't seem cheaper than regular price, they knocked them down to $17.  Their customer service is fantastic. 

The performance started off with a guest appearance by Miguel and his guitar.  He strummed us "Remember me" before breaking into his acclaimed hit "Poco Loco."  My kids love Coco, so this was a really fun way to start the show.


Of course, Mickey and Minnie and our other costumed friends showed up next.


Disney princesses are a big part of Disney on Ice, and this show is no different.  It began with a condensed retelling of Beauty and the Beast.


Next came Cinderella.



The part I was most looking forward to was Tangled.  Not that I love the movie, but because it promised an amazing aerial performance.  It did not disappoint.


While the boys liked the first act, they are, in general, less interested in the older Disney stories.  They didn't grow up with them and I'm not even positive they've seen Cinderella or Tangled.

Act II however, had them on the edge of their seats, with two of their beloved favorites.  First, Frozen.  Thatbaby since Let It Go on constant repeat.  To be more accurate, he sings the chorus of Let it Go on constant repeat.


And Olaf is one of his all time favorite Disney characters.  Enough that he even has an Olaf costume.


Then came Moana, which might be their current favorite Disney movie. 


They especially loved waving their glowing hooks at Maui.


'

And Shiny was a discoball studded extravaganza.



The show ended with all the characters coming out and dancing together.


Since we saved money on souvenirs and seats, everyone got to pick a special snack for the show.  The fun thing about the snacks at Disney on Ice is that they come with their own souvenirs.  Thatbaby's cotton candy came with a Pua hat.


And Thatkid's snowcone came in a Mickey cup.


As for me, I got popcorn in a souvenir bag.  Because there's nothing like popcorn you get at events - movies, sporting events, Disney on Ice.  It's just so buttery and salty.  Really, there are very few popcorns I don't like.  It is my all time favorite food.  I love it so much that I even made it to eat during the Superbowl.  But rather than buttery saltiness, this one was bacony-jalapenoey.  Seems fitting for a sporting event right?  I actually removed all the seeds from this version, so I could share with the kids, and Thatkid was VERY thankful.  He called it the best popcorn he's ever had.

Honestly, cooking popcorn in bacon?  He's not so far off.

 Jalapeno Bacon Popcorn
5 strips applewood smoked bacon, diced
1 jalapeno sliced (with as many seeds removed as you'd like - remember, the more seeds, the spicier it'll be!)
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
grated parmesan cheese
salt
  1. Cook bacon over medium heat in a large pot until crispy.
  2. Add jalapeno slices and cook for 2 minutes until soft.  Remove jalapeno and bacon from the pot.
  3. Add popcorn kernels and toss to coat.  Cover the pot.  When the popcorn starts popping, shake the pot back and forth until the popcorn is done popping.  Remove from heat.
  4. Add the jalapeno and bacon back in to the popcorn.
  5. Toss the popcorn with parmesan cheese and salt to taste.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Sunday Runday: Legoland Marathon Mile

First race of the year!

But not for me.

Well, not really.

The kids love the Legoland race, so I signed them right up.  It's always a fun way for them to start the year.

Of course, this year, I woke up and immediately knew I was running a fever.  Y'all, I can't remember the last time I ran a fever.  I adore Thatboy, but the man HATES getting up early.  And he HATES leaving the house early even more.  So of course he jumped on my not feeling well, suggesting we skip the race, rather than volunteering to take the boys himself.

So like any good mother (seriously, no sick days allowed), I sucked it up and got us all dressed and out the door for the race.  And then I napped in the car while Thatboy brought the boys around to vendors.  Carls' Junior was there, handing out free drinks and their new "Beyond meat burgers" which both boys really liked and chose over the free Chik Fil' A sandwiches which were also being offered.

A little before the race started I met up with the boys and snapped a couple of quick pictures before we split up again.




The race divides kids up by ages.  I stayed with Thatkid, who wanted to run the race.  Thatboy was more than happy to walk the race with Thatbaby in the stroller.

Each age is brought up to the start separately, in their own wave.  As Thatkid gets older, there are less and less age groups in front of us to wait for.  Before too long we were escorted up to the start line.


Thatkid made his way to the very front with the other kids who were itching to run.  We received several warnings that because of the rain, there was a new course and they asked us to PLEASE not run - but move carefully through the wet park so no one got hurt.  You can see how well these kids were prepared to listen to these admonitions.


Then the race started, and I promptly lost Thatkid.  Whatever virus was in my system was making me a not quick running companion.  Add to that, I noticed that the child who was standing next to us in the corrals was lying on the ground just past the start line.  I figured I wasn't catching up to Thatkid anyway, so I helped him off the course and waited with him until his parents caught up to where we were.

Then I made my way through the park, with the hopes of catching Thatkid on his way back.  (Plus then I could cut across and not run the whole thing).  I managed to find him in Mini-land, just before the turnaround, waiting for me.   We finished the run together, although he took off for the last leg.


And then we began the long wait for Thatboy and Thatbaby.  They had the double disadvantage of being in the last group (4 and under) and walking the entire race, so we were there for a while.  When we finally spotted them, Thatkid ran to meet up with his brother and run across the finish again with him.


Medals!!!!!

The boys were so glad to take part in this race again.  It's the perfect distance for them, and so fun for them to run with so many other kids.  Even Thatbaby loves it, and he doesn't even run the thing!