The kids woke up at the break of dawn again Sunday morning. Jon and I heard them in Maria’s room talking quietly, probably about superheros or barbies. Jon got out of bed first and shut the door behind him to allow me to continue dozing. That is true love.
When I finally dragged my tired butt out of bed 20 minutes later, I found Maria on my Ipad playing Pet Shop (her favorite game now) and Alana and Mario fighting it out on Wii Table Tennis. They would take turns rubbing a win in the other’s face and then when the other rubbed it in his or her face, they would cry about it. They are competitive as heck together – something Maria is not. Maria wants everyone to win and every time she starts a game, she prefaces it by saying “Let’s just play for fun.” To the contrary, Mario prefaces it with “I am gonna whoop you up!” However, he wants a fair fight – he doesn’t just want to whoop you up without a good fight. So, when I could not figure out how to shoot in basketball Wii, he stopped the game to tutor me so that I could give him a run for his money. He continued to whoop on me a bit but then I stole the ball from him. He gave me a look of amazement. He wanted to congratulate me but he also wanted to win. So he just shook his head and kept playing.
Meanwhile, Maria just kept playing Pet Shop. She bought two new kittens and some pups and a fish. She arranged them all and proudly showed them off to us. Then, when she decided to play Wii, and lost badly to Mario, she got angry. “I hate these games!” Mario looked at her kindly and explained “Maria, you have to practice a lot to get good. I practice a lot.” She shook her head at him in disgust.
The girls and I headed to Washington Courthouse to meet up with my Cincy girls for brunch. We ate at Bob Evans – my new favorite restaurant because of their breakfast food. I could eat their eggs and hash browns with onions and bacon and multi-grain pancakes everyday. I choose the multi-grain pancakes because it makes me feel like I am being healthy but after I eat three of them with syrup, I don’t feel too healthy. In fact, I have learned to make sure to wear sweats when I head to Bob Evans so that I am not uncomfortable after my meal. Maria takes after her mom – she got chocolate chip pancakes and bacon. Alana did, too, but only ate half of her food. Maria and I swooped in like vultures and finished it off. Maria hugged on Grace through the meal. Kathy is so good about letting Maria hold her and walk her. Maria loves it. She has got the babysitter gene in her body – something I never had. My girlfriends and I talked for a bit over breakfast but between Gracie grabbing our attention and the quick service, I felt like we didn’t get to talk for too long. I must still be spoiled from Italy.
The girls and I headed to the outlet mall after our meal and tried to find clothes for my Cancun trip with Jon next week. Just shoot me. Is there any store in that outlet mall that has a mirror that flatters? Maria and Alana just kept saying “You are having a baby!” Nothing like that comment to stroke your ego. I was ready to buy a mumu and call it a day. I did score some pretty jewelry but no hot dresses. I should just stick with Target.
When Maria and I got home, we found out Mario was spending the night with Jon’s mom and dad. He loves spending the night with them because he is spoiled like crazy and he gets out of school. He cracks them up as much as he cracks us up, too. Patty took him to the store and they looked through the toy aisle. He wanted a toy and Patty told him it was too much money. His response: “Grandma, you need to get a job and earn some money!” Patty bought him some boots, and he is charged because he can “track animals” now. I miss my boy like a mad woman. It is nice to have him visit Patty and Joe – the break with just Maria means a lot to her and us – but after a day or two, I miss his contagious smile and his wild antics and his bear hugs. I let Maria sleep on the couch while i watched the rest of the movie “The Way” starring Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez (my old 80’s crush) as father and son (just like real life). It is a tender film about a father who loses his son while the son is on a pilgrimage to El Camino de Santiago. The father decides to take the pilgrimage on his behalf and meets up with a few quirky pilgrims who he befriends by the end. It is a wonderful tale of understanding and opening up and taking a leap. And it put Maria to sleep in ten minutes.
Maria was sick today. She woke not feeling right but we forced her off to school, if only because we had to work, but got the call at 10 am that she was not doing well at school. I picked her up and brought her home. I rubbed her back while she watched Toy Story 3. I made her soup. I laid with her. When she got a second wind, I tickled her and laughed with her. We made “nests” out of the covers on our bed and slept in them. We stared out the window at the tree cutters. We cuddled. Not a bad day at all. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and she is trying with all of her might to get better so she can hit her class party. Mario could care less. He begged to stay with Patty and Joe. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.