This New Year is being brought in with potato chips, Taco Doritos, Gatorade, Wii Sports and telephone calls to grandmas and grandpas.
We completed our last round of party hosting last night with Jon’s family coming over for an afternoon and evening soiree. Three of Jon’s brothers came over with their respective families, which led to ten little ones tearing through the house and ten older ones eating appetizers and drinking wine. The kids range in age from 11 to 3. They get along fairly well with the older two playing mother hens and the middle ones (like Maria) only butting heads with them every once in a while. The girls wanted to be on their own to dance to Big Time Rush but the boys kept bothering them. We finally got the boys upstairs by enticing them with swords and shields. My niece, Shari (who is a year older than me!) brought her daughter and her daughter’s son, Isaiah who is a few months older than Mario. Mario and Isaiah always wrestle one another when they meet up. Isaiah has a good ten pounds on Mario and probably a good ten inches but Mario enjoys a tough match. Isaiah is actually pretty passive with Mario. Mario doesn’t understand that he would be pummeled if Isaiah used his natural strength. One of these days, Isaiah may show him how tough he is, and Mario may learn not to provoke these boys so much. Shari’s daughters are the two mother hens, and are loved dearly by Maria. She loves to go over to their house and play, and they always come up with fun things to do.
The adults talked about old times, movies seen, and Urban Meyer. The simple act of being together brings enjoyment to Jon and me. We are glutton for punishment with all of these parties this year between all of the mess in the kitchen and the basement and the kids’ rooms. But the chaos is well worth it when you hear the laughter and happiness echoing throughout the house. And Mario got a new shovel from Kevin and Margie – he will love using that with Jon this year!
This morning I took a long run and packed up Maria and her cousin, Alana for a trip to Cincy. Jon stayed home with Mario. They bought new phones for the house and a new putter for Mario. Their day consisted of playing golf, watching tv, wrestling, and playing golf again. The girls and I headed to Cincy to see my aunts (my Aunt Terrie and her two boys came in from Georgia) and our cousins. They all gathered at my Aunt Julie’s house, and when we walked in, the cousins informed me that they were taking Maria and Alana and I was going with my aunts to get a facial. Not bad news at all!
My aunts and I went to Macy’s for the facial – they told me I needed one now that I was 40! The cousins walked around the mall hitting the toy stores and Disney store. Maria and Alana enjoyed teasing the boy cousins and slapping them around. They put up with a lot from these gals.
The girl cousins give me no reason to fear leaving the kids with them – they have a way to make things fun but orderly. It was a gift to have some alone time with my aunts and to get all pampered up. We are so goofy together talking about how hot we are and how we’re looking 20. I love them dearly. And my cousins, I adore them for their love and commitment to family. When we got home from facials, all of the cousins were working on a puzzle on my aunt’s floor. Some were watching tv more than working on the puzzle but they all sat together ribbing each other and having a good, relaxing time. They are good role models for Ri and Mario.
And that leads us to tonight. I have been writing this blog off and on for the last three hours. Besides eating chips, we played Scavenger Hunt, read books, and played on our electronic devices. At one point, Mario played on my Iphone, Maria on my Ipad, and me on my computer. Definitely a sign of the times. I made us put the electronic devices away before the ball dropped though. With five minutes to go, we sat on the couch together. We watched the ball drop at midnight huddled in a mass and giving one another the first kisses of 2012!